A vast number of MZ entries (44) meant that the days had to be split into a 3-race format with all competing in two of the three events. The top 20 placed riders were split between the first two races and then met for the final race.
RACE1: With good starts off of the line, Jon Hart lead the pack off of the line, closely followed by John Welfare. Jon Hart got used to being in the lead and here he stayed for the rest of the race. They were closely followed by Tim Kaley, the championship leader and Chris Rogers in hot pursuit. John Welfare lost the front end in Chessents and went back to 4th place. The positions remained the same at the front till Tim Kaley got entangled with back-markers and fell at the hairpin, allowing Chris Rogers into second. Steve Gordon was in hot pursuit followed by Dave Swatton, John Welfare and Andy Moffatt. Dave Swatton gradually pulled out a gap between himself and the position swapping John Welfare and Andy Moffat.
It was the first top ten position for Chris King, who was racing with Marc Casale, in his first MZ race and Paul Cundy, who has only recently returned after some serious injury.
1)Jon Hart, 2)Chris Rogers, 3)Stephen Gordon, 4)Dave Swatton, 5)John Welfare,
6)Andy Moffat, 7)Chris Gordon, 8)Philip Munday, 9)Paul Cundy 10)Chris King.
RACE 2: A disappointed Matt Goldsmith a championship contender had an oiled up plug, which meant he didn’t complete the sighting lap.
An excellent start was had by Paul Emanuel, who leads until the hairpin where he was overtaken by Martin Baldwin, Richard Lee and Marek Wieckowski. Martin Baldwin took the lead for several laps till he had to retire due to a mechanical problem. Bernard Morley took the lead with Richard Lee and Marek Wieckowski closely following, Bernard had an excellent ride holding the lead to take his first first place trophy of this, his second season of his return to racing. Matt Higgins eventually finished in 6th place after a very poor start, Matt back racing after being injured at this circuit earlier in the year, obviously forgot that the bike was supposed to be in gear before the lights go out. Paul Emanuel and Steve Gordon had a battle for 4th & 5th with Steve beating Paul over the line. An excellent 7th place for Steve Hill in his novice year.
1) Bernard Morley, 2) Richard Lee, 3) Marek Weickowski, 4) Steve Gordon, 5) Paul Emanuel, 6) Matt Higgins, 7) Steve Hill, 8) Andy Bettridge, 9) Marc Casale, 10) Bob Stafford.
RACE 3: This was a very close race with all the top10 championship contenders on the grid.
A good start off of the line by the front row of the grid, except Jon Hart who had a poor start and spent the rest of the race playing catch-up. Martin Baldwin, Tim Kaley and Matt Goldsmth starting from the back of the grid, all moved rapidly through the field, Martin finishing lap 1 in 2nd place.
The elbow claimed it’s first victim of the races with Bernard Morley crashing.
Another 3-way battle for the lead ensued with Richard Lee, Martin Baldwin, Tim Kaley closely followed by Chris Rogers and Paul Emanuel.
Dave Swatton and Jon Hart were racing for 7th & 8th place with Dave just edging ahead of Jon on the line.
Richard pulled out a small lead to finish 4 seconds ahead of Tim Kaley. With less than 1 second between Tim, Martin and Chris Rogers.
1) Richard Lee, 2) Tim Kaley, 3) Martin Baldwin, 4) Chris Rogers, 5) Marek Wieckowski, 6) Paul Emanuel, 7) David Swatton, 8) Jon Hart, 9) Matt Goldsmith, 10) John Welfare.
RACE 1: A very excited, but nervous Phil Belenkin found himself on the second row of the grid for the start of race 1. Not many people to follow and far too many to overtake in Philip’s opinion!
Another good start from Martin Baldwin into the lead and here he stayed for the rest of the race, very close behind and constantly on his rear wheel were Richard Lee, Marek & Matt Goldsmith. Eventually Martin pulled a small lead with Richard Lee and after the gap Marek and Matt fighting for third place.
Dave Swatton was having another battle, this time with Steve Gordon, Dave again just getting across the line in front.
Dave Higgins, Chris Gordon and Chris King were having their own 3-way battle, with Dave Higgins concentrating so much on his final overtaking manoeuvre on Chris Gordon that he momentarily forgot Chris King behind him, who took advantage of this to overtake him on the line.
Andy Moffatt finished less than half a second behind Andy Bettridge.
Matt Higgins, eventually getting the hang of starting again was just beaten over the line again by Marc Casale.
1) Martin Baldwin, 2) Richard Lee, 3) Matt Goldsmith, 4) Marek Wieckowski, 5) Steve Gordon, 6) David Swatton, 7) Andy Bettridge, 8) Andy Moffatt, 9) Philip Munday, 10) Marc Casale.
RACE 2: An excellent start by Chris Rogers, into the lead, in this race it was the only time anyone other than Tim Kaley lead this race. After taking the lead he gradually pulled out an impressive gap. Chris Rogers followed, with John Welfare behind. More drama at the elbow where John Welfare was passed by Jon Hart and Steve Gordon mugging him one either side, the following lap it claimed it’s second victim with Paul Emanuel crashing out. Bernard Morley unfortunately had to retire due to mechanical breakdown.
1)Tim Kaley, 2) Jon Hart, 3) Chris Rogers, 4) Stephen Gordon, 5) John Welfare, 6) Tim Timmins, 7) Simon Nix, 8) Marc Casale, 9) Paul Cundy,10) Scott Jerome.
RACE 3: An eventful race meeting for the mixture of good and bad starts unfortunately the gremlins got the better of Richard Lee who had a terrible start.
The lead changed between Martin Baldwin and Tim Kaley throughout the race at one stage Richard Lee, having caught up was trying to overtake them both on the outside at the elbow unfortunately he went very wide, did a bit of grass tracking up the hill, loosing out. The elbow claimed its third victim; Matt Goldsmith was equally as unlucky and fell.
Bernard Morley starting from the back of the grid had a good ride through the pack to eventually finish in 6th place.
A poor start from Tim Timmins meant he also had to work his way through and he managed to just get ahead of John Welfare on the last lap to finish in 8th place.
I wouldn’t say that Dave and Matt Higgins have too many bikes between them, but those who see them marvel at how clean and tidy they are for MZ’s (Except for Colin Barrow of course), but when Dave failed to locate the choke to start his bike, as the last call was heard, he realised he was in fact on the wrong bike, he was on Matt’s No 2 bike. That would have got confusing in the collecting are for the two have the same number.
1) Martin Baldwin, 2) Tim Kaley, 3) Richard Lee, 4) Chris Rogers, 5) Marek Wieckowski, 6) Bernard Morley, 7) David Swatton, 8) Jon Hart, 9) Tim Timmins, 10) John Welfare.