British Championship Solo/Youth/Ladies
With four rounds of the proposed eight now contested, the 2018 ACU British Championship is giving us some good indications as to who has their eyes on the titles. In the championship class James Dabill (Beta) continues to stamp his authority with a full house of wins, the same as Ross Danby (TRS UK) in the new-for-2018 Masters class. It is not the case in the Expert class, but with two wins to his name Richard Sadler (Beta-UK/Acklams) has opened up a clear lead. Another new class in 2018 is the Youth Elite, and it’s the bright young talents of Mitch Brightmore (JST Gas Gas UK) and Gus Oblein who have locked horns in the battle for supremacy. The Kelly’s Farm venue hosted round four, the Antony Rew Trial run by the West of England Motor Club, in very humid overcast conditions taking in the usual three laps of twelve hazards.
Having the ability to always raise your game is a talent that James Dabill has shown over his younger rival Jack Price. It was highly evident at round four at the heavily wooded Kelly’s Farm venue as he put him under pressure from as early as the opening lap. It was the rugged outcrop of rocks on section seven where Dabill gained his advantage, as Price stopped and Dabill parted with three marks lost. They both lost two on time, but on the second lap Dabill put the hammer down with a lap score of four compared to his rival’s eleven. Price fought back to close the score on the final lap with four marks lost, but the damage had been done, and Dabill remains well clear at the top of the championship table with win number four.
The elder of the two Peace brothers Dan remains a constant threat, but it’s the lack of consistency he needs to address before he can challenge for the win that no doubt will come. After a huge crash on section seven on the first lap, it was a slightly ‘detuned’ Toby Martyn who was the biggest loser in the championship chase, finishing in seventh position. It was good to see Iwan Roberts back in action, and no doubt when once back to full fitness he will be able to start challenging for the top positions.
RESULTS: 1: James Dabill (Beta) 20; 2: Jack Price (JST Gas Gas UK) 26; 3: Dan Peace (JST Gas Gas UK) 45; 4: Jack Sheppard (MRS Sherco) 61; 5: Jack Peace (JST Gas Gas UK) 66; 6: Iwan Roberts (TRS UK) 69; 7: Toby Martyn (RG Montesa/Honda UK) 73; 8: Andy Chilton (BMS Scorpa Andy Metcalfe) 84; 9: Sam Connor (Beta-UK) 100; 10: Tom Minta (BMS Scorpa) 119; 11: Billy Green (Beta-UK) 122; 12: Dec Bullock (Gas Gas) 136; 13: Hugo Jervis (AB TRS) 146.
CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS AFTER FOUR ROUNDS
RESULTS: 1: Dabill 80; 2: Price 64; 3: Dan Peace 60; 4: Martyn 50; 5: Jack Peace 44; 6: Sheppard 43; 7: Chilton 37; 8: Minta 26; 9: Connor 19; 10: Green 18; 11: Bullock 16; 12: Alexz Wigg (JST Gas Gas UK) 16; 13: Jack Challoner (Craig’s Montesa) 14; 14: Roberts 10; 15: Jervis 10.
It’s TRS mounted Ross Danby who continues his total domination the Masters class, who ride the easiest half of the Championship sections and the hardest half of the Expert sections. In its first year as a championship class, it’s not attracted many riders, but this takes away no credit from the vastly experienced Ross Danby on the TRS. The first three wins might have been closer, but he was bang on form in Devon, winning by a healthy margin from Sam Haslam. Tom Affleck remains second in the championship as he still chases that elusive win.
RESULTS: 1: Ross Danby (TRS UK) 37; 2: Sam Haslam (JST Gas Gas UK) 65; 3: Tom Affleck (180° Vertigo) 97; 4: Oliver Smith (Gas Gas) 121.
2018 CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS
RESULTS: 1: Danby 80; 2: Affleck 62; 3: Haslam 51; 4: Gwynedd Jones (Beta) 39; 5: Duncan McColl (Beta) 15; 6: Smith 13.
Some would call it a home advantage, but I would call it a rider on form as Joe Baker dominated the class at Kelly’s Farm. It was very much the case for the other winner in this class Ben Morphett at round one, but championship leader Richard Sadler is very much a man of consistency. His two runnersup positions have put him clear at the top of the championship as his nearest rival, and good friend Guy Kendrew looks for his first win in the championship in 2018. Baker was a man on a mission at round four as he rode off into the distance to claim the victory. Not even the difficult section seven held any fears for him as he recorded three cleans; he was the only rider to record single-lap scores during the day’s action.
Holding onto third in the championship is Dan Thorpe. He had an off day finishing a lowly 10th, which has lost him quite a lot of ground in the championship. Chris Stay managed to split James Fry from his partner Emma Bristow, who once again had a good day battling for the top five positions. Luke Walker remains in fourth position, but you can bet that the battle to make the top five at the close of the championship will become much closer as the season progresses.
RESULTS: 1: Joe Baker (Active Sherco) 13; 2: Richard Sadler (Beta-UK/Acklams) 27; 3: Guy Kendrew (Beta-UK) 30; 4: James Fry (Sherco) 31; 5: Chris Stay (TRS UK) 40; 6: Emma Bristow (Sherco) 45; 7: Luke Walker (Sherco) 46; 8: Kieran Child (Colin Appleyard Gas Gas) 50; 9: Sam Yeomans (JST Gas Gas UK) 51; 10: Dan Thorpe (JST Gas Gas UK) 58; 11: Conrad Atkinson (Sherco) 65; 12: Thomas Moss (Gas Gas) 87; 13: Iwan Jones (TRS) 87; 14: Lloyd Price (AB Motorcycles TRS) 90; 15: Tom Culliford (BVM TRS UK) 98.
2018 CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS
RESULTS: 1: Sadler 74; 2: Kendrew 60; 3: Thorpe 47; 4: Walker 43; 5: Fry 39; 6: Stay 37; 7: Bristow 34; 8: Yeomans 31; 9: Baker 20; 10: Ben Morphett (Montesa) 20; 11: Pearson 13; 12: Child 13; 13: Conrad Atkinson (Sherco) 13; 14: Starmer 11; 15: Price 9.
Riding the 125cc machines on the steep wooded hillside which is Kelly’s Farm is a big ask, but the Youth Elite riders put on a fantastic show of their skills. Round one winner Gus Oblein was knocked off the top spot at rounds two and three by the current championship leader Mitch Brightmore, but he came through at round four to take the victory. On the opening lap, it was Brightmore who held the advantage, but Oblein came fighting back on the second lap with a score of 26 marks lost to his rival’s 31 — it was game on for the last lap! As it happened Oblein slightly opened up the advantage once again to take the victory.
Not far off the pace all day was Charlie Smith on 98, who came home a clear third. Brightmore holds a six-point advantage at the top of the table at the halfway stage of the championship over Oblein with Smith next. The championship looks like it will go all the way to the wire, and do not put Brett Harbud or Smith out of the fight yet as they both will be looking at taking a win before the close of the championship.
RESULTS: 1: Gus Oblein (Sherco) 89; 2: Mitch Brightmore (JST Gas Gas UK) 93; 3: Charlie Smith (Inch Perfect Trials Beta) 98; 4: Brett Harbud (BVM Beta) 132; 5: Joshua Wright (Beta) 145.
2018 CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS
RESULTS: 1: Brightmore 74; 2: Oblein 68; 3: Harbud 58; 4: Smith 54; 5: Ryan Brown (Beta) 39; 6: Joshua Wright (Beta) 31; 7: Adam Juffs (TRS) 28.
James Dabill (Beta)
TRIAL MAGAZINE Iwan Roberts (TRS UK)
Dan Peace (JST Gas Gas UK)
79 Jack Price (JST Gas Gas UK)
Ross Danby (TRS UK)
Sam Haslam (JST Gas Gas UK)
Joe Baker (Active Sherco)
Chris Stay (TRS UK)
Guy Kendrew (Beta-UK)
Richard Sadler (Beta-UK Acklams)
Gus Oblein (Sherco)
Mitch Brightmore (JST Gas Gas UK)
Charlie Smith (Inch Perfect Beta)