All content Bob MuIIins

Diss MCC Santon Enduro
The GH Motorcycles / Husqvarna Santon Enduro was run on Sunday 22 February by Diss MCC.
Report Richard Snowden Photos Anthony Ridge

With a full entry of 180 riders and 20 disappointed reserves this proved a fitting start to the 2015 Eastern Centre Championship. Clerk of the course, Andy Waters and team had set out a 12.5 mile lap and the sandy going was in great condition. An overnight frost meant riders needed to be aware of the conditions early on.

The great championship entry of 24 riders were soon making their way to the first of two 1.5 mile special tests and the large crowds (almost as many as at the Muntjac BEC) were soon seeing many of the top British stars challenging the Eastern centre stars.

The form book suggested team-mates Tom Sagar and Brad Freeman on their KTM Stuff KTMs would take some beating but it was Brad who took the first test - finishing some 2 seconds clear after Tom stalled with Aston Bird on the GH Suzuki in his first Enduro for 4 years showing all his old form and leading the Eastern Centre runners just 0.3 seconds behind Tom with 9 times centre champion Kiwi Hockey on his Dr Shox Yamaha in a strong fourth from an on form Lee Edmondson on the Edmondson Racing Beta with a gaggle of other riders in hot pursuit including current Eastern Centre Champion Jamie Roper on the Walters/Aim KTM 3.5 seconds down on his rival Hockey.

In the equally competitive experts first blood went to Andrew Bull putting his difficult 2014 season firmly behind him. Adam James was second some 3 seconds back with Jake Gregory half a second off the second placed man. Local rider Harvey Mutton was keeping the visitors honest and was less than a second further back.

The large clubman contingent saw Diss club's Martin Stevens on the Ranson Racing Husqvarna take the lead after his first test, just 7 hundredths of a second faster than Rhayader club's Alex Walton on his 125 Voltcom with Adam Durkin in an early third.

An hour later and a very different test awaited the riders the sandy terrain was now full of bumps, berms with a few tree roots for good measure...

Tom trimmed 2 seconds off his first test but Brad was on top form and pulled a further 3 seconds clear leaving the second test with a 5 second lead over Tom. Aston Bird was again third but this time some 4.5 seconds slower than Sagar with Mark Roberts on his new MRS Cadwallader Sherco flying just 0.15 of a second behind Aston with Lee Eddy just 0.7 seconds behind him and just ahead of Jamie Roper. It was close and everything would rest on the sixth and final lap with the championship class needing to finish their sixth lap in 25 minutes. And that's exactly what the top ten finishers did - so it ended with Freeman from Sagar with Aston Bird in third and finishing as best eastern centre runner from Lee Edmondson just clear of Mark Roberts. Kiwi finished in sixth, just ahead of Charlie Evans in his first outing in the championship class finishing a well deserved 7th - out on a Off Road Experience Yamaha and looking very at home with Jamie Roper 0.25 second back in eighth position.

Andrew Bull maintained his domination of the expert class and was the only rider able to clean the final lap, taking a well deserved victory. Jake Gregory, Christopher Thorpe and Alex Barkshire kept centre hopes high taking the next 3 positions but all losing a minute on that tough final lap. Only one other rider cleaned the last 27 minute expert lap, Andrew James but he'd clocked in early on his previous lap so worked hard to hold onto fifth.

Current expert veteran champion Mark Chapman left himself with a big task after dropping his Bavin Yamaha in the first test and left after his second test in fifth with event sponsor Gav Hockey on his 450 Husqvarna leading from Nick Ames and Michael Ridge. However Chappers played the long game and was the only expert vet to lose a single minute on the last lap and took the victory from Gav with Michael Ridge holding on to third both losing 2 minutes along with Phil Roper in fourth.

Diss man Martin Stevens took the clubman victory some six seconds clear at the front. Just 7 riders cleaned in clubman with Alex Rampton on the Dave Roper Yamaha in second some 5.5 seconds back but just 0.17 seconds ahead of George Ellis with Rob Aldridge in fourth - two more Diss teamsters. The Ranson Racing flag was flying high with 3 of the top 7 clubmen riding for the Ranson dynasty. Rhayader's Alex Walton set the fastest tests each lap some six seconds clear of Stevens but he dropped it on the last lap and lost a minute ending in eighth.

Another Diss teamster, Wayne Fulcher on his 450 Honda took the Clubman Vets class from Duncan Griffin and Kevin Gore while the Clubman Super Vets saw Martin Stevens dad, Clive take the super vet victory from Dave Ward with joint muntjac BEC sponsor Steve Finch on his GH Mcs./ G & B Finch 350 Husqvarna taking the third place.

A fitting start to the GH Motorcycles/Husqvarna Eastern Centre Championship and a good taster for the British Enduro Championship for all the riders who supported the event and provided such a good day's sport. Roll on round 2 - Woodbridge's Butley Enduro on 22 March...

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