Chris Czora reports on the opening Shrewsbury Motocross Club meeting of the 2011 season at the spectacular Condover circuit whilst Basil Lello provides the images.
Ahead of the new season the club had included various new sections to the fast circuit in an attempt to make it more technical, including a ‘staircase’ style drop off section, testing riders’ skill and nerve to tackle the section despite a tricky off-cambered section afterwards. Reaction to the track changes were mixed, although the club has the option to change the circuit should they wish.
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With the dry, sunny weather, the club invested a lot of time in track watering. Bowsers watered the circuit until late on Saturday evening, and this foresight paid off with dust being kept at bay for much of the race programme. However despite the valiant efforts from the club, the warm, windy weather ensured the track dried out very quickly, and despite numerous attempts to water the track during the day, the dust kept returning. With seven races to go, the decision was taken between the Clerk of the Course and the event stewards to abandon the event in the interests of safety.
Before this, some spectacular racing took place, with most race classes being virtually full. Opening race of the day was the MX2 Experts, which was the only class staged over three races. Wrekin’s Brad Tranter was the inform rider, as he cruised to two opening race wins. However Tranter could only manage sixth in the final race, with Warley’s Ryan Morris, fresh from his AMCA Championship exploits, taking the final race win to secure second overall. Wem’s Scott Smith seemed to be off-form earlier in the day, but the young Honda rider can never be written off, second in the final race gave him third overall.
Consistency paid off for Cressage rider Stu Hughes as he took the MX1 Expert win despite not winning a race. Darren Bennett and Ed Reynolds took the first and second race wins, but neither finished in the overall classifications, with a brace of second place finishes giving Hughes the victory. Gary Jones and Nathan Phillips tied on 97 points, but Jones’ third in the final race gave him second on a tie break.
Bridgnorth’s Ryan Pugh is becoming a man to watch in the MX1 Seniors, and looking resplendent in his retro styled Fox gear, stormed the class taking two race wins. Shrewsbury’s Steven Carson took second overall on his home track with second and third place finishes, whilst a third for Liam Nicklin ensured he joined his Bridgnorth club-mate Pugh in taking home a trophy, the young rider taking third.Another Senior to watch is Shrewsbury’s Lou Pinches, who took a comfortable MX2 Senior victory with two wins. After early leader Tommi Lowe fell, Pinches snatched the opening race win, and took a comfortable second race win to secure the overall. Wrekin Liam Jones rode well to take second overall from comeback rider, Craig Price of Shrewsbury.
Another rider making a comeback was Shrewsbury’s Paul Carson, who took a clean sweep of wins in the MX1 Juniors. Wrekin’s Gary Cheshire was the only rider to seriously challenge Carson, two second places giving him second overall, with Telford’s Simon Cope taking third overall.
Macclesfield’s Jack Beresford and Shawbury’s Tom Deacon enjoyed a close scrap in the MX2 Junior Over 17s, with both riders taking a win each. However Deacon’s fourth place in the opening race meant that the downhill mountain bike ace was unable to match Beresford in the overall listings, with Beresford’s opening race win and second in the final race giving him the win. Shrewsbury’s Scott Challinor took third overall with a consistent 3-4 card.
Nantwich’s Billy Gallimore was unstoppable in the MX2 Junior Under 17 class, taking two convincing race wins to secure the overall win. In form Macauley Fisher could had to settle for second at his home track, with two second place finishes, whilst a pair of third place finishes gave Connor Franklin third overall.
Jake Garner snatched the final race win in the Inter Junior class, and coupled with his second in the opening race, secured victory in the Inter Junior class. Fraser Martin took the opening race victory, but the late pass from Garner in the second race meant he had to settle for second overall. Jameal Stancer had a consistent day, with two third place finishes giving him third overall.
Report by Chris Czora and images by Basil Lello
Basil Lello (www.druidsmotox.co.uk)