On Saturday October 20th the Premier Mx team hosted the final round of the Phoenix Tools Premier Motocross Championships at Ladram Bay Holiday Park in Devon. Heavy rain had fallen prior to the meeting which made things a bit sticky first thing, but the track was soon in prime condition and was to produce some really good racing.
In the Expert Open Class there was just 10 points separating Jamie Skuse on the Apico Suzuki and the HPR/DirtbikeXpress rider Luke Hill in the title race, and with double points on offer at the final round things were to be a bit tense. In the opening race it was the Skuse with the holeshot from wildcard Luke Hawkins on the Rockstar KTM who was quick to pass Skuse on the opening lap and was soon into a rhythm. Hill was up into 3rd and was to give his all to catch Skuse for nigh on the entire race, but it was Skuse who took 2nd behind comfortable winner Hawkins with Hill having to settle for 3rd. In the second moto again it was Skuse with the best start from Luke Blanchard and Hill, but there were a few fallers on the first corner and in the thick of it was Hawkins who joined the race right at the back. Skuse wasted no time at the front and was starting to get away, Hill had got the better of Blanchard along with wildcard Lewis Gregory who was on a 125 2-stroke Apico Suzuki who was soon all over Hill looking to get pass which he eventually did 2 laps later when they both went for the same line into a lefthander and Hill went down, however he was soon up and racing again giving chase.
Skuse had a full 4 second lead by the end of lap 5 from Gregory, but a man on a charge was Hawkins who was soon to be up into 4th and gaining all the time. Skuse was to go on untroubled to take the win with Gregory 2nd, but it was Hawkins who took 3rd managing to get pass Hill on the last lap. As they went into the last race Skuse had a 22 points lead in the Championship over Hill who this time had the holeshot from Luke Mellows with Skuse there in 3rd which if he finished there it would give him the Championship. Again not the best of starts for Hawkins who’s race was soon to end on lap 3 when he went down on landing off one of the jumps. Hill and Mellows had eased away from Skuse and were having a real battle for several laps, but it was Hill who held strong and took the win with Mellows a close 2nd and Skuse taking 3rd to become 2012 Expert Open Champion.
In the Over 35 class there was just 13 points separating Jason Fraser on the 2-stroke 250 Gibbs Performance KTM and Mark Wilde on the 450 S J Hodder Kawasaki so it was all to play for, but it was Rick Hanson on the 450 Hanson’s Garage Yamaha with a flyer in the first race from Fraser with Wilde in 3rd. Hanson was in a real hurry at the front, but it was a disastrous first lap for brother Keith Hanson who was lying 4th in the Championship as he took a nasty tumble and put his shoulder out and collar bone to end his days racing. By the end of lap 3 Rick Hanson had a 3 second lead but all the drama was going on behind him as Wilde was breathing all over Fraser looking to get pass which he did on lap 5, but he was only to hold his lead for a lap as Fraser came right back at him and took 2nd back. Wilde tried again on lap 7 but he got cross rutted going into a lefthander and went down which let Fraser get away. Hanson went on to take the win from Fraser with Wilde taking 3rd. In the second moto again it was Hanson with a flyer, but he ran a bit wide and through into the lead came Fraser with Wilde tucked in 3rd. Fraser was powering away at the front, Hanson had a problem on the opening lap and had dropped back and it was Wilde now in 2nd with Jon Lock on the Albion Kawasaki in 3rd. Fraser was to have a fair cushion by mid race, Wilde did try to close the gap, but it was to no avail as Fraser took a comfortable win, Wilde 2nd with Lock a distant 3rd. In the last race Fraser had a 25 points lead and it was he who had the best start from Hanson and wildcard Gavin Flagg, but a rare mistake from Fraser on the opening lap saw him drop back into 3rd and it was Hanson now at the front with Wilde in 2nd. Hanson was put under huge pressure from Wilde and eventually was forced into a mistake and Wilde took the lead and from there went on to take the win with Fraser coming home in 2nd to win the 2012 Over 35 Championship.
In the over 40′s class there was a fine display of racing from Cornishman Justin Hawkins on the Hawkins Construction Kawasaki who was to take a hattrick of wins with wildcard Simon Hart 2nd in all three races, but all the talk was about Championship leader Paul Ayres who got ran over in the last race, but he picked himself up to finish the race which he had to do to win the 2012 Over 40’s Championship. (Paul was taken to Hospital and it was revealed he had broken his leg.)
In the over 50′s class it was Championship leader Tom Lowe who took the wins in the first two races from Tim Hawkins, but a slight mistake on the last corner in the last race was to let Hawkins through to snatch the win, but Lowe had done enough, he was 2012 Over 50′s Champion.
In the Junior Championship this also was to go down to the last race. In the opening race it was Wildcards Shaun Kersey and Rob Holyoake at the front from Championship leader Ryan Blee, but it wasn’t long before Blee hit the front on lap 4 and up into 2nd was now Ben Butler who did close on Blee mid race but it wasn’t enough as Blee took the win, Butler 2nd and coming through to take 3rd was Ross Churchill. In moto 2 it was Cameron Packer with a blinding start from Butler who by the end of the opening lap had taken the lead and in 2nd was now Rob Holyoake with Blee now in 3rd.
Butler tried to get away, but Holyoake kept the pressure on for several laps and eventually got pass Butler on lap 7 and from there went on to take the win, Blee came through to take 2nd with Butler 3rd. In the last race it was Butler with the best start, but there was a big pile up and Blee was one to go down, he rejoined luckily with no damage to the bike as he needed to finish the race. Butler led for most of the race, but with just 4 laps remaining he was caught and passed by Lewis Barfoot who went on to take the win from Butler with Churchill again taking 3rd. Blee eventually came home in 7th to much applause and was declared 2012 Junior Champion.
Words and image by Dave Rich
|Race||10:20||Race 1||20 Oct|
|Race||11:50||Race 2||20 Oct|
|Race||13:20||Race 3||20 Oct|
|Race||11:20||Race 1||20 Oct|
|Race||12:50||Race 2||20 Oct|
|Race||14:20||Race 3||20 Oct|
|Qualifying||9:20||Qualification 1||20 Oct|
|Qualifying||9:40||Qualification 2||20 Oct|
|Race||10:40||Junior A Race 1||20 Oct|
|Race||11:00||Junior B Race 1||20 Oct|
|Race||12:10||Junior A Race 2||20 Oct|
|Race||12:30||Junior B Race 2||20 Oct|
|Race||13:40||Junior A Race 3||20 Oct|
|Race||14:00||Junior B Race 3||20 Oct|