Bicton served up some rain (not enough), a technical track to ride and a reminder for riders to practice their starts. Since the meeting, there’s been correspondence about the track, with it fair to say that it was ‘marmite’; some people loved it, some people didn’t [1]. The start was bigger and wider and a good lap length made it enjoyable to drive, but the challenge was overtaking and whilst many chose to wait for the mistake from the rider in front, for others it required more effort that you’d normally find at other tracks. 

Nathan Jones, 2nd overall in the pre74 over 250cc

Pete Hollinshead dominated the Pre60 / Pre65 races and as such leads the pre60 championship handsomely. Though riding in the pre65 class, Phil Edwards has pushed in the Championship and also at the Bath Classic meeting at the end of April. However, only running in 2 races allowed Barrie Townend to take the overall points in the pre65, ahead of Derek Brice making his first appearance this season. Matt Morgan on the Bolt-Up Husqvarna has been improving over the last couple of seasons and his 3rd overall, ahead of Geoff Taylor was a great result. Geoff was Twinport CZ mounted and after struggling to get the BSA running right is acquiring a made in the Czech Republic 360cc CZ Twinport, which may be picked up before Narberth.

Dave Love, taking 125cc Twinshock group B honours at Bicton: Photo: Philip Jones

It would be churlish to suggest that Alan Woods 3 wins in the pre78 race were down to the YZ 125 D engine tuning that makes it like a missile, but it would also be accurate to say it helped a lot. Coupled with the video evidence from Abbeycwmhir,  maybe it’s time for that bore and stroke measurement at Narberth ? 🙂  Simon (or was it Paul ?) Chamberlain also managed to get a good start in each race and the procession of riders that followed were left to battle it out for the positions. A missed gear or a poor corner was always going to cost you a place it two as there was always someone behind you. Malcolm Herbert on the Auto Husqvarna managed 2 good starts for a 3rd and a 4th for 2nd overall, with Lee Johnson on the Kawasaki making an appearance in Wales after riding in Scotland at the start of the season. His positions for the rest of the season will improve as he sheds the pounds from the previous weeks all inclusive in Spain.

Ben Weaver focused on the Twinshock class @Bicton (I’m assuming that the pre74 Elsinore was out through mechanical issues) and he managed 3 straight wins to increase his lead in the championship. Anthony Guest was back on form and managed a 2nd in race 3, but it was Nigel Davies who 2nd overall just ahead of Joel Edwards, who in his 2nd season is becoming both consistent and quick in the class. His form has already seen him moved up into the A group in the South West clubs grading system.   Dylan Davies, Kevin Pettit and David Weaver all had consistent finishes and made good points over other riders who’d not made the trip.

A typical Classic MX Wales image; Dan Evans battling it out with Mitchell Harris. Photo Philip Jones

The pre74 up to 250cc class saw a different pair of Hondas outside of the Elsinore74 stable, with Ben and Scott Jones riding well but still behind Husqvarna mounted Dan Evans. Sam Gittoes on the CZ scored enough points to keep him well in touch in the championship race. Sam Brice got some good starts on the Bultaco and like others would have found it challenging to overtake, but good to see him get a good start to his season. After spending time acting as Clerk of Course and Steward at Narberth and Teifiside, Keith Lessiter is now back riding, on a very tidy Yamaha MX250 and is getting the hang of the racing and tracks and finds himself in 3rd place overall after 3 rounds.

The Evo class was non championship and whilst there was a prospect of a larger line up a number riders who were planning to enter on the day, didn’t. With a really good turnout so far this season, the riders are becoming more and more familiar with how classic racing is run.

After a blistering start in the large capacity class at Teifiside, William Guest struggled at Abbeycwmhir, but found his was back to form at Border, with a hard fought overall victory. Dan Evans only managed 3rd overall, behind the 4-speed 400 Husqvarna of Nathan Jones, who’s getting back to form after an injury hit 2018. The battle through the rest of field is beginning to hot up, with Ian Fenwick, Ian Hall, Karl Stevens and Sam Gittoes all in various positions through the field (it was the start…of course), though Alan Harris’s first meeting of 2019 season was successful giving him fourth overall.

In the Twinshock 125’s, Sean McRea dominated after facing some serious challenges at Abbeycwmhir and Neil Griffiths, Ian Knight and John Cash not getting near him through all 3 races. The 125 numbers have dropped off slightly after the initial enthusiasm but its really added something to the Classic MX Wales meetings already, with a great new group of riders and some close, exciting racing. With Bob Amphlett moving up from the B to the A group, Dave Love took the overall in the B’s, ahead of Jonathan Smith, who might have taken class win had he not missed race 2 with mechanical issues.

All eyes now on Narberth for round 4 in 3 weeks time, with some great competition already this season. With the last 3 rounds all in September, it’s going to a busy season right to the end.

The following was sent TMX News, 2nd June 2019

Blasting round Bicton

With a bank holiday weekend, and coming straight after a frantic round
2, 90 riders enter the Border Classic meeting at Bicton, for the 3rd
round of Classic MX Wales championship. 

Border Club member Pete Hollinshead dominated the pre60 / pre65 race on
his BSA A10 and whilst Phil Edwards pushed him hard, it was another
local rider Barrie Townend who took the pre65 overall. 

A good start was essential on what was a tight, technical track, very
diferent from the open flowing track at Abbeycwmhir the previous week
and riders like Ben Weaver, Sean McCrea and Alan Woods used their
starting technique to get the holeshot and hang on to the leads.
Mitchell Harris and Dan Evans, both leading their classes struggled to
make up places after poor starts.  Young hotshot William Guest won out
on his CZ360 in the pre74 class, narrowily beating Nathan Jones on his
400 Husqvarna for the overall. 

Once the dust settled after some hard and fast racing, thoughts moved
on the Big Weekend of racing in Wales, with the two-day meeting at
Narberth on the 15/16th June, with nearly 200 riders already confirmed.

1. Pete Hollinshead (BSA) 2. Andy Carter (Triumph) 3. Alan Arnott (BSA)

1. Barrie Townend (BSA) 2. Derek Brice (BSA) 3. Matt Morgan (Husqvarna)

Pre68 up to 350cc
1. Mitchell Harris (BSA) 3. Vince Hale (BSA) 3. Malcolm Herbert

Pre68 over 350cc 
1. Mitchell Harris (BSA) 2. Jon Britton (TriBSA) 3. Rob Morgan (BSA)

Pre74 up to 250cc
1. Dan Evans (Husqvarna) 2. Ben Jones (Honda) 3. Scott Jones (Honda)

Pre74 over 250cc
1. William Guest (CZ) 2. Nathan Jones (Husqvarna) 3. Dan Evans

1. Alan Woods (Yamaha) 2. Paul Chamberlain (Kawasaki) 3. Malcolm Herber
t (Husqvarna)

Twinshock 125 A
1. Sean McCrea (Suzuki) 2. Neil Griffiths (Suzuki) 3. Ian Knight

Twinshock 125 B
1. Dave Love (Honda) 2. Rob Paine (Suzuki) 3. Duncal Coley (Cagiva)

Twinshock Open :
1. Ben Weaver (Maico) 2. Nigel Davies (Husqvarna) 3. Joel Edwards

[1] I spend a couple of minutes explaining what marmite was to be (German) boss this week


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