Former Nora MX Champion Luke Cooper in his first competitive race since last year after Riding for his country at QXDN in October 2016 sure returned with a bang, taking the overall in a high quality action packed Pro Class at the popular Pontrilas track near Hereford.
Tom Day set the fastest lap in qualifying for the second round in a row with an impressive time of 2 mins 14 secs, just ahead of British Champion Mark McLernon.
Race 1 and it was EDR's Dafydd Davies taking his customary hole shot with Belgium's Davino Bruneel close on his heels. By the end of lap 1 McLernon had surged forward in to second and the battle commenced between Davies and McLernon. McLernon made his move on Davies with 4 laps to go, but then a spirited surge from Cooper saw a three-way battle to the line. McLernon holding on with Cooper 2nd and Davies 3rd.
Rain just ahead of race 2 made conditions at best slippy, but that did not stop Scotland's Murray Graham flying from the gate taking firstly the hole shot but also a comfortable win. Unfortunately for Murray he had jumped the gate and was demoted 5 places to 6th. The grateful beneficiary was 14 times British Champion Paul Winrow who in a rare run out mastered the conditions to take the race win.
Race 3 and this was a start to finish two-rider battle between Davies and Cooper. Davies the hole shot but then nothing to separate these two as they battled it out lap after lap. Then disaster for Davies as he lost his seat with just over a lap to go. He held for a while but Cooper seized the opportunity to get passed and take firstly the race win, but also the overall for the day.
1st Luke Cooper (2,4,1), 2nd Dafydd Davies (3,8,2), 3rd George Day (10,3,3)
Pro AM -- 1st Tom Day, 2nd Alex Bethell, 3rd Jack Norris
In the Championship standings, George Day extended his lead over Mark McLernon from 4 points to 19!
In the 100cc Class Luke Berlyn returned to his 100% winning ways, with three wins, each time over Robbie Wood in 2nd place. Luke now leads the 100cc British Championship by some 54 points. This boy shows some serious potential.
The 250cc British Championship started the day with just 5 points separating the top 3 riders. With the leader Josh Birch recovering from a wrist injury, would Zak Orchard or Catrin Davies be able to capitalise? In short 'No but Yes' as firstly Catrin lost her seat in race 1 and ended with an 11th and then Zak had a bike problem in race 2 and had to settle for a 9th. However, Zak's two 2nds on the day gave him 2nd overall and his 9-point gain on Josh now puts him ahead in the Championship by 6 points.
Well worth a mention, was the overall win on the day by 13-year-old Marcus Sprason who had 3 good consistent rides of 3,3,3.
A class display in the Clubman Class saw Ayrton Knowles on fire, on a track he claims not to like! Three storming hole shots and three fine wins were a cracking days work for him. Sam Norris also showed fine form with two good 2nds and a 3rd.
Championship leader Greg Thynne lost his grip with three below par finishes in 9th, 8th and 10th. Rhydian Owen is the new Champion leader, by 16 points over Iestyn Rowlands.
The Masters Class was won by Paul Winrow, who had three close battles with Championship leader Ed Davies. Davies was not helped by copying his son and daughter in losing his seat part way through race 2!
In the Out of the Box sub class Joe Williams took the three race wins, each time over Pete Bates.
Geoff Otway took the overall in the Masters Support class with 2 wins and a 2nd. Matthew Kirk followed up two 2nds with his first race win of the season in race 3 to take 2nd overall.
Michael Haydon continues with his run of hole shots, with a further 3 in the Novice class. He then took the win on the day with a 3rd and two 1st place finishes.
100cc/50cc: 1st Luke Berlyn (1,1,1), 2nd Robbie Wood (2,2,2), 3rd Jago Jackson (6,3,3).
100cc Sub class winner: Alfie North
50cc Sub Class winner: Olivia Dennis
250cc overall: 1st Marcus Sprason (3,3,3), 2nd Zak Orchard (2,9,2), 3rd Shelley Smart (5,4,7)
250cc Standard Winner: Jack Evans
Masters "A": 1st Paul Winrow (2,1,2), 2nd Ed Davies (1,5,1), 3rd Jonathan McKnight (3,2,3)
Out the Box: 1st Joe Williams, 2nd Pete Bates
Clubman Overall: 1st Ayrton Knowles (1,1,1), 2nd Sam Norris (2,2,3), 3rd Rhydian Owen (3,4,2)
Clubman sub class winner: Lewis Rowles
Adult Novices: 1st Michael Haydon (3,1,1), 2nd Ross Holmes (2,2,2), 3rd Georgia Lent (4,4,3).
Masters Support: 1st Geoff Otway (1,1,2), 2nd Matthew Kirk (2,2,1), 3rd Mark Smith (4,5,3)
Incredible stuff! Enjoy the Summer break everyone!
Picture John Cook