Last Sunday the Phoenix Tools Premier Motocross Championship was forced to make a change of venue and returned back in to Devon to Phoenix Moto Parc for the penultimate round of this years Championships.Entries were a bit lower than normal, but never the less the track had been prepped to a high standard as usual with water being put down early morning which in tall was to produce some top quality racing.
In the Phoenix Tools Expert Open Championship class there was just 34 points separating defending Champion Luke Hawkins on the Phoenix Tools Rocket Honda and team mate Alex Snow at the top of the standings, so the battle was about to commence. Snow had set the fastest time in qualifying just a head of Hawkins which gave Snow the best pick of gates and this was to give Snow an advantage as he stormed in to the first corner with the holeshot in the opening race with Hawkins tucked in 2nd just ahead of the Tony Maunders Racing Suzuki of Jamie Skuse. The D S C Kawasaki of Tommy Alba was in 4th by the end of the opening lap with young Todd Kellett on the Talon / Apico / S J Hodder Honda soon to be all over him like a rash looking to get pass which was to turn in to a race long battle with virtually nothing separating them for most of the race. Snow had a 4 second lead by mid race, but this margin was coming down as Hawkins was to close in and started to put the pressure on in the closing stages, but Snow kept his concentration and held Hawkins at bay and went on to take the win with Skuse taking 3rd.In the second moto again it was Snow from Hawkins with Alba squeezing Skuse out at the first corner, but there was a few fallers including Kellett who rejoined right at the back of the field. Snow was to waste no time in this one and powered away at the front early on, but as with the opening race Hawkins was to come on strong mid race and closed right up and was pressing towards the end of the race. Kellett was on a mission after his earlier crash and was flying up through the field, but all eyes were on Hawkins and Snow at the front as Hawkins was set to pounce on any slight mistake, but Snow was to hold his nerve and line and took the win from a close Hawkins with Alba holding off Skuse taking 3rd.In the last moto it was that man Snow again with the best start with Hawkins again in tow, but Snow’s lead was short lived as a slight mistake on lap 2 going in to a lefthander at the top of the hill was all it took to let Hawkins take over at the front. Snow was still there in 2nd just ahead of Alba who he managed to shake off and was soon up with Hawkins pressing for the lead again which was to go on for the remainder of the race which was thrilling the many spectators in attendance, but in the end Hawkins held his nerve and the racing line and was to take the win and denie Snow a hat trick on the day with Alba finishing in 3rd.
In the Over 35 Championship class again it was Championship leader Nick Life on the Gibbs Performance Yamaha who was to put up a fine display of riding and took a convincing hat trick of wins, but there were some good battles behind him between Stephen Elford, Jamie Deadman and James Knatchbull. The Over 40’s Championship class we saw Championship leader Chris Brown out on a new bike which he had only ridden for an hour prior, but never the less he was soon to adapt to the machine like a duck to water and notched up a trio of wins. In the Over 50’s there was just three entries which was a bit disappointing, but in the end it still proved to be a good day for Championship leader Mark Gleadhill who took yet another hat trick of wins.
In the Tyremarks Junior Championship class there were many wildcard entries which added to the excitement, but in the opening race there was no stopping Luke Sturgeon who led from the start to the chequered flag, however in race 2 it was Ben Harrison who had the best start and had a clear track in front of him. Sturgeon had gone down on the first corner and was later to come off again and it was wildcard Charlie Putnham who was soon to catch Harrison and it wasn’t long before he took over at the front and from there raced away to take the win. In the last race again it was Harrison who had the best start and was looking good at the front for the first couple of laps before being gradually hauled in by Sturgeon who caught and passed him mid race and once Sturgeon hit the front there was no looking back as he went on untroubled to take the win with Putnham coming through to take 2nd ahead of Barfoot.
Report and Photo by Dave Rich