24 February 2013 White Rose MX - Winter Champs Round 3 - Fat Cats, Doncaster Small Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 2nd best lap 1m 53s Race 2 - 5th best lap 1m 55s Race 3 - 5th best lap 2m 4s Final Championship Position - 2nd
A pretty good start to the new year and the first race on my new bike. I got great starts all day and started every race in 2nd place behind my good mate Denny Rapson. Unfortunately I made too many mistakes in races 2 & 3 and had some small crashes. My kickstart got jammed after one crash so it took me ages to get going again and I made a mistake on the big finish line jump when I landed with my foot on the back brake and stopped dead! I'm pleased the speed's there though and I'm sure the mistakes will go away when I've spent a bit more time riding the new bike in anger...
2-3 March 2013 RRW Events National Motocross Hawkstone Park, Shropshire 85cc Youth Class (Big & Small Wheels combined) Saturday Race 1 - 13th (5th small wheel) best lap 2m 56.5s Race 2 - 15th (7th small wheel) best lap 2m 58.3s Race 3 - 9th (4th small wheel) best lap 3m 1s Overall - 7th (4th small wheel) Sunday Race 1 - 12th (7th small wheel) best lap 2m 48.3s Race 2 - 13th (6th small wheel) best lap 2m 50.9s Race 3 - 13th (6th small wheel) best lap 2m 57.4s Overall - 12th (6th small wheel)
Great to be back at one of my favourite tracks in the world and the conditions were perfect. I was riding in a class mixed with the older riders on Big Wheel 85s, so I knew the competition would be tough. I got good starts in the first 2 races on Saturday and my new FTS suspension was giving me great confidence on the rough parts of the track, especially through the whoop section. In the 3rd race my sand tyre spun sideways on the concrete start and I set of nearly last. I soon got my head down and started charging and passed loads of riders (mostly through the whoops!). This ended up been my best race of the weekend.
After an early night I was really looking forward to some more action on Sunday, but I struggled with bad starts all day. We eventually took the sand tyre off to help me on the concrete start which was a bit better. The best thing about today was that I started to clear the huge table top before the bridge. This part of the track is really famous as it's where Georges Jobe passed Andre Malherbe by jumping over him when it was a double jump at the 1984 Grand Prix!
Can't wait to return to Hawkstone for Round 6 of the Red Bulls in August.
9 March 2013 90 MX Club - Fat Cats, Doncaster Small Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 1st best lap 2m 2s Race 2 - 3rd best lap 2m 16s Race 3 - Cancelled due to weather Overall - 2nd
It rained all night before this race and it looked like it would be cancelled in the morning, but the the organizers managed to scrape the worst of the slop off the track with a bulldozer so it was race on! I grabbed an awesome holeshot in the first race and never looked back. A nice way to get my first ever race win on the 85!
Second start wasn't so good and I went rond the first corner in about 5th. After a few laps a worked my way into the lead and had a good battle with Jordan Hearn. I made a mistake and he re-took the lead. I was closing on him on the last lap but a lapped rider crashed in front of me. I had nowhere to go and crashed into him. I was looking forward to racing for the overall win in the last race, but the meeting was eventually cancelled as the rain never stopped all day and the track was too bad.
31 March 2013 White Rose MX Club - South Tees MX Small Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 2nd best lap 2m 10s Race 2 - 2nd best lap 2m 11s Race 3 - 6th best lap 2m 15s Overall - 3rd
This was the first ever race meeting at the South Tees track, but I know it well as I often practice there. My starts & speed were pretty good, I got into 2nd place in all the races, but couldn't catch Ben Ruddick who was really flying. I had a crash on the 3rd lap of the 3rd race and dropped from 2nd to 6th. Unfortunately the race was cut short due to the time restrictions on the event and the chequered flag came out after 3 laps, so I never had time to make up ant places. I was disappointed with 3rd overall.
20-21 April 2013 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 1 Landrake, Cornwall Elite Small Wheel 85cc Class Timed Qualifying - 36th best lap 2m 37.8s Race 1 - 28th best lap 2m 33.6s Race 2 - 29th best lap 2m 35.7s Race 3 - 29th best lap 2m 40.0s Race 4 - 24th best lap 2m 34.2s Race 5 - 28th best lap 2m s49 Overall - 31st
Despite the never ending drive from North Yorkshire down to South Cornwall it was great to be back at the Red Bull Pro Nationals, last season had been ruined by an ankle injury sustained at this track, so I was determined not do the same again!
Qualifying was a disaster, I was taken out by another rider on my first fast lap, I twisted the handlebars which caused me to crash on the next fast lap, so I had to pull into the mechanics area to get things straightened out. By the time I got out for my final flying lap I crossed the start line just as the timer reached zero, so the lap didn't count!
36th gate pick on a steep uphill start left me near the back at the beginning of every race and I struggled to make up many places on the long flat-out hilly track. To make matters worse, the young light-weights who had just moved up from the 65s were absolutely flying! Not the start to the championship I wanted, but at least better than last year!
28 April 2013 White Rose MX Club - FatCats, Doncaster Small Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 4th best lap 1m 49.6s Race 2 - 5th best lap 1m 52.4s Race 3 - 7th best lap 1m 52.7s Overall - 5th
Nice to be back up North again in my favourite sandy conditions, quite a few fast National riders made the trip up to this club race so there was some good fast racing.
18-19 May 2013 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 2 Weston-Super-Mare Elite Small Wheel 85cc Class Timed Qualifying - 25th best lap 2m 32.9s Race 1 - 21st best lap 2m 35.2s Race 2 - 23rd best lap 2m 42.5s Race 3 - 17th best lap 2m 42.3s Race 4 - 16th best lap 2m 46.3s Overall - 19th
This must rank as the best event I've ever ridden so far. The MCF had built the most amazing track on the beach at Weston-Super-Mare and had put on a massive show with loads of attractions to draw in a huge crowd of over 10,000 race fans. I love riding in the sand, but this was something different, proper fine beach sand that got so, so deep and rough.
I was a bit to cautious and probably quite nervous in my qualifying session and never really got into a good rythm. I wasn't too worried though, I'm not a specialist at putting in one-off flying laps and I knew I could turn things round for the races. Having said that, I was pretty disappointed with my performance in the first 2 races on Saturday as I didn't put up much of a fight on the track and my results were terrible.
After a good talking to from my Dad I went to bed on Saturday night really determined to wake up with my race face on for Sunday! Thankfully I was a completely different rider on day 2, I decided to get mean out on the track and fought my way into the top 20. The last race of the weekend was my best result, but it started off badly when I got caught up in a first turn pile-up and then couldn't start my bike. By the time I set off I was dead last out of 45 riders and couldn't even see the riders in front of me. I was so mad I started putting in some really quick laps, by now the track was at it's roughest, just the way I like it, and a lot of the riders in front of me were making big mistakes. Once I started passing people it spurred me on to go even faster, I found some great lines for passing and I was soon up to about 12th place. Unfortunately I crashed on the last lap and lost a few places, but I was still really pleased with the result. I went home a happy chappy!!
25-26 May 2013 British Masters - Skelder Bank, Whitby Big Wheel & Small Wheel combined 85cc Class Qualifying - 18th (7th Small Wheel) best lap 3m 0.4s Race 1 - 15th (5th Small Wheel) best lap 2m 46.7s Race 2 - 16th (5th Small Wheel) best lap 2m 50.1s Race 3 - 16th (7th Small Wheel) best lap 2m 51.2s Race 4 - 14th (6th Small Wheel) best lap 2m 51.4s Overall - 6th Small Wheel
I used to love racing at Whitby, which is my local national track, but I'm not so sure now! Once everyone can do all the jumps there's not a right lot to slow down the guys with the fastest bikes. I prefer things much rougher and more techical and it just wasn't happening for me this weekend. We were also mixed in with the older big wheel riders and I just couldn't seem to get motivated to get stuck into the racing. Dad was pulling his hair out! Must try harder next time...
2 June 2013 White Rose MX Club - Finningley Small Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 3rd best lap 1m 45.0s Race 2 - 4th best lap 1m 49.5s Race 3 - 4th best lap 1m 53.4s Overall - 4th
Not a bad day at Finningley, not raced here for ages. Not quite on the pace of the leading group of riders, but still rode pretty well.
28-30 June 2013 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 3 Culham Park, Oxfordshire Elite Small Wheel 85cc Class Timed Qualifying - 34th best lap 2m 40.0s Race 1 - 25th best lap 2m 36.0s Race 2 - 27th best lap 2m 37.2s Race 3 - 25th best lap 2m 41.6s Race 4 - 32nd best lap 2m 36.9s Race 5 - 35th best lap 2m 39.3s Overall - 31st
More bad luck at the Pro Nationals, this time it was bike problems which is pretty rare in our little team. Dad had replaced the pistons in the front brake and everything felt fine in the garage and on the way down to the track. As soon as I got on the track the front brake totally disappeared, there must have been some air in the system and it wouldn't work at all. Culham is a hilly track and to ride it without a front brake was nearly impossible. I had a few crashes and ended up with another disastrous qualifying position. This was really bad as the start straight was short with a sharp left first corner, if you had an outside gate you had to travel about twice the distance to get round the corner. We struggled with the front brake all weekend even after swapping the complete front end from my spare bike, because the suspension became a problem then! I finally borrowed Harvey Ward's super trick front brake set-up that his dad had spent months developing (lucky for me Harvey broke his leg & couldn't race anymore!!).
I couldn't believe it in the last race when I went over a jump and the front brake locked up solid! What a nighmare, it then freed itself so I set off again, then it locked up again solid! This happened 4 or 5 times and it caused me to crash everytime. I eventually just cruised round to the finish flag without using the front brake. We later found out I had bent the front brake disc in an earlier crash.
A weekend to forget and a disaster for my aim to finish in the top 20 of the championship.
20-21 July 2013 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 4 Skelder Bank, Whitby Elite Small Wheel 85cc Class Timed Qualifying - 24th best lap 2m 37.6s Race 1 - 28th best lap 2m 40.4s Race 2 - 24th best lap 2m 35.7s Race 3 - 21st best lap 2m 32.5s Race 4 - 18th best lap 2m 36.0s Overall - 23rd
Back at my local track again, this time for the Red Bulls. This event took place in the middle of a scorching heat wave we were having so the track was rock hard and even smoother and faster than normal. I love the big jumps at this track, but I just never seem fast enough on the easy bits to get a good result.
20-21 July 2013 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 5 Canada Heights, Kent Elite Small Wheel 85cc Class Timed Qualifying - 27th best lap 2m 46.2s Race 1 - 23rd best lap 2m 44.8s Race 2 - 17th best lap 2m 44.2s Race 3 - 17th best lap 2m 47.8s Race 4 - 21st best lap 2m 44.8s Race 5 - 37th best lap 2m 54.7s Overall - 25th
I started to find a bit more form for this round of the Pro Nationals and I was riding much better all weekend. My size and weight is always a disadvantage on the uphill sandy start at Canada Heights, but I was heading for a good top 20 result before the last race. Unfortunately it all went pear-shaped in the last one! I got my best start, but crashed early on the first lap. I got my head down though and made it back into the pack, then on last last lap I spun the bike round on the entry to a steep uphill jump section and lost loads of positions. When will my luck change?!
28 July 2013 White Rose MX Club - Sand Hutton, York Big Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 2nd best lap 1m 30.2s Race 2 - 2nd best lap 1m 35.0s Race 3 - 4th best lap 1m 35.0s Overall - 2nd
Back to a local club race and I thought I'd try my luck against the Big Wheel riders on my Small Wheel bike. I actually preferred racing against the bigger lads and I led the first 2 races before getting passed by Joe Sutcliffe, the local champion. By the last race the track was getting pretty sketchy - fast, hard-pack with loads of stones coming through to the surface. I settled for a safe 4th position to claim 2nd overall.
31 Aug-1 Sept 2013 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 6 Hawkstone Park, Shropshire Elite Small Wheel 85cc Class Timed Qualifying - 22nd best lap 2m 36.1s Race 1 - 14th best lap 2m 38.7s Race 2 - 23rd best lap 2m 39.7s Race 3 - 27th best lap 2m 39.0s Race 4 - 15th best lap 2m 47.8s Overall - 16th
A great weekend despite another catalogue of disasters! I pretty much got tangled up in first turn pile-ups in every race. In race 3 I even managed to kick my choke on which made the bike run like an old bus. Luckily I worked out what was wrong and got back into the race. The final race of the weekend made up for it though, there's no better feeling in the world than ripping round Hawkstone when it's at it's roughest!
21-22 September 2013 Red Bull Pro Nationals Elite Youth Cup MCF British Championship Round 7 Culham Park, Oxfordshire Elite Small Wheel 85cc Class Timed Qualifying - 22nd best lap 2m 28.7s Race 1 - 22nd best lap 2m 33.0s Race 2 - 20th best lap 2m 35.7s Race 3 - 18th best lap 2m 39.2s Race 4 - 21st best lap 2m 25.9s Race 5 - 17th best lap 2m 35.8s Overall - 19th Final Championship position - 16th
Having finally shown a bit of consistency at the Pro Nationals I found myself sitting in 16th place in the championship, which was much better than my target of 20th. My aim at the final round at Culham was to keep this position. The guys ahead of me had too much of a points gap to catch, but there were a stack of riders behind me that could knock me back out of the top 20.
The track had been changed a lot since our last race here in June and we rode the opposite direction round the track. Bad news for me was another uphill start, so again I struggled against the little light-weights!
I was really pleased with my riding all weekend, especially in the last race when the points were getting pretty close with the rider behind me in the championship. My Dad signalled me with the points position and I quickly passed 5 riders on the next lap!
I'm really pleased with my final position in the championship and can't wait to move onto the Big Wheel 85 for some hardcore Winter training and the next chapter of my racing.
Thanks for reading this, hope it gives you a bit of an insight into the struggles of a little privateer team in this fantastic sport, hope to see you at the races...
27 October 2013 White Rose MX Club Winter Championship Finningley Big Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 3rd Race 2 - 2nd Race 3 - 2nd Overall - 2nd
29 December 2013 White Rose MX Club Winter Championship Fatcats Big Wheel 85cc Class Race 1 - 2nd best lap 1m 48.5s Race 2 - 3rd best lap 1m 56.6s Race 3 - Cancelled Overall - 2nd