Last Sunday the Phoenix Tools Ifly Premier Motocross Championship returned back in to Devon to Little Silver Moto Parc which played host to round 8 in the 10 round series. The day started off delayed by an hour for safety reasons as early morning fog was across the track and visibility was very poor, but once things got underway on what was a well prepped track there was some excellent racing to be seen.
In the Pro Expert class there were several top runners absent as they were away on other duties, but never the less there was still some top quality racing which was to produce some different winners. It was wildcard and newly crowned AMCA MX1 Champion Luke Dean (Pictured No 52) on the Meredith Suzuki who had set the fastest time in qualifying but it was Championship leader on the Oakleaf Motorsport Honda Shane Carless who just piped the Dave Thorpe Off Road Centre Honda of Todd Kellett with the holeshot in the opening race with Dean there in 3rd. Carless was soon in to a rhythm at the front and was easing away on the opening lap, but on lap 2 Carless was to go down when his front wheel washed out on a lefthander and through in to the lead came Kellett who from there went on to take the win from Dean with Carless coming back from his earlier crash to take 3rd. In moto 2 it was Ross Hill on the Gabriel Insulation Services Honda who missed the mayhem which involved Kellett and several others at the first corner with the early lead from the Tony Maunders Racing Suzuki of Jamie Skuse and Carless and these three were to power away at the front, but another slip from Carless on lap 2 dropped him back in to 6th and up in to 3rd was now Dean who was pressing to catch Skuse. Hill had a 4 second lead by the end of lap 4, but this was to gradually be reduced as Skuse was gaining on Hill all the time and on lap 5 Skuse was all over Hill looking to get pass which he did through the whoops section and from there Skuse went on to take the win with Dean coming home in 2nd and Carless who had got the better of Hill towards the end of the race taking 3rd. In the last moto this time there was no messing from Carless with the holeshot from Kellett and Hill and Carless really had the throttle wound back in this one as he was pulling away with ease on the opening lap, but his day which was full of mistakes continued as he stalled his machine and was to rejoin the race totally last. Kellett took over at the front with Hill there in 2nd, but breathing all over Hill was Dean who was desperate too get pass as not to let Kellett get away at the front. Dean did get pass Hill on lap 3 and was to set off after Kellett who was 4 seconds ahead which Dean was soon to reduce and on lap 5 was all over Kellett looking to pounce which eventually came a lap later when Dean got the inside line over the big table top and hit the front and was soon on his way to taking the chequered flag with Kellett taking 2nd and Skuse just holding off a late charge from Carless finishing 3rd.
In the Expert class there was no Championship leader in the shape of Charlie Putnam who picked up a knee injury riding at the recent round of the British MXY2 Championship so the Championship was to have a new leader at the end of the day. In the opening race it was David Keet on the Danger UK Husqvarna who was just 11 points behind Putnam in the standings who was the early leader, but a mistake on lap 3 dropped him down a few spaces and it was now the D S C Cornwall Kawasaki of Ben Butler (Pictured No 75) who took over the lead and was to go on to take the win and Butler was to shine in the other two races with two comfortable wins and has now taken the lead in the Championship with two rounds remaining.
In the Over 35 Championship class there was a different name who dominated the races and that was Ben Harmon (Pictured No 19) who led the first race early on after Championship leader Nick Life on the Gibbs Performance / St Blazey Yamaha was to go down on the first corner, but Life was to come back and pass Harmon on the last lap, but another mistake from Life through the whoops section was to gift Harmon with the win. Harmon had the best start in race 2 and was to go on untroubled to take the win, but in race 3 there was a real tussle between Life and Harmon mid race with Harmon eventually regaining the lead 3 laps from the end and from there went on to make it a hat trick of wins and to denie Life for the first time in the series a singe race win at any round.
In the Over 40’s class there was a fine display in the opening race from David Ford on the Pro Juice KTM who notched up his first race win in the series, and followed that up in the next 2 races finishing 2nd in both behind Terry House on the Crescent / New Milton Tyres Suzuki.
In the Over 50’s again it proved a good day for Championship leader and defending Champion Mark Gleadhill who blitzed the rest of the field with a dominating hat trick of wins.
In the Junior Championship class there were many wildcards and as with other rounds the question was could anyone beat the young 16 year old and Jamie Carpenter on the Phoenix Tools Ifly Husqvarna who has dominated the series so far. Well the opening 2 races saw Carpenter at his best winning both races by some margins, but race 3 was a bit different for him as he was in the thick of it at the first corner and had no way through and was to exit way down the field and had it all to do. Carpenter was flying and was picking them off one by one, but a mistake on lap 3 saw him drop back again. Jonathan Cole was to lead the race early on before being passed by Luke Smith who with a clear track in front of him went on to take the win with Harry Mitchell taking 2nd just ahead of Cole with Carpenter a brilliant 4th after his earlier mistake.
Report and Photos by Dave Rich