Marshfield Moto Parc
Marshfield in south Gloucestershire was the next stop for the DEP British two-stroke championship this past weekend.
Some 250 plus riders descended on the small but motocross dominated village in what some are saying was best round so far this year.
The seventh round of the championship attracted a lot of interest locally from riders throughout Gloucestershire including new comers to the series John May and Lewis Gregory - add to that a sprinkling of GP talent in the form of Brad Anderson, Mark Hucklebridge and Neville Bradshaw, which made the atmosphere electric.
You also had pretty much all the local media in attendance to cover the event and the fact Jodie Marsh and her MTV crew showed up hoping to find a husband, also added to the large crowd in attendance on a glorious sunny Sunday afternoon.
Scott Probert, Jonathan Pettitt and Matt Ridgway set the stage in the qualifying practise session, each achieving the best times in their respective groups.
Race one in the 125cc A class saw a huge battle between Pettitt, Lewis Gregory, John May and Dave Willet – all four riders were giving it 100% for the entire twenty minute race but it was veteran Pettitt who showed the young guns the way home with a fine win.
This type of action was repeated in all three moto’s with Pettitt taking two out of three wins and Gregory taking the final race in superb style from May. These two put on a great show for the local crowd but it wasn’t until the final few laps that Gregory finally broke the tough defence of the Meredith Suzuki rider and stormed on to take the victory.
Jonathan Pettitt and Lewis Gregory tied on points but Pettitt took the champagne due to more wins – May took third overall from iron man Willett, LPE Kawasaki’s Scott Probert who is improving after each race, took fifth and TM’s Stuart Edmonds in sixth.
The top ten included Matt Ridgway, James Dodd, Sean Frayne and Jim Davies.
Well done to Juniors Adam Reynolds, John Butler and Sam Holloway all qualifying for the A 125 races and in doing so took the top three in the junior overalls for the day.
In the 125 junior classes the riders coped well with a tough but superbly prepped circuit in all their three races.
Paul Shires was in dominate form and that showed with him taking two of the three races, Glen Bixby slotted himself between Shires and a maximum by taking the first race of the day by only two seconds.
Close racing was going on throughout the class with Richard Brown, Ady Peedle, Daniel Ward and Michael Deeley finishing I that order in race one.
Matt Nash and Josh Scott put in a good performance to find themselves in the top five in moto two. In Race three you had Shires taking the win by fifteen seconds but Bixby and Deeley had their own personal dual with Bixby just taking it by under a second.
Justin Penny, Josh Wyatt and Ashley Crossley rounded off the top six in moto three.
In Group C juniors it was dominated by Terry Howlett with a brilliant maximum. The racing in this group was going on behind him with Neal Moore, Keith Pattison, Stephen Sapsford and Bob D’erlanger swapping places throughout the day.
Mitch Pearce took three fine wins in 250cc group B class, Mitch looked comfortable on his local track and this showed with nobody getting within six seconds of him in any race.
Lots of local riders were mixing it up with the DEP regulars in each of the three races.
But Patrick Collins and Darren Marklove finished in the top three in moto one, moto two saw Marklove improve a place to second but Ian Fagg managed to fight off Alex Smith for third. Marklove and Smith swapped places in the final race.
Once again we had some really good junior riders making it into the 250 A class races which meant Ashley Harland, Eddy Carr and Ricky Lethaby finished as the top three juniors.
If it was exciting racing you were after then the 250 A class races were quite possibly the best you’re going to get this year.
Mark Eastwood showed that age is no barrier in moto one by taking a fine win from Dave Willet and Ryan Voase. This made the crowd take notice as GP riders Brad Anderson and Neville Bradshaw and possible pre-race favourite Mark Hucklebridge were left eating a huge amount of two-stroke roost as the first three were gone.
In race two Anderson put his two-stroke head on and took a brilliant race win from Eastwood, these two were literally bar to bar for most of the race, neither giving an inch, but Anderson crossed the line first on this occasion, Hucklebridge rolled home in third from Bradshaw and Willet.
The final race of the day was geared up to be a classic, the overall result still wasn’t decided and the fans streamed back to trackside areas for their best vantage point to view a nail biting end to a great day.
Eastwood was up for it and as he sat on the line you could see his head twitching in anticipation, much could be said for Anderson as the young warrior was poised and ready for action. Then came the spanner in the works in the shape of Iron Man (quite literally) Willet who took the lead and sat there until the chequered flag. Bearing in mind this was Willets sixth race of the day, he still looked cool as a cucumber as he crossed the line – amazing!
The new British MXDN team manager Mark Eastwood stayed ahead of his young prodigy Brad Anderson for the overall with Willet taking second and Brad third on the podium.
Neville Bradshaw, Ryan Voase, Mark Hucklebridge, Stuart Flockhart, Joe Dark, Ben Taylor and Chad Yarranton all finished within the top ten overall.
The next round will take place at Blaxhall Pits on Sunday 19th August and expect more exciting racing from one of the most enjoyable and professionally run events around.
More information and full championship results can be found at www.2strokebritishchampionship.co.uk