Each year,the AMCA Championship racing season fires into life with the staging of the Superclass,an unlimited capacity event combining MX1 and MX2 riders.
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Normally the title is decided over two rounds and six races.For 2012 though it was all change with just a one off shootout and three tense but highly competitive moto’s.Venue for the battle was Whalley Nab in Lancashire with Rossendale MXC the hosts,and rather appropriately it was Lee Payne from the home county who was to take top honours,in the process bagging his first ever AMCA crown with a great 1/1/2 scorecard.Despite being the fastest man to the first corner in all three clashes,reigning Superclass Champion Lee Dunham had to settle for the overall runners-up slot whilst Matthew Williamson was an impressive 3rd.
Back to moto one and after a typically frantic opening lap,it was Lee Payne who held the early advantage with Richard Cannings,Aran Agius,Matthew Williamson,Clinton Barrs and Lee Dunham in tow.Back to full fitness after his 2011 campaign had been hampered by a major early season knee operation,Payne aboard a new KTM machine controlled proceedings all the way to the flag and finish over ten seconds ahead of Barrs with Dunham in 3rd.After initially gating outside the top ten,Sean Eckersley and Shaun Pearce both recovered strongly to earn eventual 5th and 6th placings respectively behind two-stroke mounted Williamson.For Cannings,this Superclass opener did not quite go to plan,being black-flagged for swapping bikes four laps into the contest when holding 5th spot!!.
Determined to make amends for that moto one no-score,Cannings quickly took control of moto two before becoming involved in a titanic struggle for honours when challenged by Payne.For seven laps,Cannings looked the likely victor of the battle before Payne swooped past with just three circuits remaining.So after a seriously no-holds barred contest,it was again victory for Payne ahead of Cannings,Dunham,Barrs,Pearce,Williamson and Ryan Crowder,the first MX2 pilot home in 7th.
Looking for that glorious moto win hat-trick,Payne instead had to settle for the runners-up spot in the final clash of the day as that man Cannings led all the way to the chequered flag.In a dramatic encounter,Barrs crashed heavily on lap three,dropping back to 16th spot whilst Dunham’s front pipe on his Kwacker broke.Despite that setback,the ultra-consistent Maxxis Henderson LPE pilot still managed to hang onto 3rd at the post with Williamson 4th,Aled Bellis 5th and Crowder 6th.Following his earlier off,the gallant Barrs did still complete the moto,getting back to 12th.
Main Support action for the Superclass was provided by a 2012 AMCA MX2 Championship qualifying round in which Ryan Jones turned on the style to bag a superb maximum points score.Other Support class winners at Whalley Nab included Tye Barrs,brother of Superclass rider Clinton,Adam Smith,Robert Vernon,Joe Smith and James Pennington.
Report by Mike Wood and Images by Peter Barlow
Peter Barlow ( www.motopixs.com)