6 February 2011 White Rose MX - Fat Cats Motoparc, Doncaster 65cc Winter Championship - Final of 3 rounds Race 1 - 11th best lap 2m 39s Race 2 - 8th best lap 2m 43s Race 3 - 8th best lap 2m 47s Overall - 9th
This was my first time racing at this brand new deep sand track although I've been using their practice track every week since Christmas. Riding in sand as deep and rough as this has been a totally new experience for me, but I'm getting better every time. The first race was a disaster as the bike kept cutting out when the engine was hot and working hard to power through the soft sand. We had the same problem in the deep mud at Pickering a few months ago so Dad knew which engine parts to change between races.
The 2nd & 3rd races went OK and I'm still building up my speed after the Winter break. There were quite a few top National riders in the 65 class today, but they weren't competing in the full Winter Championship. I was pleased to finish 2nd in the championship and it was great to get back to racing and catch up with all my mates. Back on the practice track next week Braaaaaap!
27 February 2011 White Rose MX - Fat Cats Motoparc, Doncaster Junior 65cc Class Race 1 - 4th best lap 2m 38s Race 2 - 4th best lap 3m 4s Race 3 - 3rd best lap 2m 51s Overall - 4th
Back again at my Winter home! Lots of rain in the week before the event meant things were going to get rough and messy today... My starts were really good, I holeshot the first race and was 2nd into the first corner in the next 2 races. Not bad considering I'm over 2 stone heavier than most of my faster rivals, which doesn't help with bike's power in the deep sand! I was pleased with my speed and it was good to be racing against some well known national championship riders. Shame I had 4 crashes in the first 2 races, including a big one over a long double jump, when I increased my vast collection of broken helmet peaks - sorry Dad! But things went better in the last race, when it was the other riders doing all the crashing. I seem to go better when the track's at it's roughest and some of my best laps of the day were in the last race when I was battling with Harry Kimber. I think the long Winter training is starting to pay off.
20 March 2011 White Rose MX - Fat Cats Motoparc, Doncaster Junior 65cc Class Race 1 - 5th best lap 2m 16s Race 2 - 6th best lap 2m 18s Race 3 - 6th best lap 2m 24s Overall - 6th
Last chance to ride the Fat Cats race track before the first round of the Red Bull ProNationals in 2 weeks time. I'm really happy with how my sand riding has improved over the Winter, we've got the bike set up well and I'm now confident over all the jumps. These are now my favourite riding conditions, although this week was the driest we've ever seen the track. I prefer it a bit wetter and a lot rougher as that slows down all the little lightweights and I get to use all my size & strength HaHa!
27 March 2011 White Rose MX - Bielby Junior 65cc Class Race 1 - 1st best lap 1m 56s Race 2 - 2nd best lap 1m 58s Race 3 - 1st best lap 2m 02s Overall - 1st
First time I've ridden anywhere other than the deep sand at Armthorpe since Christmas so it took a while to get used to the hard and dry conditions. We had to abandon the first practice session as the bike developed a bad mis-fire. Dad changed the plug and stripped the carb and then it was sorted, so I went back out for another practice with the 85s, but I just couldn't stop the front end from washing out in corners and crashed twice. Not a great start to the day!!
Dad made some adjustments to the suspension before the first race and told me how to change my cornering style to get more grip with the front tyre. I got a great start in Race 1 and grabbed the holeshot, I was passed on the first lap by Harrison Burton who was flying, but tried my best to stick with him. Eventually he crashed and I got back in the lead, but he was soon back up and chasing me. I had a fairly good lead when I saw the last lap flag, so I backed off slightly and concentrated on riding a smooth lap with no mistakes, but when I crossed the finish line the last lap flag was held out again! The flag marshall must have just been getting the flag ready earlier, so I now had an extra lap with Harrison right behind me! I got my head down and went for it! I knocked 5 seconds off my previous lap times and got my first ever race win - it felt AWESOME!!!
Second race, I got the holeshot again, but made a couple of mistakes and was soon dropped to 3rd. I put the pressure on the 2nd placed rider and he eventually made a mistake and crashed, but the leader had cleared off so I finished 2nd.
I went to the startline for the 3rd race tied on points for the overall lead. I knew what I had to do... simply win the race!! So I grabbed the holeshot again and set a nice fast pace from the front. The track was now starting to get rough and I had a big moment at the end of the first lap when I hit a hole on the finish straight. Harrison Burton showed me his front wheel and went for the pass, but I squared off the next corner and kept the lead. The other riders battling with me soon started making mistakes and then bit the dust! I kept my speed pretty constant and rode to another race win. A GOOD DAY!!
I'd like to dedicate my first win to my sponsors dog Bru, who passed away today :(
2-3 April 2011 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 1 Fat Cats Motoparc, Doncaster Elite 65cc Class Timed Qualifying - 31st best lap 2m 24.6s Race 1 - 24th best lap 2m 32.0s Race 2 - 23rd best lap 2m 36.0s Race 3 - 26th best lap 2m 40.4s Race 4 - 28th best lap 2m 38.7s Race 5 - 28th best lap 2m 48.3s Overall - 28th
I was really excited when my first British Championship event had finally arrived. We set off on Friday afternoon straight after school and arrived at the track about 5pm. The pits were already nearly full with hundreds of motorhomes and massive team trucks. It felt like arriving at a Grand Prix and I couldn't wait to have a walk round the track and meet a few of the other riders before getting an early night.
Saturday morning soon came and Dad fitted my electronic transponder on the bike ready for my first ever timed qualifying session. We all got 5 minutes free practice to learn the track, then had 10 minutes to get our fastest lap times. With the deep sand getting rougher by the minute it was important to get a flying lap in early. My first lap was OK, but during the 2nd lap my engine started cutting out, just like last week! I pulled into the mechanics area, but Dad didn't have time to fix it, he said to just keep it revving everywhere! I eventually finished 31st out of 44 riders, not too bad, but I hoped to get better result in the races.
My qualifying position meant I got 31st pick on the start gate and ended up quite far over to the right, which gave me a wide line going into the left hand first corner. The start was a bit scary with 44 riders hurtling down the start straight into the narrow first corner. I managed to miss a couple of big pile-ups, but got held up in the early part of the lap. The track was already very rough from all the earlier qualifiers and races, and the race was quite long at over 16 minutes. I had no idea where I had finished, but there was a timing screen in the pit lane and Dad quickly told me I had come 24th, which was far better than I had expected.
In the 2nd race I did one better and came 23rd. Then I got a better start in the 3rd race and was running about 18th until the last couple of laps when my body started to tire from all the days riding. I eventually dropped to 26th and was now ready for a hard earned shower back at the motorhome!
Saturday night was great fun, we were all hanging out on our BMXs and chatting to the pro riders and getting autographs. There was a brilliant party atmosphere with the Red Bull DJs pumping out some great music. We all went to bed pretty late, but couldn't wait for the morning to get back to racing.
I got up about 7am on Sunday morning and walked the track again with 65cc British Championship leader Alexander Brown. He's a crazy Scottish kid, amazing rider and a really good laugh! I managed to get him to tell me some of his secret lines around the track, but he wouldn't share his best ones! The track hadn't been graded after Saturdays racing, so today was going to be really tough, especially for the little 65cc bikes. Even the adult Grand Prix riders were saying it was one of the roughest tracks ever!
Sundays races didn't go too well. I crashed in the first race while in about 20th place. The bike was upside down and took me a while to get going again.
The organizers gave us a sighting lap before our last race, as the track was now even rougher! When we returned to the waiting area before going onto the start line Dad noticed some big black clouds heading our way. With a bit of quick thinking he swapped my goggles for a set with roll-offs just as it started raining. I got a pretty bad start in the race, and the rain got heavier and heavier, eventually turning into a massive hail storm! It was really tough just getting round the track, but I managed to reach the chequered flag without crashing.
Overall I was pleased with my results at my first National, especially as the bike was running badly all weekend, hopefully we will soon get the problem sorted for good. I scored British Championship points in every race for getting in the top 30 and I'm hoping to improve my position on the harder tracks that are coming up later in the championship. Time for a break from all this sand riding!
10 April 2011 White Rose MX - Grangemoor Junior 65cc Class Race 1 - 1st best lap 2m 24s Race 2 - 4th best lap 2m 21s Race 3 - 2nd best lap 2m 25s Overall - 1st
After a week of scorching sun the track was bone dry and rock hard, my first ride on a real hard-pack track this season. The club did a good job at watering the track, but the slippery corners took some getting used to. Dad had fitted a new ignition to the bike on Friday night and it seemed to run a lot better, without the mis-fire that's been troubling us for the past few months.
I started the first race in 2nd place and took the lead half way round the first lap. I knew there were some fast riders behind me so I tried my hardest to get in some fast laps and open up a lead. Ben Ruddick was starting to catch me towards the end of the race, but made a mistake and went down. I eventually won the race by a long way. The 2nd race didn't go quite so well, the track was really dry and fast by now and all the front runners were doing about the same speed. I was in 3rd at one point, but got blocked out when I tried to go for 2nd, then my back wheel slid out on a slick corner and I was passed, dropping me down to 4th.
Coming into the last race I was still leading on points and I knew who I had to beat. I started in 2nd and soon moved into the lead. Ben Ruddick passed me on the 3rd lap with a great bit of out-braking going into a fast, rutted corner. 2nd place was good enough for the overall win and my Dad signalled me to let Ben go. So I rode safe for my 2nd winners trophy.
7-8 May 2011 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 2 Landrake, Cornwall Elite 65cc Class Timed Qualifying - 37th best lap 3m 11.1s Race 1 - 37th best lap 2m 53.8s Race 2 - 33rd best lap 2m 53.6s Race 3 - 34th best lap 2m 55.9s Race 4 - DNF - crash & bike breakdown Race 5 - 33rd best lap 3m 06.2s
A really disappointing weekend - shame we had to travel to the far end of the country for it to happen! I really loved the spectacular circuit with it's big drop-offs and long steep hills, but I just never really found my speed. I felt like I was down on power in timed qualifying and the lighter riders were flying past me up the hills. In the races I wasn't very confident and didn't put up much of a fight, I was losing time in a lot of places especially the fast corners leading to the uphills. My poor qualifying position gave me a bad pick on the start gate and I kept getting boxed in round the first corner. The only decent start I got was in the 1st race on Sunday. I was in the top 15 on the first lap, but someone crashed in front of me halfway up a steep hill. I had nowhere to go and crashed into him. It took ages to get the bike going again, but when it finally started I put on a big charge and found some good speed as I started passing people. Then suddenly the bike just stopped and I had to pull out of the race, we later found out the spark plug cap had come off! I was really disappointed not to score any championship points - I guess it was just one of those weekends! I need to do some serious work on my speed before the next round at my local track at Whitby...
22 May 2011 White Rose MX - Gravel Pits, Sand Hutton Junior 65cc Class Race 1 - 5th best lap 1m 41s Race 2 - 5th best lap 1m 44s Race 3 - 3rd best lap 1m 45s Overall - 4th
I've been practicing hard since Landrake and my overall speed, especially in the corners, has improved. It was good to race at Gravel Pits again as we hadn't been here for a few years. The track was dry and smooth and didn't really rough up all day. I wish it had been rougher or wetter because everyone could just ride flat out everywhere. The first 2 races were very similar, I started in 3rd place and eventually dropped to 5th. I was a bit annoyed because I was riding flat out and I couldn't imagine my bike being ridden any faster! Maybe my size was holding me back against the lighter riders, maybe I need a throttle that twists further...LOL. In the last race I got a nice holeshot and led the early part of the race. I was eventually passed by Ben Burridge and Sam Price and the 3 of us pulled a good lead over the rest of the pack. 4th overall, not too bad, it was a good bit of speed practice.
29 May 2011 White Rose MX - Bielby Junior 65cc Class Race 1 - 5th best lap 1m 56s Race 2 - 3rd best lap 1m 58s Race 3 - 5th best lap 2m 01s Overall - 5th
Quite a few changes made to the Bielby track for this one, they added a few extra loops and corners, and we rode the track in the opposite direction. I quite liked the new bits, but they were a bit tight and the track didn't seem to flow as well. My favourite part of the day was the first corner of the 2nd race when I used the corner berm as a jump and landed in front of the leader for the holeshot! I was pretty disappointed with the overall result, but it was all good practice...
11-12 June 2011 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 3 Whitby Elite 65cc Class Timed Qualifying - 29th best lap 2m 44.6s Race 1 - 30th best lap 2m 41.6s Race 2 - 29th best lap 2m 44.4s Race 3 - 34th best lap 2m 50.2s (2 crashes) Race 4 - 30th best lap 2m 48.1s Race 5 - 29th best lap 2m 46.1s Overall - 33rd Championship position - 37th
My results were better than the last round at Landrake, but I'm still struggling to get on the pace at the national events. I don't ride nearly as well as I can and I know I can do better, I just need to be more confident on the big tracks against the fast riders. Hopefully things will improve with more time and experience.
19 June 2011 White Rose MX - Gale Common Junior 65cc Class Race 1 - 1st best lap 2m 35s Race 2 - 2nd best lap 2m 28s Race 3 - 2nd best lap 2m 26s Overall - 2nd
My first time at this track and I loved it. Nice soft soil that got really rough. I had some great battles with Harrison Burton & Connor Murfin and I was leading the points going into the last race. The 3 of us kept swapping the lead, but 2 laps from the end I pulled out a 4 second gap at the front. My dad signalled me to keep pushing to open up the gap, but I made a mistake and landed off the side of a table top jump. I stayed on the bike, but was on the wrong side of the rope fence and couldn't get back on the track! Eventually someone held the rope up, but then I fell off getting back on the track. What a nightmare!! I re-joined the race in 3rd and moved into 2nd when Harrison made a mistake. Connor had a good lead, but I was catching him up until I ran out time. Me and Connor were tied on points for the overall, but he won the tie-break with a better result in the last race. I've never been so disappointed to come 2nd, but I'll get over it! LOL
26 June 2011 White Rose MX - Dalton Junior 65cc Class Race 1 - 4th best lap 1m 54s Race 2 - 3rd best lap 1m 59s Race 3 - 2nd best lap 2m 0s Overall - 2nd
The weekend started off badly when I siezed my practice bike's engine on Saturday, then on Sunday morning practice I crashed twice on the freshly watered hard-packed track. It was so slippy I couldn't even stand up to pick my bike up and I kept dropping it!
Things went a lot better in the races and I enjoyed the technical track without having anymore crashes. There were a lot of crashes today though and the air ambulance had to come 3 times!
I beat some fast riders today who have usually beaten me in the past, so I was pleased with the result.
23-24 July 2011 YMSA UK Supernational - Whitby Junior 65cc Class Race 1 - 8th best lap 2m 38s Race 2 - 9th best lap 2m 37s Race 3 - 4th best lap 2m 39s Race 4 - 7th best lap 2m 37s Race 5 - 7th best lap 2m 39s Overall - 7th
I was aiming for a top 5 finish at the Supernational, but it took me a while to get back on form after a big crash in the whoops during practice. I couldn't believe the number of riders cheating in the 65 class, they were cutting the track by riding alongside the whoops and the big jumps in the rhythm section! What's the point?
30-31 July 2011 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 4 Canada Heights, Kent Elite 65cc Class Timed Qualifying - 27th best lap 2m 51.9s Race 1 - 26th best lap 2m 52.4s Race 2 - 27th best lap 2m 58.3s Race 3 - 28th best lap 3m 1.8s Race 4 - 26th best lap 2m 52.8s Race 5 - 22nd best lap 3m 2.1s Overall - 27th Current championship position - 37th
The track at Canada Heights was amazing, the bottom section was quite sandy with big fast open corners, the top section went into the woods where it was hardpack and rutted with some big jumps. I was riding the best I've done in the Red Bulls so far, but I struggled with the starts all weekend. It was a concrete start leading onto a long sandy uphill and the gate fell forward, away from you, instead of backwards. I never got the timing right and was getting out-dragged up the hill. I usually entered the first corner near the back of the pack, but I charged hard in every race and made up a lot of places.
It was great fun on the nights as I've made loads of new friends in the championship and we all make BMX tracks after the racing. It was funny driving home through the Dartford Tunnel shouting across to championship leader Alexander Brown when our motohomes were stuck in a traffic jam. Good luck at the World Champs in Italy next week Zander!
27-28 August 2011 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 5 Hawkstone Park, Shropshire Elite 65cc Class Timed Qualifying - 26th best lap 3m 2s Race 1 - 26th best lap 3m 6.1s Race 2 - 29th best lap 3m 11.5s Race 3 - 27th best lap 3m 14.7s Race 4 - 28th - best lap2m 59.4s Race 5 - 22nd best lap 3m 5.2s Current championship position - 34th
It was amazing to ride one of the most famous Grand Prix tracks in the world. It was rough and sandy with a really steep hill. Unfortunately I crashed in 4 of the 5 races and in the other race my Dad said I wasn't trying hard enough!!! My riding got better throughout the weekend, but I was struggling against the lighter riders up the big hill. On one lap I couldn't even get up it!
My last race was the best, I got an OK start, but slid off the side of a jump on the first lap, I re-joined the race dead last out of 42 riders and charged back to 22nd. That was hard work, but great fun.
Red Bull really put on a big show for this event, there was an aeroplane stunt show, Dougie Lampkin was there doing a trials display, quite a few Grand Prix riders were racing including Tommy Searle and Max Anstie, and on the Saturday night we all watched the live AMA motocross from USA on the big video screen. There was also an awesome BMX track in the woods!
3-4 September 2011 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 6 Desertmartin, Northern Ireland Elite 65cc Class Timed Qualifying - 14th best lap 3m 0s Race 1 - 14th best lap 2m 52.2s Race 2 - 12th best lap 2m 54.1s Race 3 - 14th best lap 2m 57.7s Race 4 - 13th best lap 2m 49.5s Race 5 - 14th best lap 3m 10.0s Overall - 13th Current championship position - 27th
It was great fun travelling across to Ireland in a convoy with our good friends Robbie and Mike Dowson. This was probably the nicest track I've ever seen! It was another Grand Prix track and the facilties were really impressive. It was a nice sandy track with lots of hills and big jumps. I had my best ride of the season and moved up the championship standings. The weather wasn't great, it poured down on Friday & Saturday nights, but it didn't affect our racing until the last race of the weekend when it was a struggle to even finish the race!
Another good weekend for BMXing as well, we all made a totally sick dirt jump track!
11 September 2011 White Rose MX - Dalton Junior 65cc Class Race 1 - 9th best lap 1m 56s Race 2 - 7th best lap 1m 55s Race 3 - 6th best lap 1m 53s Overall - 2nd
What a complete disaster! Having spent all summer riding nothing but deep soft sand tracks I really struggled with the rock hard surface at Dalton. I just didn't feel confident on the bike at all and I was beaten by riders who have always been a lot slower than me.
24-25 September 2011 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 7 Culham Park, Oxfordshire Elite 65cc Class Timed Qualifying - 28th best lap 2m 46.5s Race 1 - 27th best lap 2m 49.1s Race 2 - 31st best lap 2m 50.3s Race 3 - 28th best lap 2m 51.6s Race 4 - 25th best lap 2m 46.7s Race 5 - 27th best lap 2m 55.6s Overall - 30th Final championship position - 27th
Well that's it - my last ever race on the 65. Can't wait to get on the bigger 85 as I'm now far too big for the little bike. I really enjoyed the last round of the championship, especially as my favourite Britsh rider, Elliot Banks-Browne won the 2011 Red Bull Pro Nationals MX2 Championship then gave me his riding shirt after the race! I wish I could have finished higher in the championship, but I totally outgrew the 65 bike and I found it hard to ride as the season went on. I'll be hoping for better things next year after a long Winter of hard training!
16 October 2011 White Rose MX - Bielby Small Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 3rd best lap 2m 4s Race 2 - 4th best lap 2m 4s Race 3 - 3rd best lap 2m 5s Overall - 3rd
First ever race on the 85 and it went quite well, we raced together with the big wheel 85s, but were scored separately. I'm getting better every time I ride the new bike. It's so much bigger and more powerful than the 65 and I love it! The track was tough today, very deep soft mud with loads of ruts.
30 October 2011 White Rose MX - Winter Champs Round 1 - Grangemoor Small Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 7th best lap 2m 6s Race 2 - 3rd best lap 2m 5s Race 3 - 3rd best lap 2m 3s Overall - 3rd
The track had been totally changed since I last rode here on the 65, loads of big jumps which I got better on as the day went on. There was a big double jump after the 2nd corner from the start that I had been clearing in practice. On the first lap of the first race the rider in front of me didn't do the double, so I had to slow down and do 2 singles. Unfortunately the rider behind me still went for the double and landed on me with his big heavy Honda 150 4-stroke! I was alright, but my bike was pretty beaten up. Not a great start to the day, but it got better after that.
13 November 2011 White Rose MX - Winter Champs Round 2 - Dalton Small Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 4th best lap 2m 24s Race 2 - 3rd best lap 2m 13s Race 3 - 3rd best lap 2m 12s Overall - 3rd
The track was a complete mudbath and loads of riders left early refusing to ride it! It was a bit of a struggle to get round during practice and the first race, but it got better later on when some dry lines started to appear. A hard day, but still good fun!
We raced with the Big Wheel 85s again and there was a good line-up of about 35 riders in the races. The club introduced a Holeshot Prize for every race and I couldn't believe it when I won it in my first race, leading everyone on the first lap! My luck didn't continue though as I had a few crashes including a massive pile-up when a big-wheel rider fell onto me going into the first corner in the 2nd race. I was a bit more cautious at the start of the 3rd race and got a pretty slow start, but I came through and enjoyed passing plenty of riders.