Chatham Under 23 E2 Champion
Neil Chatham made the long trip down to Banbury for rounds 7 and 8 of the ACU British Enduro Sprint Championship. Neil had led the class from the start of the season but a couple of below par performances saw him fight to the finish on Sunday. Saturday was a day of two halves with poor times in the morning followed by quicker times in the afternoon although it was not enough to beat Max Varney who pulled himself up the results table to within just one point going into the final round on Sunday.
The first three tests saw the pair swap places to within a second of each other and Max was less than a second ahead as they went into the final three tests in the afternoon. Neil pulled out all the stops and put in his best time of the weekend stretching his lead to 9 seconds. All that remained at the end of the day was for Neil to hold onto that lead and with completely contrasting styles they set out for the final time. As Max returned to the spectator area he stalled his bike leaving Neil to bring it home neatly to secure the E2 Championship. It could easily have gone the other way and the two shook hands at the finish.
This is Neil's last competition before heading out to Italy with the SACU ISDE Team to take part in motor cycling's equivalent to the Olympics, his confidence has certainly had the boost it needed.
Thanks to Drysdale Motorcycles, KTM, Metzeler Tyres, Fox Clothing, Rock Oil and to everybody who has helped and supported Neil this year so far.
Neil wins at full Chat
Drysdale Motorcycles Neil Chatham won the first round of the SACU Scottish Hare and Hound Championship at Lochhouses Farm near Dunbar in East Lothian. Nearly 160 riders made the start despite snow on most of the roads around East Lothian. The Melville Motor Club event did not start well for Neil as Frazer Norrie and Drew Harvey clashed on the first corner giving him nowhere to go but straight into Drew. The pair took a moment or two to get them selves untangled and they continued in last place. Frazer took the holeshot and led around the motocross section, when they re appeared after their first lap it was Ricky Mair leading Frazer with Neil in third place having fought his way through the Experts in the woods.
Lap two saw Neil closing on Ricky but Ricky decided to stop for new goggles handing the lead to Neil which he never relinquished. Neil was five minutes ahead nearing the finish and managed one more lap than everyone else. Jamie Law started to reel Ricky in at about half distance but Ricky upped his pace and finished a solid second with Jamie third.
This was only Neil's second competitive outing on the Drysdale Motorcycles KTM 350 XC-F, "I wasn't feel especially confident coming into the event as I was unsure how I would do on the 350 in the trees, although once I made it to the front I was able to just ride smooth and comfortably. The bike felt great and did everything I asked of it. I really enjoyed the event, everything ran flawlessly and the organisers did a great job, thanks to everybody involved."
This win was a continuation of a successful year for Neil and he would like to thank all his sponsors for their support this year.
KTM, Drysdale Motorcycles, Metzeler, Fox, Jewelultra Diamondbrite, Hardcore Racing and Shell Lubricants.
Neil Chatham to Ride Drysdale Motorcycles KTM 350
Neil Chatham has been offered a deal to ride a Drysdale Motorcycles KTM 350 XC F in the Melville Motor Club Winter Series. With a nod to Neil's Gold Medal ride at the ISDE in Finland the bike has been fitted with Drysdale Motorcycles limited edition ISDE graphics which have proved very popular since the Scottish Team had one of the best finishes for many years.
'It is great to have the opportunity to train on a larger capacity bike over the winter and I am looking forward to using the extra power in the sand at Lochhouses. It is great to get such a good deal from Drysdale Motorcycles and some recognition for my efforts in the ISDE and the bike is awesome.'
Entries are filling up fast for the Melville Motocross on the 20th November with over twenty C Class entries already and several entries for most classes. The adult classes are expected to fill up long before the closing date. Entries can be downloaded at www.melvillemc.co.uk
Click below for direct link http://www.melvillemc.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Entry-Form-Mx-Nov20.pdf
At his first attempt Neil Chatham has won a gold medal at motorcycling's equivalent to the Olympics in Kotka, Hamina, Finland. The International Six Day Enduro covered over 1000 miles over the roughest terrain imaginable. The weather did not help with thunder and lightning drowning the course and causing flooding in sections of the special tests. 360 of the world's best riders took part with Neil participating in the SACU Scottish team with Ricky Mair and Frazer Norrie. Each rider had to complete the full course with no outside assistance including all aspects of maintaining the bike, changing tyres, brake pads and any other problems that occurred while riding from 9 o'clock in the morning until 5pm in the evening at which point they had 15 minutes to work on the bike before it was locked away for the night. Specific parts of the bike are marked and checked at the end of each day and if a part has been replaced the rider would be excluded.
The biggest problem on the first day was keeping the speed down as there were speed limits on many of the dirt roads; several riders were caught for speeding and excluded from the event. All three Scottish riders finished the week with a motocross on Saturday which determined the final places.
During the week Neil had to keep to his time schedule despite the rain, negotiate his way over rocks and through the difficult special tests. The week did not go without a number of minor problems, a sticking throttle on day one, a lost rear wheel nut and he temporarily lost his front brake all fixed with the tools he carried. Neil's KTM really lived up it's reputation to be 'Ready to Race as it only arrived a week before it was due to be taken to Finland by the Army support.
Once it was all over on Saturday the Scottish team had one of its most successful finishes, 9th place in the club team class. Neil Chatham earned a gold medal with Ricky Mair and Frazer Norrie finishing with silver medals. Neil finished second British Club team rider 15th Club rider overall and 9th in his class for his particular motorbike and the highlight was a 5th place finish in the final special test on the Friday. Neil earned a Gold medal as a rider who finished within 10% of the leading rider in his class overall.
Neil said afterwards 'the SACU took me out as a spectator to Portugal in 2009 and I knew what I had to do, I was in a position to earn a gold medal from the first day and that was my goal, to do enough to earn a gold medal but not damage the bike or myself so I could change tyres and work on the bike every evening when I got back. My KTM was brilliant and caused very few problems over the five days. I would like to thank the SACU for this opportunity and thank all the support team who came out to Finland with us, especially the team manager Sam Davidson. I would also like to thank everyone who helped raise the money to give the team the chance to compete at the highest level.'
Neil Chatham is supported by KTM UK, Drysdale Motorcycles, Metzeler, Fox, Shell Lubricants, Jewelultra Diamondbrite and Hardcore Racing.
Contact Campbell Chatham on 07785 715941 for more details
Neil Chatham Career Highlights
2007 Scottish Clubman Champion
by a Second and a Win for Neil Chatham
Neil Chatham finished second by a second to Ricky Mair on Saturday and won on Sunday at the first and second round of the Scottish Enduro Championship. Neil is not riding the full Scottish Enduro Championship in 2011 as he is concentrating on the British Enduro Sprint and British Enduro Championship. Following a request from Johnny Little to support the new Elgin Endurance Club who are taking over Enduros from GMCC, Neil found time in his busy schedule to ride in the first two rounds of the Scottish Championship. This is one of the most enjoyable and tough events of the year utilising the special test that is used in Lossie forest for the biannual British Enduro Championship.
Neil was feeling the effects from a recent cold on Saturday that took the edge off his performance but after an early night on Saturday he was feeling much more up for the challenge on Sunday.
I fell off too many times on Saturday and I was not feeling my best but on Sunday I was feeling much better and it was a slightly shorter day. My Drysdale KTM was running brilliantly and it never missed a beat. I have always enjoyed the events at Elgin and Johnny Little, Barry Hamilton and Kevin Gauld did not disappoint with this event again. I am using every opportunity as training for the ISDE in August and this was ideal with over six hours riding on Saturday and four on Sunday.
Neil Chatham would like to thank his sponsors, KTM UK, Drysdale Motorcycles, Shell, Fox, Metzeler, Hardcore Racing and Jewelultra Diamondbrite.
The latest update for Neil Chatham is that he was over in Italy testing when the air chaos kicked off, the decision was taken to stay in Italy with his Finnish Team mate Roni Nikander. The riders will continue their training and preparations for the first round of the European Enduro Championship in France on the 1st and 2nd May. This ensures that they will be able to travel with the team to the event hopefully without difficulties. This will delay Neil's MPS Husqvarna debut until the British Enduro Championship at Elgin on the 8th and 9th May. To follow the exploits of the team and to see pictures and videos there is a website http://www.europeanendurochampionship.com and a Facebook page Team UEM Enduro Promotion were you can keep up with the latest news.
Neil is looking to hitch a lift back from someone who is travelling back from the European Enduro Championship in Boussac France. He has been out in Italy since Wednesday last week and he is hoping one of the British riders would be able to give him a lift back to the UK after the event on the 1st and 2nd May. Neil was due to fly back last Sunday but the air chaos meant he has stayed on with the team until the event. Neil would be happy to pay his way to help subsidise the trip back. The Mucci Team will be retaining his bike so there will only be Neil himself. If you are able to help please contact Campbell Chatham on 07785 715941 or email email@example.com
Selection Success for ACU U 23 Enduro Squad Member
The UEM recently announced that they would be initiating a " Team UEM Enduro" Promotion for the 2010 European Enduro Championship.
In partnership with Husqvarna and UFO Plast , support would be given to 3 riders to contest the 4 round series.
This support would consist of access to Team mechanical workshop, race truck and covered areas at all rounds, as well as spares, technical assistance tyres and mousse for every event. A team race van for assistance would also be at each event - Details
tries out for Elite Team
Neil Chatham (pictured left) riding a Mucci Racing Husqvarna in Italy last weekend, Neil is trying out for the new UEM Team Enduro Promotionq. The Team will provide the opportunity for three young emerging talents under 23, belonging to the Motorcycling Federation members of UEM, to participate in the Enduro Junior European Championship 2010 in partnership with Husqvarna and UFO Plastics.
"There was no riding yesterday as it was too wet. All the physical fitness tests were done yesterday instead and the track was put together between a route through a wood and a motocross track for today. The quality of riders is very high and too close to call." Campbell Chatham
Neil Chatham wins E1/2 and takes second overall Expert at Natterjack scorcher!
Neil Chatham had a rollercoaster weekend culminating in 1st E1/2 and 2nd Expert overall at the Natterjack Metzeler British Enduro Championship.
Neil was feeling a little under the weather before the event and even the brilliant sunshine could not raise his spirits although once the adrenaline kicked in he was pushing as hard as ever. The first decision was whether to climb the wall in the extreme test or take the slightly longer easier route. It was decided that he would ignore the wall and push round the easier route to avoid damaging his bike or himself as a good result was the priority. The second decision was whether to do the big jump in the sandy motocross test, Neil had discussed it with Paul Edmondson and he reckoned that it could not be done on a 125 although when he was 19 he would have had a go. On the second run at the motocross test Neil cleared the jump setting his fastest time so far with Johnny Little and Jimmy Ballantyne witnessing the spectacle, they did not think he was going to make it as he was so sideways but clear it he did. At the end of the three laps Neil was leading overall by a fraction of a second and headed into the final two Enduro tests behind the Championship riders, unfortunately one of them became stuck on the logs and blocked the course for Neil, if he had gone through the tapes he would have been excluded, he had to wait until the un named rider cleared the logs costing him 16 seconds and the overall win by just 6 seconds. Third overall and second E1/2 was his best result so far although there was a little disappointment at missing out on the win.
On day two Neil was still feeling unwell and could not eat very much and two crashes in the motocross test meant an uphill struggle. Neil pulled all the energy he could muster for the final motocross test and redeemed himself setting the fastest Expert time for the day. 4th overall and 2nd E1/2 was enough to win the E1/2 class and finish second overall for the weekend. Although disappointed not to take the win he was satisfied that his special test times were up with the Championship class.
'Thanks to all my sponsors and supporters, I have progressed a great deal this year in the British Championship and I am continuing to build my experience and pace on my Suzuki. Drysdale Motorcycles have given me great support and I am now focusing on a podium finish in the Scottish Expert Championship. Thanks also to Suzuki GB, Metzeler tyres, Fox and Shell.'
Name: Neil Chatham
Hometown: Gullane, East Lothian
Club: Melville Motor Club
Fast Eddy Class Win For Neil Chatham
Report & photos by Campbell Chatham
The Chatham family made their way down to Ellesmere for the seventh round of the Putoline Fast Eddy Cross Country Championship. The decision to travel down was due to the cancellation of the Scottish Championship Enduro at Beattock. This was the first Fast Eddy that Paul or Neil had entered.
Neil entered the Clubman 125 two stroke, 250 four stroke class which was a two hour race starting at 10.00am. The weather was perfect with sunny spells and no rain. Neil's start was less than perfect and he set off mid pack, after two laps Neil was in 5th place and pushing hard for 4th. Following the refuel he moved up to fourth, in the last half an hour the leader fell and the rider ahead had clutch problems, the remaining rider ahead was within sight. Neil pushed on and overtook to take the lead with two laps remaining and finished 20 seconds ahead. Despite starting in the third wave off the grid Neil was also 7th overall in the Clubman class.
'That was the dream result for me, I thought I had blown it at the start and there was a lot of traffic during the first couple of laps' said Neil after wards. ' I did not realise that I was so high up near the end until my Dad pointed at the guy in front and indicated that he was the leader. I am absolutely delighted to take a win at such a prestigious event, the Fast Eddy Team must have worked really hard to put this brilliant event together'.
Since turning 16 in June Neil has won the E1 Clubman Class at the two-day Otterburn Enduro and he has had several podium finishes in the Scottish Clubman Enduro Championship.
Paul Chatham did not have such a good day, having picked up his bike just the day before the event, following some engine work, he was forced to retire at the halfway point with a misfire. The fault was later traced to a faulty spark plug cap.
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I have been involved with bikes all my life, my Mum went on the back of a motorbike while she was pregnant with me, so I started early. My first bike was a QR50 Honda when I was 4 and I terrified my Dad with the jumps I could do on it.
I did not start racing until foot and mouth closed our practise track in 2001. I rode an XR80 in my first motocross, my first motocross bike was a CR85 and I won my first small wheel race at Dumfries in 2003.
I have taken part in training at Everts race school in Spain four times since 2002 and the experience I have gained there has helped me to develop to the stage I am at now. My intention is to compete in the British and Scottish Clubman Enduro Championships. My brother Paul, is one of the youngest Scottish Clubman Champions ever, my Dad was Scottish Expert Champion in 1983. I would like to win a British Championship that has so far eluded my Dad and my brother.
In 2006 I could not compete until I was 16 in June, I missed the first half of the season. I finished 2006 with a Clubman overall win on the second day at the Natterjack, which must be one of the worst weather conditions ever at a British Championship. I also won the last round of the Scottish Clubman Enduro Championship at Aberdeen and I won the Clubman Class outright at the Melville 3 hour Hare and Hound at Lochhouses. I also managed to win the Clubman 2-stroke class at the Fast Eddy Pultoline Cross Country Championship at Ellesmere.
In 2007 I have had mixed fortunes so far as an electrical fault caused a DNF at the Mountjack, I had set the fastest time for a Clubman in the first special test. I have moved up to the Super Clubman Class and finished 3rd and 7th at the 2nd and 3rd round of the Fast Eddy Pultoline Cross Country Championships. I finished second in the first round of the Melville Cross Country Championship Hare and Hound. My best result so far, and the most important, was winning the Clubman Class outright at the first round of the Scottish Clubman Enduro Championship at Elgin. I now lead the Clubman Championship overall and the E1 class.
My ambition is to become part of a manufacturer team and represent my country at international events like the European Enduro Championships and the ISDE.
2nd Clubman Melville 3 hour Hare and Hound Lochhouses
DNF (Electrical Fault) National Diss Mountjack Enduro (Fastest Clubman 1st Test)
3rd Super Clubman Pultoline Cross Country Championship Round 2
7th Super Clubman Pultoline Cross Country Championship Round 3
1st E1 1st Overall Scottish Clubman Championship Lossiemouth Elgin
15th Overall Clubman Melville Scottish Championship Enduro Glengap Dumfries
1st E1 3rd Overall Clubman North Yorkshire Enduro Championship 2 day Otterburn
2nd E1 4th Overall Day One Clubman Scottish Championship Yarrowford Selkirk
2nd E1 3rd Overall Day Two Clubman Scottish Championship Yarrowford Selkirk
2nd E1 3rd Overall Clubman Enduro Scottish Championship Monoughty Elgin
1st E1 7th Overall Putoline Fast Eddy Cross Country Championship Ellesmere
8th E1 15th Overall British Clubman Enduro Championship Rhayader Wales
10th E1 21st Overall British Clubman Enduro Championship Rhayader Wales
4th E1 8th Overall British Clubman Enduro Championship Natterjack
1st E1 1st Overall British Clubman Enduro Championship Natterjack
3rd Overall Scottish Clubman Enduro Championship Selkirk
1st Overall Scottish Clubman Enduro Championship Aberdeen
1st Clubman Melville 3 hour Hare and Hound Lochhouses