It may have been five months since the British Motorcycle Racing Club was in action at Brands Hatch, but racing finally returned as round two of Bemsee’s now-condensed 2020 season took place at a well-attended Cadwell Park, with spectators lining the grass banks, eager to see some motorcycle racing first hand.
Team Respro MRO 600
He arrived second in the championship after two seconds, a third, and a win at the opening round at Brands Hatch, but reigning champion Michael Mills did his championship defence the world of good at round two, picking up a hat trick of victories and a second.
Mills qualified on pole by an impressive one and a half seconds, but in the opening race of the weekend he was no match for Stephen Draper, who, with the fastest lap of the race, took victory by seven seconds.
With Chris Burrage - current series leader - absent from the weekend’s action a safe second place gave Mills the championship lead, while the final podium spot was decided by just two tenths of a second.
Jordan Greenshields just bettered Dawid Krawiecki for the bronze medal spot, while similarly tight margins decided the winner of the Clubman 600 class, as Cedric Bloch - the 2019 Rookie 600 champion - just held off Toby Shann for sixth overall. Jason Mariette was the Rookie winner inside the points in 12th.
Mills was awarded the win in race two, with proceedings brought to an early conclusion after a red flag incident involving Mariette. Mills victory came half a second ahead of Draper, with Harry Fowle on the podium in third and Shann fourth, the Clubman class winner. Top rookie was Joshua Humphries in 18th.
The opening race on Sunday put a dent in Draper’s championship challenge in the new shortened season, after he was handed a 10-second time penalty for jumping the start. The penalty dropped him from the podium in third to fifth.
Mills took his second win of the weekend, keeping Glenn Walsh behind him, with Krawiecki third and Bloch the Clubman winner in fourth. The rookie spoils went to Marc Batson in 15th.
Less than a tenth of second prevented Draper from righting his error in the best way possible in the final race, as he pushed Mills wall the way but ultimately had to finish second behind the hat trick hero.
Meanwhile, half a second was the deciding factor in the battle for third as Walsh fought off Greenshields. Shann’s seventh secured the Clubman win with Batson the top rookie in 20th.
Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes and MSS Performance Clubman 1000
Mark Bridger came into the second round of the championship as joint-championship leader in the Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes series, but with Bob Collins absent it gave him a chance to extend that lead. However, he still only held a narrow three-point advantage over former champion Peter Baker. Yet a win and two second places from the weekend’s three races mean Bridger heads into the final two rounds of the compact season in the driving seat, while Mallinder collected the weekend’s other two wins.
Bridger stuck his Yamaha R1 on pole and backed it up with a win in Saturday’s 10-lap race, but it was anything but comfortable, as he and Brendan Mallinder fought for the win, the gap at the chequered flag less than a tenth of a second.
Mallinder was second, with Kevin Silvain third. Ryan Warrington, 10th on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, collected the Clubman win.
Sunday’s two races saw Mallinder grab a brace of victories and 50 championship points aboard his BMW S1000RR, with Bridger twice second. The championship leader was chased home by Baker in the day’s first race, with Richie Thornton third in the final outing.
Baker’s championship challenge took a blow in the final race, as he was handed a 10-second penalty for cutting the chicane on lap two, demoting him to 12th from eighth.
The Clubman win went to Warrington in Sunday’s opener, but a retirement on lap one of the final race gave the class win to Jason Siggs.
In the weekend’s four Rookie 1000 races Tony Fountain took three wins, with Kenny Fretwell picking up one victory.
ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwins
Two points separated the top three in the MRO Minitwin championship standings ahead of the second round at Cadwell Park, but once calling a winner in one of the closest classes of racing at Bemsee, if not in the country, was anything but easy.
John Reynolds - who arrived holding fifth in the championship - launched himself into title contention with a brace of wins on Saturday, before pole-sitter Dan Harris and fellow title rival Matt Wetherell grabbed a race win apiece on Sunday.
Reynolds was victorious in race one by a tenth of a second, beating Jake Povah to the flag, with series leader Wetherell third. Reynolds again bettered Povah for the win in race two, this time with Cameron Harris third and Wetherell fourth.
Craig Henstock took the day’s rookie wins in 11th and 13th.
It was disaster for Reynolds in race three who, after setting the fastest lap of the race on lap two, crashed out a lap later. Dan Harris rode away to win by nearly five seconds, as three riders tripped over each other in the battle for the remaining two podium positions. In the end Daniel Good claimed the runner-up spot ahead of Wetherell.
Wetherell finally tasted victory in race four, his first of the season after a trio of runner-up finishes at round one. He was joined on the rostrum by Dan Harris and Keith Povah.
Alex Mann and Henstock took a rookie win apiece, with Mann ninth in race three and Henstock 12th in race four.
ACU Team Green Junior Cup and Senior 300
Were it not for crashing out of the lead in race one, it would have been a perfect weekend for Joe Thomas in the ACU Team Green and Senior 300 class, after setting pole and winning the remaining three races.
Head and shoulders above the competition, the Senior 300 rider was lapping four seconds a lap quicker than his rivals in race one, before binning it on the final lap.
As a result, the win went to Jack Kirsch, from Mickey Hardie and Cameron Brown, an all-Junior Cup podium. Mark Hardy in fourth was the top-ranking Senior 300 runner.
From then on, however, Thomas was untouchable, and won race two by the healthy margin of nearly 15 seconds. Second, and the Junior Cup win went to Hardie, with Joe Farragher third.
Thomas doubled-up on Sunday, beating Hardie again in the day’s opening. Third went to Brown. In the final race he was joined on the podium by Junior Cup winner Kirsch and Hardie.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles BMCRC Thunderbike Sport
Jamie Coward took advantage of the track time on offer over the weekend to enter his Z650 supertwin into the hotly-contested Thunderbike Sport class, and after qualifying on pole by a second he raced to three victories, his narrowest margin of victory some 14 seconds.
As Coward rode away into the distance Adam Staniforth held second, but crashed out on the final lap. Jak Sim and Chris Burrage’s battle for third became the race for second, and as they took the chequered flag Sim took the runner-up spot.
Race two - which was held over from Saturday to Sunday morning - followed a similar pattern, albeit with drizzle in the air and a wet track, with Coward way out in front. His dominant win came ahead of James Reveley and Elliot Fricker, with series leader Sim in fourth place.
Coward again dominated race three, but behind it became a race of attrition, with front runners Malvern May, Matt Hinnels, Edward Watson, and Chris Burrage all failing to finish. In the end a space out podium was completed by Fricker, 14 seconds down on Coward, with Reveley another 12 seconds back in third.
The final race took place without Coward on the grid, and Fricker seized the advantage to take the win, narrowly taking the chequered flag ahead of Cedric Bloch. However, he was stripped of the win and slapped with a 10-second penalty for passing under yellow flags, demoting him to fourth.
Instead, Block picked up the win, with Burrage and Reveley on the podium.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles BMCRC Thunderbike Extreme & Ultra
Josh Harvey was in dominant form in the BMCRC Thunderbike Ultra series at the weekend, picking up all four class wins, including three overall victories.
Steve Palmer and Stacey Killworth completed the all-Ultra podium in race one, with the Extreme class win going to Jack Sim, who arrived at Cadwell Park as joint series leader with Andy Saunders. Saunders finished second to Sim in class.
Sim extended his Extreme class points lead with outright victory in race two, with Harvey second and lead Ultra rider across the line. The top-three was completed by Mark Wilby.
Harvey, Killworth, and Wilby stood on the podium in race three, and formed the top-three in the Ultra class, with Saunders the winning Extreme rider.
The weekend’s fourth and final race concluded with Harvey taking the overall win, with Palmer second. Saunders was again the Extreme class winner, in third.
DFDS Yamaha Past Masters
After finishing runner-up in 2019, Scott Carson staked his claim as favourite for the 2020 title. Arriving six points off the series lead but with table-topper Scott Grant not participating, Carson took three wins and a second to assume the championship lead.
In dominant fashion, too: he took pole by nearly two seconds and won the weekend’s opening race by nearly eight seconds, setting a best lap time one and a half seconds better than the next fastest rider.
That next fastest rider was former champion Peter Branton, with 2019 champion Doug Edmondson third. Top-ranking Clubman rider was Neil Grant in seventh, with Damian Lee top rookie in 19th.
Branton manage to go one better in race two, beating Carson to the chequered flag, with third going to an impressive Paul Toland. Douglas Beacock bagged the Clubman win in eighth, with Lee 17th and again the rookie class winner.
It was a brace of victories for Carson on Sunday, he was joined on the podium by Branton and Andy Bown in race one, and Bown and Toland in the last race. Neil Grant took both of the day’s Clubman wins while Lee completed a clean-sweep of rookie wins.
EDIasia Formula 400
Following a clean sweep at Brands Hatch, Chris Burrage extended his championship lead - despite missing the final race - with three more wins at Cadwell Park.
Burrage was able to ride to victory unchallenged in race one, as the only two appeared to stand any chance of stopping him, Andy Gill and Richie Welsh, both failed to finish.
Mark Thompson claimed second with James Seath third, while the Sub-64bhp class winner was Shane Beasley in fifth.
Drizzle in race two - which was held over to Sunday morning from Saturday’s programme - had no impact on Burrage’s dominance, as he raced away to take victory by over 20 seconds. A lonely second place went to the Sub-64bhp winner aboard a Yamaha Past Masters-spec Yamaha TZR250, with Gill third, a further 16 seconds adrift.
Burrage secured his third win of the weekend in the first of Sunday’s two races, lapping some three seconds a lap quicker than runner-up finisher Welsh, as Seath took third and Carl Johnstone collected the Sub-64bhp win.
Not taking to the track for race for, Burrage arguably handed victory to Welsh, as Seath and Thompson squabbled over second, the pair split by half a second at the flag. Johnstone, in sixth, took another Sub-64bhp win.
Blue Haze Two-Stroke GP and GPF
In the four Blue Haze Two-Stroke GP class races over the weekend at Cadwell Park it was a masterclass at the front from South African Phil Atkinson, as he converted pole to four wins.
The podium was completed by Kevin Wholey and Jason Burrill in race one, before Mark Ess and Roger Marsh mounted the podium in race two.
Wholey was back on the box in race three, this time in third place as Bruce Dunn raced to the runner-up spot behind Atkinson, before returning to the second step in the final race, as Liam McCarter took his first podium of the weekend in third.
In the GPF class Paul Toland took three wins, the fourth going to Richard Haywood.
Chilton Motors MZ Championship
Peter Woodall took all four wins at the opening round of 2020 at Brands Hatch, and with three wins at Cadwell Park extended that advantage.
However, in typical MZ fashion, the results didn’t come easily, with the podium in race one covered by half a second.
Woodall took the win, but former champion Chris Rogers and Andrew Wales pushed him all the way.
Wales’ victory in race two was a slightly comfier affair, with Woodall unable to find the pace to challenge for the win, taking second instead. Third went to Chris Kent.
But Woodall was back to winning ways in race three, beating Wales and Rogers - the duo fighting over the silver medal spot - by three seconds.
One and a half seconds covered the podium three in the final race, as Woodall returned to the top step, joined this time by Kent with Rogers third.