A large crowd came to the picturesque village of Wattisfield in Suffolk on Wednesday evening to witness some fast motocross action, hosted by the Diss motorcycle club, and sponsored by GH Motorcycles/and G&B Finch Ltd.
he annual evening meeting also saw the first competitive ride this year for local ace, Jake Nicholls, who has been out of action since last October, following a badly broken leg, and despite his lack of race time, put on a great show for the spectators.
However, it was the popular Wisbech rider, Luke Benstead, who was the top rider of the event. Nicholls started the meeting off with a race win in the first heat with Benstead winning heat two, and in the first allcomers race, it was Benstead who took the win after a race long battle with Eastern champion Shaun Southgate and Nicholls. Sixteen year old Newmarket youngster, Sam Nunn, rode well for fourth place, chased by his Yamaha team mate, Tom Grimshaw.
The second leg saw Ben Cole leading from the start with Southgate and Nicholls just behind him. Nicholls took over at the front on lap two with Benstead passing both Cole and Southgate to claim second place, which ensured him overall victory. Cole managed to hold off Southgate for third place with Nunn and Grimshaw having a closely fought battle again for fifth position.
The B group of allcomers saw the Diss club rider, Joe Eaton, winning both races with ease. Jack Whitlam was second in both races, and some close racing between former speedway rider, Shaun Tacey, Dan Lawler and Tom Sutton entertained the enthusiastic crowd as they battled for third place overall.
The meeting also included races for riders on enduro spec bikes and pre 89 machines. Sam Mitchell took the first race win after a hectic scrap with Luke Gidney and Brendon Mayers. Former Eastern favourite, Syd Bales having a rare outing, surprised many by claiming fourth. Race two saw Mitchell in front again, but Gidney stormed into the lead on lap two to take the win. Bales had a superb ride, and after passing Mayers and Mitchell, almost caught Gidney as they crossed the finish line.
Gidney also won the third race to take overall victory, and Mayers got the better of Mitchell for second place. Regular enduro riders, Jamie Roper, Tim Rose and Toby Morley all competed well in all three legs to figure in the overall positions.
The twelve race programme ended with the grand final and a decent prize purse as the top forty riders came to the start line. Benstead was soon in the lead chased hard by Southgate and Nicholls, and behind them the chasing pack thrilled the crowd as they fought for places. Nicholls moved into second place on lap two, and despite closing the gap on the race leader, it was Benstead who took victory, which obviously pleased his GH motorcycles team.
Southgate rounded off a good evening for third place, with St Alban's teenager, Tom Grimshaw just ahead of Sam Nunn and Isle of Man visitor, Jed Etchells Results. Group A
- Allcomers overall. 1st Luke Benstead GH Husqvarna, 2nd Jake Nicholls Buildbase Honda, 3rd Shaun Southgate Hert MX Honda, 4th Ben Cole GH Husqvarna, 5th
Sam Nunn HCR Yamaha, 6th Tom Grimshaw HCR Yamaha Group B
- Allcomers overall. 1st Joe Eaton Lings Honda, 2nd Jack Whitlam Barkshire KTM, 3rd Dan Lawler Husqvarna, 4th Shaun Tacey Kawasaki, 5th Tom Sutton Yamaha, 6th Steve Gilbey Honda. Enduro Group Overall
. 1st Luke Gidney KTM, 2nd Sam Mitchell Honda, 3rd Brendon Mayers KTM, 4th Syd Bales Honda, 5th Jamie Roper KTM, 6th Tim Rose KTM. Grand final
. 1st Benstead, 2nd Nicholls, 3rd Southgate, 4th Grimshaw, 5th Nunn, 6th Jed Etchells.
Report from Charlie Ralph & Pictures Anthony Ridge and Andy Waters