SHIPTON DOMINATES AT OPENING ROUND

Last Sunday saw the opening round of the POINT-S South West Masters Motocross Championships at Whiteway Barton in Devon. The track was in tip top shape and had attracted a fair entry and was to produce some excellent racing in all classes.

In the 24MX Expert Championship there was a good entry and had attracted back to top flight racing the likes of Luke Hawkins a former Champion in the South West along with many others. Jake Shipton on the Crescent Racing Yamaha had set the fastest time in qualifying and had first pick of the gates and he was to use it to his advantage in the opening race and took the holeshot from the outside gate from the Cheddar Mx Honda of Luke Hawkins and Dan Thornhill on the Cab Screens DEOS Racing Honda. Shipton had a clear track in front and soon eased away, but Hawkins was put under a huge amount of pressure early on from Thornhill who was all over him looking to get pass which he eventually did on lap 5. Hawkins was soon put under pressure again from the St Blazey/Dragon Tek Yamaha of Todd Kellett who didn’t have the best of starts but was soon on the gas and powered his way up in to 3rd by the end of lap 8 after passing Hawkins, but he wasn’t going to catch the leading two as Shipton took the win, Thornhill 2nd and Kellett 3rd. In the second moto this time Shipton went for the inside gate at the start and this also worked well as he again had the holeshot from Supercross star Joe Clayton and Kellett who was all over Clayton from the off. Shipton again was pulling away at the front and Kellett was aware of this and passed Clayton by the end of the opening lap and was giving chase. Thornhill was to move up in to 3rd passing Clayton on lap 2 and Hawkins was soon all over Clayton which turned in to a scrap for several laps with Hawkins getting the better of Clayton on lap 8 powering up the big hill and moved in to 4th. Thornhill closed in on Kellett in the closing stages, but Kellett held on to take second behind Shipton. In the last moto Shipton went back to the outside gate and he took the holeshot again from Kellett and Thornhill and it wasn’t long before Shipton had the throttle wound back and was starting to get away at the front. Thornhill and Kellett were having a real tussle and at one stage were to bang handlebars with neither rider giving an inch until a slight lack of traction from Kellett was enough to see Thornhill go through in to 2nd, but he wasn’t going to catch Shipton who went on to make it a hattrick of wins.

In the Wulfsport Over 35 Championship there was a good entry and included former over 35 Champion Wayne Shimell on the TyreMarks Honda who for sure would be a threat. In the opening race it was Ben Harmon on the 300 2-Stroke Ktm who had the best start from James Kensington also on a 2-stroke who was having his first ride in the over 35’s ahead of Shimell who was to waste no time at tall and soon got pass Kensington and Harmon who made a mistake and took over the lead, but all eyes were on the Cheddar Mx Honda of Darren Banwell who didn’t have the best of starts and was mid pack, but he was absolutely flying up through the field and by the end of lap 5 was up in to 4th behind Peter Bulley who was soon relegated to 4th and the battle was now on for 2nd between Banwell and Kensington with Banwell eventually getting pass Kensington 3 laps from the end, but it was Shimell who took a comfortable win. In race 2 this time Shimell hit the front from the off and was soon in to a rhythm and eased away from Kensington and Harmon who was soon to have Banwell breathing all over him pushing to get pass which he did on lap 4, but that was as far as he got as Shimell took the win from Kensington. In the last race Shimell had a flyer off the line again and was on a real mission at the front. Kensington was to hold second from Banwell for a couple of laps until Banwell pounced on a slight mistake on lap 3 from Kensington and moved in to 2nd. Shimell was well gone by this time and went on to make it a hattrick on the day and maximum points.

In the Wulfsport Over 45’s category it was all about one rider and that was the J D Racing Ktm of Leigh Williams or Leapey Leigh as he is better known who holeshoted all three races and stormed away to take a convincing hat trick of wins, with David Ford and David Shipton finishing 2nd and 3rd behind him in all three races.

In the JCT Developments Junior Championship class there were many up and coming youngsters moving up in to the adult ranks all keen to do well. In the opening race it was Kieran Mclelland with the best start from James Cole and Brandon Baker with the latter taking over the lead by the end of the opening lap and moving up in to 2nd was now Kieran Yorke who had the bit between his teeth and was desperate to find away pass Baker which turned in to a real battle for several laps with Yorke eventually getting pass on lap 7 and from there went on to take the win, Brad Thornhill thought his way through in the latter part of the race to take 2nd with Daniel Wade taking 3rd. In the second race it was young 16-year-old local lad Jason Down who was having his first ride in the adults on his 125 with the holeshot from Rocky Letherby and Ben Clayton. Down was screaming that 125 around Whiteway and was to hold the lead for a couple of laps before Clayton took over on lap 3 and was to ease away. Down held 2nd until 2 laps from the end when he bent his gear change and struggled to carry on and through went Wade who took 2nd just a head of Harry day with Down bring it home a respectable 8th for his efforts. In the last race there was no stopping Clayton who led from the off and went on to take the chequered flag a head of Thornhill who again came on strong in the closing stages of the race with Harvey James taking 3rd.

In the Junior B class there was no stopping Josef Scibilia who notched up a hattrick of win where as in the Junior C class there was two wins for Darren Brock and the other one went to Andrew Wright who denied Brock a clean sweep in race 2.

Words & Images by Dave Rich

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