Nora Round 4 --McLernon on fire as part of another Nora Scorcher
Round 4 of the Nora MX Championship saw a return to popular Milton Park , Milton Maisor Northampton, in the glorious sunshine, for the first time back since 2016. The Acu track was very well prepared and watered
The challenging superb spectator stack track of seasons past had been calmed down a little and lead to some of the best racing of the Nora season to date.
2016 British Champion Mark McLernon was on dominant form in the Pro/Pro Am class with three straight wins against a strong 20 line up of many of the Main British Championship contenders.
He was 2nd only once on the day, and that was in qualifying, behind George Callaway.
Race 1 and it was the Welsh Whiz kid Dafydd Davies with the hole shot over McLernon. McLernon stayed hot on his heals though and then made his move to the front in lap 4 and kept a consistent gap to the chequered flag to take the win over Davies by 2.7 secs. Surging through the field from way back was teenage sensation Harry Walker, who took 3rd, just 0.5 secs behind Davies.,
On to race 2, and a carbon copy of the start of race 1 with a Davies hole shot and McLernon second to the corner. This time though McLernon wasted little time and by the second corner of lap 2 he was out at the front. There was no looking back as he took the win, again over Davies, with George Callaway a further 5 secs behind in 3rd.
The final race and all to race for with Davies, Walker and Callaway in the battle for 2nd overall unless McLernon dropped way down the order!
But there were to be no surprises as a Callaway hole shot was to be overcome by McLernon with 9 mins to go to take a well deserved treble and overall for the day. Harry Walker with a stronger start got a strong second, comfortably ahead (14 secs) of Callaway in 3rd.
McLernon (1,1,1) taking the overall, 2nd Dafydd Davies (2,2,4), 3rd Harry Walker (3,4,2).
The Clubman / Elite class was full with 36 entries, and pre-season favourite Ayrton Knowles was keen to try and start bridging the points gap to Zak Orchard following his "off" at Grittenham.
Knowles was on form and needed to be! His full house of hole shots in addition to wins in races 1 and 2 was the perfect start. In race 1 though there was a new rider in the mix. Gary Atkinson who had moved down from the Pro/Pro Am class took the battle to Knowles and was running a close 2nd to him for 4 laps. Could he put a few spanners in the works as the season progresses?
But it was Championship leader Orchard who was the real threat on the day. Poorer starts from Orchard put him down the pack but a strong determination took him to 2nd in both races 1 and 2.
The final race and a better start from Orchard and it made the difference. He got past knowles on the first lap and held on to take the win by 2.9 secs over Knowles.
The gap was closed slightly, but only by the 3 points!!
In the Clubman sub class Rick Indge took the win, recovering from a 5th in class in race 1 to take 2 good wins.
On to the Novice class and a new club member for 2018 is quickly getting noticed,
Harry Koller! He followed his 6 wins at Grittenham with a further full house of 3 wins and he was also smashing the hole shots! His smallest winning margin on the day was over 25 seconds.
William Dunlop took 3 seconds and Ryan Hickman 3 thirds.
The 100cc is another class where a rider is proving to be a step above the others, in Jago Jackson. One hole shot on the day for Jackson, but more importantly 3 further wins, to maintain his 100% start to the season, 9 out of 9!
Rory Wood is not giving up the chase though, with 2 hole shots and 3 second place finishes.
Alfie North made up the podium with 2 seconds and a 5th.
Good to see three girl riders, in Brooke Bunce, , Ellie Stott and Ella Robe making their mark in this group. Brodie North won the 50cc auto sub class and Brooke Bunce was 3rd in the competitive 100cc auto sub class.
On to the Masters and two further maximum men at the start of the day. Would they continue with their winning streaks?
Well in the Masters "A" Ed Davies continued his dominance with two hole shots and 3 race wins. Jonathan McKnight was the best of the rest with 3 strong seconds. Greg Fisher managed to grab a hole shot and the final place on the podium.
Masters "B" and Geoff Otway was hitting the heights again with 3 hole shots and 3 wins. David Marriott was looking a certain 2nd, with 2 second place finishes, but finishing down the order in the final race of the day promoted Richard Clark to 2nd overall.
The most open group this year could well be the 250cc open class, with potentially 6 or 7 potential race winners on the line up of 17.
Jack Young, another new rider at the club this year showed that his strong performance at Grittenham was no one off. He took 2 hole shots and 2 wins, to take the overall on the day. The smallest winning margin in this group was by just 0.6 secs in race 1 (Young over Robbie Wood).
Robbie Wood held on to 2nd overall despite having a clash with Luke Berlyn in race 3. Alfie Walker with a slower start to the season than expected took the final place on the podium (4,7,3).
Pro / Pro Am: 1st Mark McLernon (1,1,1), 2nd Dafydd Davies (2,2,4), 3rd Harry Walker (3,4,2).
Masters "A": 1st Ed Davies (1,1,1), 2nd Jonathan McKnight (2,2,2), 3rd Greg Fisher (3,5,3)
Masters "B": 1st Geoff Otway (1,1,1), 2nd Richard Clark (3,3,2), 3rd David Marriott (2,2,8).
Novice: 1st Harry Koller (1,1,1), 2nd William Dunlop (2,2,2), 3rd Ryan Hickman (3,3,3).
Clubman / Elite overall: 1st Ayrton Knowles (1,1,2), 2nd Zak Orchard (2,2,1), 3rd Lewis Rowles (4,3,3).
250cc overall: 1st Jack Young (1,3,1), 2nd Robbie Wood (2,1,12) 3rd Alfie Walker (4,7,3).
100cc overall: Jago Jackson (1,1,1), 2nd Rory Wood (2,2,2), 3rd Frank Marston (3,3,5).
Just 2 weeks, and we're off to without doubt most riders favourite track, Pontrilas. 3rd June, 2018 it is. Get your entries in, this event always fills up quickly!