Norwich Vikings hosted round four of the Bickers Lifting Eastern Motocross Championships at one of the UK's premier circuits at Lyng in Norfolk on Sunday, held in warm sunny weather.
A good entry of expert graded riders saw some fast and furious racing in all three races, with positions changing on every lap as the seven round series is really hotting up.
Local Norwich star, Luke Parker earned the right of first choice gate pick as he had set the fastest time in the practise sessions
Race one saw local star, Declan Whittle, teenager Dylan Woodcock, series leader Luke Benstead and current champion, Luke Parker, racing wheel to wheel up and down the sandy slopes at Lyng, with the crowd urging on their own particular favourites. Racing was very competitve all the way down the thirty strong pack, as riders battled for points in the twenty minute long race.
Benstead eventually took the win with Woodcock, despite riding a 250cc bike, which lacked the punch of the larger 450cc engine on the steep climbs, claiming second place, closely followed by Parker. Whiittle took fourth place ahead of crowd favourite Jason Morland, and the popular Basildon rider, Steve Bixby.
Race two was a classic, with Whittle and Benstead fighting for the lead, and lap after lap they exchanged places, but all eyes were on Parker, who, after ten minutes was closing in on the front two, leaving Woodcock, Shaun Southgate and South African Brad Woodroffe disputing fourth place. With three laps remaining, Parker outjumped Benstead as they emerged from the valley, then on the next downhill corner; Parker out braked Whittle to take the lead and a sensational win. Whittle held off Benstead for second place, with the Essex youngster, Woodcock fourth, just ahead of Southgate, Woodroffe and Bixby.
Shaun Southgate took his third holeshot award as he led the third premier class race, but Parker was in dominant form and moved to the front on the first lap. Benstead chased his Husqvarna team mate hard in second place, but Parker was setting a fast pace on the tough Lyng circuit, and took his second win and overall victory on the day. Bixby had his best race of the day for third place, with Woodroffe, Morland and Southgate in a fiercely fought finish for fourth, fifth and sixth. Whittle had crashed heavily on lap one, and made a heroic charge through the pack from last to twelfth place at the finish.
So after four rounds, Benstead leads the series on 249 points, with Whittle on 178, and despite only competing in three of the rounds, Luke Parker holds third place with 174 points.
The Bickers Lifting Eastern Junior Championships saw young Chelmsford star, Rheis Morter, increasing his lead in the series, taking the overall win. His nearest rival, Ipswich's Aaron Holloway led race one for seven laps, but Harvey Thomas took over to lead the final three laps for the win. Morter was ninth on lap one, but gradually fought through to second place with Holloway third ahead of Jimmy Wayman. Race two saw Holloway getting another good start to lead the forty strong pack, but Thomas took over on lap three. Thomas held the lead for a further four laps, but Morter was looking strong, taking the lead to claim the win. A mistake from Thomas allowed Holloway to finish in second place, with Ben Alexander riding well for third ahead of Ipswich rider, James Suckling. Thomas regrouped to take fifth.
Thomas led race three for eight of nine laps, with Morter waiting to pounce, but another mistake from Thomas on the last lap saw Morter taking the win. Wayman was second at the finish, and another good ride from the Woodbridge rider, Alexander, saw him in third place. Connor Baldry was fourth, with Holloway, coming from a lowly 18th place on lap one, taking fifth from a disappointed Harvey Thomas.
Morter now has 270 points, Holloway has 246, with Jimmy Wayman third, on 171 points.
The support races saw Milton Keynes rider, Callum McClurg taking the overall win in group A, with two wins and a third place finish, with Max Wood riding consistently for second overall.
The group B support races saw overall victory for veteran Lee Keyton, who has just returned from injury, with former Eastern expert star from the 1970’s, Mark Goodson, showing that he is still competitive, taking second overall. Results, Round Four - Bickers Lifting Eastern Championships
Premier Class overall.
1st Luke Parker GH Husqvarna, 2nd Luke Benstead GH Husqvarna, 3rd Dylan Woodcock Team Green Kawasaki, 4th Steve Bixby Jim Aim KTM, 5th Declan Whittle Herts MX Husqvarna, 6th Jason Morland Jim Aim KTM
Junior Championship overall.
1st Rheis Morter Yamaha, 2nd Aaron Holloway Kawasaki, 3rd Ben Alexander Lings Husqvarna, 4th Harvey Thomas Lings Honda, 5th Jimmy Wayman Honda, 6th Jack Youngs Honda.
Support Group A overall.
1st Callum McClurg Yamaha, 2nd Max Wood KTM, 3rd Sam Boydell Honda, 4th Lewis Patterson Husqvarna, 5th Roger Frean Yamaha, 6th Will Nice Honda
Support Group B overall.
1st Lee Keyton Yamaha, 2nd Mark Goodson Kawasaki, 3rd Mark Howell Honda, 4th Anthony Brown Yamaha, 5th Shaun Grimwood Kawasaki, 6th Jim Hill KTM
Report by Charlie Ralph
Photos by Sophie Brinkley