National Twinshock Championship Season Review A quarter of a century on…
The Toughsheet National Twinshock MX Championships celebrated its 25th anniversary in style... which isn’t bad for a few phone calls back in 1992 between Alan Hardy, Ken Shuttleworth and Bill Brown.
The 2016 season had six rounds, starting over Easter at the all-weather Polesworth circuit in Staffordshire. The second round, which incorporated the Matt Murphy Memorial Meeting, was at the tough but popular Hawkstone Park venue, near Shrewsbury. From there the action moved to Gale Common, Garstang, and Warmingham Lane with the Pontrilas, Herefordshire meet dropped to one day thanks to the weather…
Moire than 250 riders signed up for the series, with some new faces mixing it with all the regulars.
In the Bill Brown-sponsored Wulfsport Experts, Lee Holland on his all new YVMX Honda built by Andy Cleaver, put down his marker, which was to last all season, by taking all three wins at Polesworth and Hawkstone. Although he was beaten at Gale Common by reigning champion Michael Smith, Lee went on to take every other round to become the new National Twinshock champion.
The Steve James-supported LPE Clubman class had a good mixture of new young blood and some older heads who had years of experience. County Durham’s Dean Gray was the man to beat, although he did miss round one, which gave the others a head start. Hereford’s Matt Bennett held the lead until round five, but this was overturned by the time the series reached Pontrilas, and Dean Gray took the title by just eight points from Bennett.
The Intermediates class was sponsored by Stuart Miller’s CI Sport, and all the winter practise paid off for Jamie Biddulph, as he took the title through speed and sheer consistency.
MD Racing Products sponsored the Over 50s and 60s classes, and in the over 50s class it was a duel all season between reigning champion Alan Bott and the evergreen Pete Mathia. Mathia made sure of his seventh record-breaking twinshock title by taking the overall win at the final round.
As time goes by, and so we all get that bit older, it meant there was an even bigger lineup of over 60s fighting for a title in 2016. And it all came down to the final round where Alan Hambridge secured enough points to hold off the challenge of Graham Challis to take the championship by a slender seven points. Phil Wilkes rounded off the podium in third, just ahead of Davie Robb, Steve Mitton and Bill Brown. Respect to them all.
Falcon Shocks again sponsored the 250 class and John Bennett, who’s ridden in every series, won his third 250 title. A new sponsor, MRH Consultants, backed the 125s for 2016 while Woodys Vintage Honda sponsored the Evolution class. It all came down to the final round to sort out the victor as Conor Smith took a single point advantage over Michael Smith to Pontrilas. And it was Conor who stepped up by taking two wins to Michael’s one, to take his first Evo title.
So that was another great season and our thanks go to the riders, sponsors, clubs, secretaries, first aid, marshals and helpers, and we look forward to more in 2017.
Connor Smith was the MRH 125 Evo champ. Intermediate Champ Jamie Biddulph. Over 50s champ Pete Mathia flying high on the way to a win.