Knight & Sagar top Elite class, Aussie hot shot Ben Burrell wins the U19 category
For most competitors it will likely be remembered as the ‘one dry day, one wet day’ event but while the opening two rounds of the 2011 Husqvarna ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship were very different in terms of the weather conditions one thing remained during both days – great racing action. With a true forest based enduro special test laid on by the organising GMC Events team the Saints Well based event in Mid Wales was certainly an eventful one…
Topping the Elite class were David Knight (KTM), who claimed a convincing win at round one, while Tom Sagar (KTM) was the man to beat at round two. With clear skies and sunshine steadily drying the forest-based course during round one, heavy overnight rain resulted in the shortening of the second day’s competition.
Completing six special tests on day one David Knight found himself playing an early game of catch up following a crash on lap one. Tom Sagar topped the first test but Knight was soon back in his stride, topping the five remaining tests to take a comfortable winning margin. Sagar finished a sizeable distance ahead of third placed Greg Evans (KTM) come the end of the day while Si Wakely (Husaberg) made a successful return to racing in fourth. Motocross rider Jamie Lewis (KTM) surprised many with both his speed and consistency to place fifth, while Paul Edmondson (KTM) finished sixth and Daryl Bolter (KTM) seventh after a big crash on lap four.
Veteran Welshman Wyn Hughes (Husqvarna) also made a successful return to racing and finished as the best overall Expert class rider, while David Lloyd-Jones (KTM) topped the Expert E1 class with Matthew Lund (KTM) the best placed Expert E3 class rider. In the Under 19 class visiting Aussie rider Ben Burrell romped home to a winning ride in the overall U19 category, finishing over five minutes up on his nearest E1 class rival Jordan Scott (TM). Joe Jones (KTM) claimed the U19 E2 win.
Stuart Edmonds (TM) delivered the winning Under 23 E1 class result but was beaten to the overall U23 class win by Manxman Danny McCanney (Gas Gas). Ashley Wood (KTM) and Neil Chatham (KTM) placed behind Edmonds in the E1 class while Alex Rockwell (Husaberg) topped the U23 E2 category ahead of Lewis Belfield (KTM) and Ben Wootton (Kawasaki). In the Clubman class Jase Corden (KTM) claimed the E1 class win, Paul Davies (KTM) the E2 and overall win, with Mike Alty (KTM) finishing as the best placed E3 class rider.
Due to heavy overnight rain round two was shortened to three laps with Tom Sagar claiming the Elite class win having topped two of the three timed laps. Finishing 14 seconds up on day one winner Knight the two riders finished comfortably ahead of third placed Greg Evans with Daryl Bolter improving from his day one result of seventh to fourth. Jamie Lewis matched his day one result with another fifth place finish followed by Si Wakely, Paul Edmondson, Gavin Houson, Jon Hinam and Lee Edmondson.
David Lloyd-Jones moved to the top of the overall Expert class results as day one winner Wyn Hughes got himself stuck on the day’s second test. Managing to still top the Expert E2 class Hughes placed 11 seconds behind in the overall results. Topping the Expert E3 class was Tyson Maytom-Jones (Husaberg).
Ben Burrell was again the rider to beat in the Under 19 class, finishing over one-minute ahead of his nearest competitor, Joe Jones, in the overall classification. Burrell was followed home by Jamie McCanney (KTM) and Jordon Scott in the E1 class while Joe Jones finished ahead of Steve Holcombe and Reece Morewood in E2.
In the Under 23 class Danny McCanney claimed a well deserved overall and E3 class win, followed home by the impressive Stuart Edmonds. With Edmonds topping the E1 class Ashley Wood claimed the runner-up spot with Scott Neil Chatham third. Alex Rockwell claimed a comfortable win at the head of the E2 class, followed by New Zealander Jason Davies (Husqvarna) with Ben Wootton (Kawasaki) third.
Paul Davies was the rider to beat in the Clubman class, topping the E2 and overall results. Peter Heyward finished as the highest placed E1 class Clubman with Mike Alty the best E3 class rider.
David Knight, KTM, Elite class: ‘The first test on day one was going well until I got cross rutted and had a bit of a crash. I got back into the swing of things quickly enough and put in some good times on the next few laps. I was just trying to work out what was working best on the bike because it’s the first time I’ve raced the new 530. As the day went on the track got a little rougher, which suited me better. During the last few tests I knew I didn’t need to take any chances and just settled into a good pace and managed to put in some really good times. The rain on the second day changed things a lot. I was trying to get out of the ruts in a lot of places but I’m not sure it was the best thing to do. I tried a few different things on the bike and although I lost some time on the first test I managed to pull most of it back again on the second. I felt good at the start of the third lap but I got water into the bike some how and it started to misfire a bit. It’s a little disappointing not to have won the second day but it’s been good to ride in conditions that we don’t get any more. I love riding real enduro tests no matter what the weather is. I’ve really enjoyed it. The season’s underway now so I’m looking forward to the first round of the British Enduro Championship now.’
Tom Sagar, KTM, Elite class: ‘The first day went really well, especially the first test. If I’m honest I surprised myself a little bit. Winning the first test really gave me a boost of confidence. I tried to stay with David for the rest of the day but he’s so good in real enduro test conditions that I couldn’t quite keep with him. I managed to keep a good distance ahead of the third placed rider so I was really happy. Day two started well again but then David came back strong. I just tried to ride as well as I could and I think he had a few small problems, which was enough to allow me to get the win. It was a tough day but a good one for me.’
Si Wakely, Husaberg, Elite class: ‘It’s been an awesome weekend for me really. For me the best thing has been getting back into competition. It was certainly a proper enduro test, and it’s been a while since a lot of riders have seen one of those, but it was good. I was a bit nervous in the first test on day one but I felt like I was riding better and better as the day progressed. It was a similar thing on day two, as I felt better and better as the day progressed. My bike and the team were great. It was a shame it was so wet on day two, but it was a great weekend and I’m really happy to be back racing.’
Wyn Hughes, Husqvarna, Elite class: ‘It’s been an absolutely awesome weekend and I’ve really enjoyed the event. The first day went really well with winning the Expert class, which I was really pleased with. It was a tough day but an enjoyable one. I managed to get my bike stuck in a rut early on day two, which cost me about a minute and a half. I had to get off and pull both wheels out before I could carry on. I think with one or two laps I could have worked my way back into the lead but obviously with the weather the event was stopped early. Stopping early was the right thing to do. It was a great event.’
Danny McCanney, Gas Gas, Under 23: ‘The first day started off steady enough but went well for me. My lap times progressed throughout the day and I worked out a good bike set-up, which also helped me. I ended up taking the overall U23 class win, which was great. It was a tough day but I really enjoyed it. I was steady away again on the second day but had to catch up with Stuart Edmonds as I got stuck on the penultimate test. I went for it on the last test and managed to put in a good time again so I was really pleased with that. The second day was certainly tough but it was the same for everyone and I enjoyed it. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season.’
Ben Burrell (Australia), Under 19, KTM: ‘Things went really well this weekend. I have to say a huge thanks to Derek and Paul Edmondson who have looked after me while I’ve been here in the UK. I crashed a lot on the first day, basically just trying too hard and making some mistake. But I still managed to get some good times and a good result. I didn’t crash at all during the second day. Last year in Australia we had a lot of wet weather so I’ve raced in wet conditions a fair bit. It was tough but you just had to get on with it. Knighter and Sagar showed just how fast you can go, which was a bit faster than me, but I really enjoyed it. Thanks to everyone who has helped me out while I’ve been over here, I can’t wait to come back.’
Stuart Edmonds, TM, Under 23 class: ‘The first day was good. The track was rough, but noting like it was on day two. I caught a few riders during the first two laps but after the start order was revised I put in some good laps and ended up third. The second day was tougher but I seemed to ride it better. I got my first two laps down really well but on the third I made a mistake and fell and then made a few silly mistakes during the last 45 seconds of the lap. It’s been a learning experience for me but I’ve enjoyed it. I got some great time on a bike and it’s certainly been great training. I might well do a few more sprint enduro if I can fit them into my motocross schedule.’
About the BSEC
The Husqvarna ACU British Sprint Enduro Championship is the UK’s newest off-road motorcycle race series, promoted and organised exclusively by GMC Events Ltd. Enduro is one of the world’s longest standing off-road motorcycle disciplines, the motorcycle equivalent of car rallying. Sprint enduro is an exciting new rider, spectator, and media friendly discipline that delivers simple to understand, day-long, enduro racing action. The series caters for the best enduro talent in the UK. The BSEC is governed by the ACU – the internationally recognized National Governing Body for motorcycle sport in the British Isles (less Northern Ireland).