For some reason
or other I had never attended a round of the championship, but with a break in FIM X-Trial indoor series, it was the ideal time. I have travelled to North Wales for trials since I977, and the terrain is fantastic. The venue for the Aqueduct Classics Trial which was the opening round took me down the A483 and onto the B4579 between Selattyn and Glyn Ceriog, and then to PlasOnn Farm. This was instantly recognisable as Lomax Trial country, still one of the best road-based National trials in the calendar. Well organised and with a warm welcome it was like rewinding the clock to what trials used to be. Despite the very cold weather, I had a very enjoyable day taking in the spirit of the event. One thing is for sure; the Kia Championship ticks all the boxes for me. Here we take a look at the 2018 championship after the third round had been completed. Showing superb consistency with two wins and a second place puts Richard Allen at the top of the pile. The points advantage may look good this early in the season, but he knows that with the round two winner Chris Forshaw (Honda) and Roman Kyrnyckyj (SWM) tying on 45 points each and Olly Wareing (Fantic) just a couple of points behind it will only get more competitive. In round one Allen had a clear winning margin but in round two he lost the win by a single mark. At round three it was a collection of too many 'fives' that stopped Kyrnyckyj from challenging for the win. These two were head and shoulders above the rest of the entry and well clear of third-placed Chris Forshaw.
Historic Spanish & Pre-78 Twinshock
Having typed out the results, I still cannot believe that this class does not attract more significant entries. Steve Bisby on his Orange Ossa 'Gripper' leads the championship despite the fact he has only won one round. In Wales, it was the one-time world championship points scorer Cumbrian Chris Myers who took the win on his Bultaco, and in round two it was fellow Bultaco rider Gary Younghusband who won. Let's hope we can see some more of the Spanish and Italian machines and maybe some Majesty Yamahas and Beamish Suzukis in this class as the year progresses.
I for one expected this class to be dictated by the legendary monoshock Yamaha, which changed the face of the trials world when it was introduced in 1983. This is not the case though as we see superb examples of the two-stroke Honda TLM models and now some air-cooled Gas Gas and Beta machines. This certainly adds to the attraction of this class. It is a Yamaha that heads the class in the capable hands of Steve Bird, followed by Dean Devereux on his rather nice Honda TLM. It was good to see young Chris Alford out in the final round as the series continues to attract younger riders looking for a really good day's motorcycle sport.
Many of the machines in this class are a credit to their owners. Using modern materials and machining skills such as in the BSA Bantam, they show just what could have saved the ailing, once-proud and great motorcycling production facilities in the UK. Giving Ian Peberdy the advantage with, by his standards, a poor performance at the opening round three times world champion from Finland Yrjo Vesterinen has pulled himself back into contention with a win at round two and a second place at round three. Ian holds the advantage as he has shown more consistency on his Bantam as this championship looks very much like being a twohorse race.
CLUBMAN CHAMPIONSHIP Twinshock
This class on the slightly easier hazards has the hallmarks of a championship going all the way to the wire. Each round has shown a different winner, with Gary Hawkins (Fantic) winning round one followed by David Braithwaite on his Beamish Suzuki at round two and Jim Williams (SWM) at round three. None of the victories have been clear ones, and it's the consistent Antony Charles (Fantic) who finds himself holding a small advantage in the championship in front of David Wilkinson by a single point. Williams keeps in close contact with the leaders in third position, and no doubt will be looking at challenging for the top spot as the series progresses.
Historic Spanish & Pre-78 Twinshock
The clubmen class of this championship attracts such a wide variety of machinery, which is very healthy for the championship. The mix of the Spanish and Japanese machinery is so good to see and also allows the less exotic and expensive machines to have a run-out, making the series very affordable for the riders. It's James Waters (Yamaha) who is the leading the championship from Robin Oliphant (Suzuki) as the Japanese machines hold the advantage from the Spanish ones by a small margin.
Once again it's a good mix of different makes of machine which are involved in the championship as Paul Whittaker (Fantic) leads the way. He won the first round in Wales and finished second behind Nathan Hanley (Yamaha) in round two in the North at the Castleside Trials Club event. In round three at the Scunthorpe MCC event, Louise Alford (Yamaha) came close to securing a ladies' win as she headed home her father Stuart who finished fifth. Three members of one family competing, and all on the mono-shock Yamaha shows just how the series caters for riders of all abilities. Dave Wardell (Honda) took the win at round three to move into third in the championship.
Three different winners from three rounds are always good to see, and that's what has happened in this class. Jim Pickering (BSA) took a narrow victory in round one in the cold weather of North Wales as Jim Tennant (James) earned the win at a low scoring round two. Round three turned out much harder, which was reflected in the winning score of 49 dropped by Peter Edwards on his BSA. In the championship, Edwards leads the way from DOT mounted enthusiast Ossy Byers.
Roman Kyrnyckyj (SWM)
Roy Palmer (Kawasaki)
Chris Forshaw (Honda)
Yrjo Vesterinen (BSA)
Peter Edwards (BSA)
Ossy Byers (DOT)
Gerry Minshall (James)
John Willaims (SWM)
Paul Norman (Fantic)
Stuart Blythe (Fantic)