Jack Price has pulled out a significant advantage over his closest rival in the 2019 series, Toby Martyn, after five of the proposed eight rounds. The double-header round organised by the Tynemouth & DMC at the open, exposed Shaftoe Crags venue at Morpeth in Northumberland for rounds three and four offered Martyn the opportunity to close the gap on Price. On a dramatic day of action they both finished well in front of the field on 24 marks lost each, with Price getting the win on the tie-break decider. The dry exposed rocks on the open moorland had Price open up an advantage, but Martyn came fighting back on the last lap, posting the lowest lap score.
Day two started in the rain but it soon dried out, with the sun and wind proving vital. After a costly opening lap Price put the hammer down as the elder of the two Peace brothers, Dan, moved into second place on the day in a fight with his brother Jack as Martyn slipped to fourth.
It was a trip to the south of the country for round five and the The Anthony Rew Trial, hosted by the West of England Club. The unforgiving wooded Kelly Farm venue was in a very difficult mood with persistent rain showers. Toby Martyn was expected to go well, and came out fighting with Jack Price. A narrow advantage was held by Price after the opening lap but Martyn came fighting back on his second lap to edge ahead by a single mark. Price had incurred two time penalties on his opening lap in the rush to finish. Despite incurring a puncture in the final hazard Price took the maximum points to further extend his lead over Martyn. In third place in the trial and the championship was Dan Peace, who had a frustrating day as two unexpected stops kept him away from second position.
One of the younger riders in this class, Billy Green, relied on his local knowledge to rescue a disastrous day with the second-best lap score of the event of just nine marks lost on his final lap to secure fifth in the trial and the championship.
TRIAL 2: ROSS ON FORM
In the Trial 2 class we have seen three different winners in the last three rounds. Ross Danby confirmed a consistent run of results with a win at round five to put him at the head of the points table with Sam Connor just a few points behind. Richard Sadler’s win at round three leaves him just a single mark behind Connor, but this championship is far from over. Dropping down from the Trial GB class is Tom Minta, who could become the championship ‘Spoiler’. Both Sam Haslam and fifth-placed Luke Walker have been inconsistent, but this championship will go all the way to the wire so look out for some more ‘Fireworks’ as we move into the latter part of this eight-round series.
EXPERT – STAY’S ON TOP
The Isle of Wight’s Chris Stay holds the advantage at the top of this closely fought class with three wins to his name, but do not count out a strong attack to come from the victorious Dan Thorpe who was the man on form at round five. Lloyd Price will want to add to his winning ride at round two and the vastly improved Sam Yeomans will have an eye on the championship podium. With 60 points still up for grabs who can take the advantage at round six in the Lake District?
Scottish rider Ben Dignan continues to be dominant, and now holds a small advantage over his close rival Brett Harbud. It’s good to see Ireland’s Adam Harris continuing to support the championship as he gains experience.