Back on Sunday 24th September the St Blazey Mx Premier Motocross Championship made its way down for the second time in the series to Landrake Moto Parc in Cornwall for the final round where all eight Championships were still to be decided. Rain was to fall early morning with continuous drizzly rain all day which made things a bit differcult to say the lease, but perseverance was the name of the game and there was still some good racing to be seen.
In the St Blazey Mx Expert Championship Jamie Skuse last year’s runner up on the Tony Maundes Racing Suzuki (Pictured with team boss Barry Maunders and dad) went in to the final round with a 92 points lead over Dan Thornhill on the Cab Screens Husqvarna knowing all he had to do was to score well in the opening two races to become Champion, but things were a bit tighter for 3rd as Kelvin Townsend only had a 8 points advantage over Tony Maunders Racing team mate Jordan Carter in 4th. In the opening race it was the Dave Thore Off Road/RFX Honda of Josh Gilbert with the holeshot from Thornhill with Jordan Carter tucked in 3rd, but not a good start for Championship leader Skuse as he got boxed in on the opening corner and was totally last. Gilbert had a clear track infront of him and more importantly had clear vision and was to use this to good effect as he powered away and by the end of the opening lap had a full 4 second lead over Thornhill who was giving his all to try and stay with Gilbert. Skuse was gradually climbing up through the field and was up in to 4th by the end of the third lap and was all over Carter which was to turn in to a battle royal for several laps, with Skuse eventually getting pass 2 laps from the end, but he wasn’t going to catch Thornhill who finished 2nd behind runaway victor Gilbert. In the second moto this time Thornhill hit the front from the off squeezing Gilbert out on the first bend with James Kensington on the 2-Stroke Maunders/MDR Ktm there in 3rd, but as with race one Skuse well down the pack, but keeping out of trouble. Thornhill was trying to get away at the front, but he was to go down in the slippery conditions early on the opening lap and rejoined totally last which meant Gilbert took over at the front and was soon in to his rythm and eased away. Thornhill was absolutley flying and in no time was up in to 3rd and was was to get the better of Kensington on lap 3 and was to move up in to 2nd. Skuse was gradually moving up and was soon all over Kensington after getting the better of Carter and this was a good encounter with Skuse eventually getting the better of Kensington 2 laps from the end and was to finish 3rd behind Thornhill and Gilbert who took the win, but 3rd place for Skuse was enough for him to be declared 2017 expert Champion. In the last race a few riders opted not to ride in the conditions including newly crowned Champion Skuse, but there was still 3rd place to be decided as Carter had ovetaken Townsend and was now 4 points ahead as they went in to the last race. Gilbert was to get the holeshot in this one from Thornhill with Carter there in 3rd, but it was all to change at the front by the end of the opening lap as Gilbert went down and Thornhill took over at the front and was on his way. Luke Sturgeon on the DSC Cornwall Kawasaki was to move up in to 2nd by the end of the opening lap after passing Carter, but moving up fast after his earlier mishap was Gilbert who by the end of lap 3 was to catch both Carter and Sturgeon and pass them and was up in to 2nd, but he wasn’t going to catch Thornhill who took the win with Carter coming home in 3rd after Sturgeon went down which was to give Carter 3rd in the Championship.
In the R C Motorhomes MX1 2-Stroke Championship just 19 points seperated last year’s Champion Leighton Holmes on the J D racing Ktm and the JCT Developments Yamaha of Ben Milward and this was a battle to the end. Holmes was to lead the opening race early on from Milward but as the race went on these two had a real ding dong battle swapping places all the time, but in the end it was Milward who got the better of Holmes and took the win with Kona Hellier taking 3rd. Milward was to lead the second race from the off with Holmes in tow, which was to stay that way all through the race with Hellier again taking 3rd, in the last race though Holmes was in a real hurry and hit the front from the off and was to go on untroubled to take the chequered flag which confirmed him as 2017 MX1 2-Stroke Champion for second time in concession. In the MX2 2-Stroke class entries were a bit low, but not to take anything away from young 15 year old Tom Darlow on the N D Cucles Ktm who raced with the MX1 boys and rode to three wins in his class and with it became 2017 MX2 2-Stroke Champion.
The M D Racing Over age classes there was no stopping Over 35 Championship leader Wayne Shimell on the TyreMarks/St Blazey Mx Honda with yet another hat trick of wins for him to retain his Over 35 Crown, where as in the Over 40’s there was a clean sweep for J D Racing Ktm of leappy Leigh Williams, but with three consistant rides from Stuart Rawlings he also retained his crown. In the Over 45’s the question was asked, would Richard Green on the T R Gren engineering Husqvarna go all through the season unbeaten, well the answer was no as Mark Gleadhill was to beat him in the second race and in the last race in Green’s absents to take the overall, but Green had done enough to become over 45 Champion. In the over 50,s class this was to go right down to the wire with just 6 points between Stephen Elford and David Ford. Ford on the Projuice Ktm was to win the opening encounter from Elford which was to cut the deficit to just 3 points, but there was great drama in the second race when Elford on the Gabriel Insulations Honda was leading and look set to go back 6 points ahead going in to the last race, but he was to pull out in the latter stages after his clutch went and eventually was awarded 3rd in the race behind Alan Packer with Ford taking the win which was to put Ford leading the Championship by 2 points going in to the last race. Ford was to lead from the off with Elford all over him trying his all and may be tried a bit too hard and was to go down, however he did close in on Ford again who’s bike was starting to steam which was causing great concern, but two more mistakes from Elford dropped him back and he pulled out which was to give Ford eventhough he also stopped later in the race the Championship. (Pictured pulled up with a steaming bike)
In the JCT Developments Junior Championship the pressure was on Championship leader Jordan Barrs (Pictured giving his all) who knew with just a 39 points lead he could not afford and major mishaps, but in the end there was only one winner on the day and that was Jake Curtis-Stevens on the D S C Cornwall Kawasaki who relished in the wet conditions and took a hatrick of wins, but with Barrs keeping out of trouble and finishing 4th overall on the day he was the 2017 Junior Champion.
Report and Photos by Dave Rich