Mitch Bright­more Elite Youth BTC

Trial Magazine - - TRIAL MAGAZINE - AR­TI­CLE: YOOMEE

Many things catch your eye in the tri­als world, and it was on a photo shoot at Hawk’s Nest that this ar­ti­cle first started to take shape back in De­cem­ber 2014. The tough rock-strewn venue is a favourite prac­tice venue for many young rid­ers. Some soon master the slip­pery un­for­giv­ing grit­stone rocks, and oth­ers do not, it’s as sim­ple as that! I had seen one of my old pals, Chris Bright­more, and we got talking; I had a new cam­era and ‘when are you go­ing prac­tis­ing again?’ was the ques­tion. He men­tioned he would soon be at Hawk’s Nest with his two boys, and so the date was set to test the cam­era with Ash­ton who was six years old and Mitch who was twelve. What hap­pened next, re­ally opened my eyes. There’s a big rock that many rid­ers will have been up, but when Chris sug­gested his el­der son Mitch ride up it for the pic­tures I was ‘gob­s­macked’ at how con­fi­dently he mas­tered it. Roll the clock for­ward to 2018, and Mitch has just been crowned the ACU Elite Youth A Tri­als Champion.

Not new to the mo­tor­cy­cle scene as he had his suc­cess­ful ca­reer, Bux­ton based builder Chris Bright­more was more than happy to see his two sons Ash­ton and Mitch take to mo­tor­cy­cles at a very early age. The first Youth class Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship came from the younger of the two broth­ers Ash­ton in the D Class Medium Wheel in 2015. In this ar­ti­cle though, we turn our fo­cus to the el­der brother Mitch.

Four wheels first

As with many young rid­ers, the quad ma­chines have kick-started the youth ad­ven­ture, and Mitch was no dif­fer­ent. At the age of three, the Suzuki quad was the in­tro­duc­tion un­der the guid­ance of his fa­ther. Speed­ing around in lo­cal fields fu­elled the need for speed, and he loved it. It was a rapid tran­si­tion as the four-wheel sup­port was not needed any more and it was a move over to two wheels and a Yamaha PW 50.

It was then a short pe­riod of mo­tocross on a KTM Mini Ad­ven­ture, but Chris knew that a move to tri­als would help with throt­tle con­trol, not to men­tion the bank bal­ance!

At the age of seven, it was a Gas Gas 50 that gave him the tri­als bug. After many hours spent at Hawk’s Nest, and with en­cour­age­ment from the Robin­son fam­ily a few lo­cal tri­als were con­tested, and the love of the sport be­came a fam­ily ad­dic­tion. Wanting to progress away from the lo­cal venues and with him prac­tis­ing more than ever Chris started to take him to the su­perb YMSA events in 2012.

As we all know Barry Bur­ton and his wife have been very in­stru­men­tal in en­cour­ag­ing many rid­ers into the YMSA tri­als on their land and Mitch Bright­more was one of th­ese rid­ers who ben­e­fit­ted, some­thing the fam­ily is eter­nally grate­ful for. It was at this stage that new friend­ships would be made with other young rid­ers and fam­i­lies which have en­dured the test of time.

Rid­ing with th­ese new-found friends over the next few years, they would en­cour­age one an­other, which, in turn, gave them the con­fi­dence to com­pete in the very com­pet­i­tive youth class.

A learn­ing curve

Now mounted on the lit­tle Beta 80, the years flew by and, in 2014, Mitch did his first full sea­son in the Youth Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship. He came third but knew he could do bet­ter. He knew that the key to suc­cess was to prac­tice as much as pos­si­ble, which he did. Not just ev­ery­day prac­tice, but on harder haz­ards to im­prove his abil­ity, which he did with younger brother Ash­ton act­ing as ‘Min­der’. 2015 was re­warded with fourth over­all in a very com­pet­i­tive Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship class.

As with many young rid­ers, other in­ter­ests were tak­ing up more and more time and so, in 2016, he had a year away from the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship. It was a fresh start in 2017 and a move to the Gas Gas for the re­turn to the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship. Grow­ing in stature and with some in­tense train­ing both on and off the ma­chine moved him up into sec­ond over­all as the sea­son closed.

To pre­pare for 2018, he com­peted in some A Class events to see what the haz­ards would be like and also the op­po­si­tion. It was a steep learn­ing curve but one he wanted to pur­sue, and he knew that it was once again back to the grind­stone and prac­tice, prac­tice and more prac­tice if he was to suc­ceed in 2018.

Team

Al­ways on the look­out for new young talent, Mitch was in­vited by John Shirt Jnr at Gas Gas UK to join his youth team for 2018. Also in the JST Gas Gas UK team were his good friends Jack Dance, Harry Turner and Brother Ash­ton.

As part of the team, they would also re­ceive the much-ap­pre­ci­ated sup­port from Gas Gas UK and the spon­sors’ prod­ucts. After they had agreed to join the team, the rid­ers were then in­tro­duced to their new youth team man­ager, Michael Brown. John ex­plained that along with the spon­sored ride came train­ing and tu­ition from the ‘Mighty Atom’ him­self, Mr. Brown.

In 2018 a new youth class was in­tro­duced, the Elite Youth A, where they would com­pete at the same events as the main adult cham­pi­onships. After some in­tense train­ing with Brown, it was now time for round one of the new se­ries. The Hooks Woods venue near Guild­ford was a tough day, and Mitch just missed the win to cham­pi­onship ri­val Gus Oblein with the scores 107 to 114.

At round two in the Lake District rain Mitch put the ham­mer down with a very con­vinc­ing win on 107 marks lost to Brett Har­bud on 137, and again he won in Wales at round three. In round four it was Oblein who took the win at Kelly’s Farm, but Mitch was 2nd to hold the cham­pi­onship lead.

Crash

Mitch then had the crash you all dread, in prac­tice when he frac­tured and dis­lo­cated his col­lar­bone at the end of July. With some ex­pert help, he was soon back up and run­ning though, to take a con­vinc­ing win at round five to open up a cham­pi­onship ad­van­tage. As they say, the rest is his­tory, and he was more than happy to take the 2018 Elite Youth A Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship at the last round in Scot­land. He is quick to ac­knowl­edge that it is a team ef­fort from all the fam­ily with dad Chris look­ing after the ma­chin­ery, mum Sally for the food and wash­ing and of course younger brother and train­ing part­ner Ash­ton.

Ed­u­ca­tion still plays an im­por­tant part in Mitchel’s life as he at­tends Bux­ton Com­mu­nity School. He is in his fi­nal year study­ing Con­struc­tion, French, Re­sis­tant Ma­te­ri­als, Maths and English. Out of school he en­joys Moun­tain Bik­ing, Dirt Jump­ing and Cy­cle Tri­als and hang­ing out with his friends – oh and an­noy­ing his brother, Ash­ton!

87 Look­ing good on the 125cc JST Gas Gas UK in the early part of the 2018 se­ries in the Lake District.

The first Youth class Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship in the Bright­more fam­ily came from the younger of the two broth­ers Ash­ton, in the D Class Medium Wheel in 2015 on the Beta.

Stand­ing proudly on the top step of the podium as the 2018 Elite Youth Bri­tish Champion.

88

Younger brother Ash­ton is a man of many tal­ents, seen here on Mind­ing du­ties for Mitch a few years ago.

Team fam­ily.

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