After a break of several months, the AMCA Wessex / South Wales centre returned to the glorious Walterstone circuit, run by the Hereford MXC. A new Veterans class was tried out, which proved popular with the more mature riders – although a few of them felt young enough to race two classes on the day. After the long spell of warm, dry weather we have had, the track was always going to be dusty – but thanks to a lot of effort from the hosting club, and the clever decision to run seven races per block and using the eighth race time to water the track – all 3 blocks of racing were completed and finished on time.
With Zak Watkins having moved up from the Inter Juniors into the MX2 under 18 Juniors, it was a chance for the rest of the riders to step out from his shadow. John Collins and Grant Jones did just that, finishing first and second in the two opening races, with Tom Mumford and Joshua Gethin taking a third place finish each. Going into the final race, Jones got a flying start whilst Collins had to get past Mumford before he could set about the leader – but common sense prevailed, as all Collins had to do was follow Jones home to secure the overall victory. Mumford finished in third, which gave him third overall.
Keith Jones took the win in the first two races of the MX1 Juniors class, leading from start to finish. He was denied a clean sweep by Justin Brooks, who took the final win after placing second and third in the opening motos, leaving Jones to come home second for the overall. James Price finished third on the day, with podium finishes in races two and three – but he would have been a real challenger for the win if not for a disastrous start in race one that saw him having to come from last place through to sixth at the flag.
The MX1 Seniors group saw a very close battle between Lewis Stokes, Ryan Thomas and John Card. These three riders locked out the podium all day, with Sam Nicholas the only other rider to finish in the top three with a second place in moto one. Going into the final round, Stokes held the advantage after taking two wins, with Card just in front of Thomas by 7 points. The race was won by Anthony Worwood, who made up for his earlier disappointing scores with the victory, but there was a real fight behind him, with Stokes, Thomas and Card slugging it out. Stokes rode with his head, knowing a top four finish would give him the overall, so when he came under real pressure from Thomas, he allowed him through. As the flag came out, it was Thomas from Stokes with Card in fourth. This left Thomas and Card tied on points, with the verdict going to Thomas due to his higher final race finish.
Hereford rider Harley Jones took victory in the MX2 Seniors class, with a win, a second and a third place. This kept him well clear of the rest of the pack, where just 7 points split second, third and fourth places after a whole days’ racing. Ryan Probert saw his day get steadily better, with fifth, third and then second place finishes, giving him second overall. Jack Hill started the day very well, with a third place and a win in the opening motos, but had a terrible final race and just could not get a rhythm going and finished in tenth place, which was just enough to secure third overall. Mark Tooth put in a late charge; after posting ninth and fifth place finishes earlier in the day he then stormed to the race win in the final moto. However, this was still not enough to finish on the podium at the end of the day, falling just three points short of the final step.
The only clean sweep of the day went to James Lane over in the MX1 Experts. The Lane brothers even took each other out in the final moto, but had enough of a lead in hand over the rest of the field to remount and still finish first and second. James Shand took second overall with only one podium finish, with Sam Morse in third having not placed in the top four all day. None of the other MX1 Experts were able to put three consistent finishes together, with seconds and thirds followed by DNF’s. The MX2 Experts class was won by Joe Preston, another Hereford rider – who took two wins and a second on the day. He was joined on the podium by Cory Szpadt and Jamie Linton – both riders having much better days than their MX1 counterparts in an Experts group that was mixed MX1 / MX2 riders.
The MX2 Juniors were another combined group, with the under and over 18’s running together. The under 18’s provided the Hereford club with it’s third winner, as Sam Mumford took overall victory, only being denied a clean sweep of wins by Bradley Davis in the opening moto. Josh Morris claimed second with a set of third place finishes, while Andros Mota-Reed mounted the final step of the podium after finishing fourth all day. The over 18 class was won by Sam Danaher with two wins and a third, with Jamie Fennell on the second step. Matthew Tooth just held onto the third step with a strong finish to his day.
So to the Veterans class, which gave Hereford its fourth and final overall winner in the shape of Rob Prosser – who took the class with two wins and a second. Although we were denied a grandstand final moto, as going into this race Prosser was tied on points with Barry Goodman. However, Goodman was unable to make the start for the final race, which was a shame as we were denied a real battle to decide this class. The fight for second and third in the Veterans was very close, and only two points split the riders at the end. Jim Shand was behind Darren Williams on points going into the final race, but Shand got the better start – leading for the early laps before Prosser took the lead, whilst Williams had to get past Mark Bishop before he could start to attack the front pair. It was very tight between the top three, with less than 2.5 seconds splitting them across the line. But despite Williams putting his fastest lap of the race in on the final lap, he could not get past Shand and the points gap between second and third was enough for Shand to snatch second overall, leaving Williams in third.
A special thanks must go to Peter Reed and the whole of the Hereford MXC, as a huge amount of work went into preparing the track for race day. The club had altered the layout, so there was less track to water (and less dust), and, with watering the track at the end of each block during the space in the programme where race 8 would have been, the dust (and delays) were kept to a minimum. The club have also shown that they are a force to be reckoned with, taking half of the overall victories on the day.
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Report and Images by MXDAVE.COM
John Collins, Grant Jones, Tom Mumford
Keith Jones, Justin Brooks, James Price
Lewis Stokes, Ryan Thomas, John Card
Harley Jones, Ryan Probert, Jack Hill
Rob Prosser, Jim Shand, Daran Williams
MX2 Under 18 Juniors:
Sam Mumford, Josh Morris, Andros Mota-Reed
MX2 Over 18 Juniors:
Sam Danaher, Jamie Fennell, Matthew Tooth
James Lane, James Shand, Sam Morse
Joe Preston, Cory Szpadt, Jamie Linton