Riders at the British Enduro Sprint Monmouth
Report by Campbell Chatham
Beautiful sunshine welcomed everyone and it never faded all weekend. There was a heated debate about whether the farm near Monmouth where the British Enduro Sprint was run was in Wales or England, the weather was not typical for either at this time of year. The course was fast and open, taped out grass slopes with steep hill climbs and a couple of technical rocky streams to test the unwary.
Neil Chatham on his Drysdale KTM found it frustrating as the bigger bikes had an advantage on the fast flowing areas and he could only make up so much in the technical streams. The little 125 never missed a beat and as the weekend unfolded it proved that consistency would win the day. 3rd E1 and 9th Under 23 Overall on Saturday and 2nd E1 and 10th Under 23 on Sunday would see Neil lead the E1 under 23 class as his rivals crashed out.
'I really enjoyed the weekend, especially the technical parts of the track but I struggled on some of the faster sections on the 125 but my Drysdale Motorcycles KTM was awesome as always. I can't wait for Dorset!'
Fraser Norrie was the furthest travelled rider having driven down over 500 miles on Thursday night. Fraser was also finding the track frustrating on his Denis Irvine Husqvarana 125 against the larger capacity machines. The little Husky sounded brilliant as Fraser had it jetted perfectly. Fraser had a couple of falls as he was really pushing his bike and himself to the limit. Luckily there was no damage and he was acknowledged as riding brilliantly although the bigger bikes where much easier in the circumstances. Fraser finished 6th E1 and 9th under 19 on Saturday and 6th E1 and 11th Overall Under 19 on Sunday.
Allyn Scotland was really looking forward to his first British Enduro Sprint as this format should have suited his riding style. As series of crashes saw Allyn slip down the order and he felt he should have been higher. There was one crash where he went over the handle bars and was lucky to get away without injury or damage to the bike. The going became really rough on Sunday and Allyn managed to change his rear wheel bearings between his runs. Allyn set a couple of really quick times but he admitted that he needs to be more consistent to finish higher in the results. Allyn finished 5th E2 and 8th Expert Overall on Saturday and 5th E2 and 8th Overall Expert on Sunday.
Stevie Currie Junior had his first taste of British Championship racing at the Enduro Sprint, he could not have picked a better event for his debut. Stevie was competing in the Under 19 class which is very competitive although he had decided to measure himself against the Clubman class to gauge his performance. The advantage of the Enduro Sprint is that you can compare your results right across the classes as everybody rides the same course and number of laps. Stevie rode very maturely for his first outing and gradually built his speed over the weekend. Stevie's trials experience proved invaluable on the technical sections and nothing seemed to phase him. Stevie finished 10th E1 and 15th overall under 19 on Saturday and 12th E1 and 17th Overall on Sunday. When Stevie's times were compared with the Clubman class he would have won on Saturday and finished second on Sunday which was good enough for him. The only problem is that the good weather has given a false impression of how good things can be at a British event, hopefully it will be as good again in the not too distant future.
Alastair Miller travelled down from Dumfries with his dad to the Enduro Sprint for the first time. Alastair has been riding in the Scottish Championship for a couple of years now. To their delight Alastair finished 1st E3 and 2nd Overall Clubman on Saturday. On Sunday Alastair picked the wrong line out of the stream costing him some time but still finished a credible 1st E3 and fourth Clubman overall, we have not heard the last of this young man.
The British Enduro Sprint was helped by the weather but the set up was World class, very well run indeed. I know Stevie and Alastair will be encouraging more Scottish riders to make the trip south for a very enjoyable event. The Enduro Sprint gives the riders a competitive outing at the start of the season to sharpen their skills before the season really gets going. Congratulations and thanks to Jonty Edmunds and his team for a great weekend.