Hot stuff on and off the track for the opening round of Nora MX at West Meon
At last the 2017 season opener in sunny Hampshire. A bumper entry of 156 riders over 6 main race groups served up a treat for all spectators. Many familiar faces but also some new Nora riders raring to get in the mix.
First out and the largest race group from 2016 showing no signs of decline was the Clubman/Elite class displaying a full line up of 34 quads.
Fastest out of the blocks in qualifying was Greg Thynne, displaying blistering speed with the fastest lap of 1 min 56.4, almost 2 secs quicker than any other rider. He then took this form in to Race 1 to take the win over RPG’s ‘king of the enduros’ Rhydian Owen in 2nd.
Race 2 was a different story, with Ayrton Knowles taking the holeshot and the race win, again with Rhydian Owen in 2nd.
The overall went 1st Ayrton Knowles (3,1), 2nd Greg Thynne (1,3), 3rd Rhyds Owen (2,2).
Sub class Clubman winner Dean Porter. (11,13)
Next out the young pups in the 100cc/50cc race. Luke Berlyn showed early season domination by having the fastest qualifying lap that was over 12 seconds quicker than the next rider. No surprise then that Luke followed this with two fine race wins to take the overall.
1st Luke Berlyn (1,1), 2nd Robbie Wood (2,2), 3rd Jago Jackson (3,3).
On to the eagerly awaited Pro / Pro Am class of 28 strong riders including current British Champion Mark McLernon and 2016 Nora MX Champion George Callaway. Surely these two would dominate ? Well one would and the other would suffer with clashes on the track.
Qualifying went Callaways way with a time of 1 min 49 secs being 1.3 secs quicker than McLernon.
Race 1 and with Callaway caught up on the first corner it was Scotlands Murray Graham who led the early charge from George Day and McLernon. McLernon then took the lead and EDR’s Dafydd Davies and Harry Walker stepped up to challenge Murray for 2nd spot. Disaster then struck for both Harry and Dafydd as firstly Harry had an off whilst challenging for third and then Dafydd in looking certain for 2nd place suffered from a snapped axle with 2 laps to go! Murray was more than happy to pick up the pieces to take 2nd from George Day in 3rd.
Race 2 and a holeshot from Davies before McLernon again showed his class to take a comfortable win. Davies held on for 2nd albeit after a tremendous 4 lap battle with Harry Walker in 3rd.
The overall; 1st Mark McLernon (1,1), 2nd George Day (3,4), 3rd Oli Sansom (4,5)
Murray Graham took the U21’s with an impressive 2nd and 9th overall.
Ed Davies continued with his domination from 2016 in the Masters “A” class with the fastest qualifying lap and 2 race wins, albeit he failed to get his customary hole shot in either race. 2nd on the day was Gary Adlington (2,2) and 3rd Darren Bridge (4,6).
The sub “out of the box” class win went to Joe Williams (5,5)
The Masters support class was up next which incorporated the new novice class alongside the Masters B Support class.
Scott Berlyn demonstrated top form here with the fastest qualifying lap of 1 min 58 secs and 2 fine race wins. 2nd in each race was Ray Walker. As a result Scott Berlyn took the overall in the Novice class, and Ray took the Master support sub class.
One of the newcomers, Michael Haydon showed promise with both hole shots in this group.
The final group, the ever entertaining 250cc class which included pre-season favourite Scott Irons. So would Scott dominate events ?. Well in qualifying yes, with the fastest lap of 1 min 58.6 secs.
On to Race 1 and it was 13 year old Marcus Sprason who set the pace with the hole shot. He held this for a good while before being chased down by Scott who took the win by 5.8 seconds from Catrin Davies.
Race 2 and looking like a carbon copy of race 1 with Sprason again getting the hole shot before being chased down by Scot Irons and Josh Birch. These two were looking to pull away but then got tangled up together, opening the door for “girl power” in the form of Catrin Davies who stormed through to take the win by 13.8 seconds. Scott Irons recovered to grab the 2nd spot.
Overall: 1st Catrin Davies (2,1), 2nd Scott Irons (1,2), 3rd Marcus Sprason (5,3)
The day cut short by an accident in the Masters Support class. Get well soon Stumpy “the voice of Nora”
Tremendous event, and just two weeks until we all do it again at Grittingham on 23rd April.