Rhynie was the perfect track to follow on from round 3 of the 2022 ScotMX SACU Scottish Motocross Championship. Similar to Duns, it gave the riders another chance to build on their season. As well as all the usual suspects in each class, there was a mouth-watering lineup in MX1 / MX2 which included a great number of ex-GP and Motocross Championship winners.
Report and Images by Raymond Thomson – Madmaxmedia
With a great entry numbers-wise, the ScotMX Team had their work cut out to keep the two day race meeting on track and they did so very professionally. Rhynie has a long history of being one of the top tracks in Scotland and it was obvious there had been some serious preparation gone into making sure the event would be a success. Typical “four seasons in one day” weather but it didn’t dampen the mood as the crowd marvelled at the racing on offer.
The AMD holeshot awards are always hotly contested but for Rhynie, the sponsors took a new approach. Along with awarding a holeshot for each race, for this round they put up additional cash for the fastest qualifier. Liam Hannah bagged the rewards with ease as he was 1s clear of Jack Martin, but it was Jack who would come out on top over the weekend. His fast starts and three race wins on Saturday put him beyond the pack. He would come home third on the Sunday after a hard fought race but the Wulfsport rider increased his championship lead. Hunter Haldane’s season went from strength to strength and the four second places confirmed that consistency is the key. Liam Hannah had a great race win on Sunday which bodes well for the future but it wasn’t enough to secure the overall third podium spot as Harris Curran’s solid riding was good enough.
Aaron Todd and Alfie Lawrie served up some cracking racing for the crowd. At one point, race commentator Campbell Chatham said it was the best racing of the day for him on Saturday. The pair shared 2 wins and 2-second places each, but as Aaron won the last race, he took the overall. He had earlier won the AMD holeshot money, so he went home a happy lad. Ethan Gawley did well to grab the final podium considering he hit the gate in the last race and rode like a demon from 19th to 5th on Sunday. Bali Black rode well but couldn’t overhaul Ethan. He did manage a race podium in the final race on Sunday with the well-deserved third place. Some plucky riding from George ‘Doodle’ Dryden saw him 1 point behind Bali as this class gets tighter as the season progresses.
Small Wheel & Big Wheel 85s
In the small wheel class, Malachi Allan was fastest in qualifying by 3s but he couldn’t match Robbie Scott’s blistering starts in the races. Robbie’s three wins on the Saturday set him up for the overall and although Malachi won the final race, it was Robbie’s weekend. It’s taken a while for the pack to catch up to Allan as he has dominated the series all season. Alfie Stott had another consistent weekend with four thirds. Newcomers to the class, Kyle Graham and Kian McGill battled it out for 4th with the wee Irish lad edging out his Scottish pal on count back.
The Big wheel riders had their hands full trying to fend off their small wheel counterparts in the combined races with Robbie and Malachi winning outright but in the BW class, Charlie McDonald won with James McGowan hot on his heels. Charlie was never out of the top three as James faltered slightly in the last race. Zac Newlands also had a great battle to stay ahead of Aaron Tait by one point as he took the final podium place.
Tough weekend for Robbie McCulloch as his aspirations of a top three came to a halt at the start of race three as he got caught up on the start straight and had to pull out due to injury.
It was a masterclass from Charley Irwin as he turned a 5s lead in qualifying into four race wins. He pushed hard in every race to demonstrate he meant business. The rest of the pack battled it out to see who would come out on top and it was Lee Cameron who proved he’s not far behind Charley and managed to edge out Logan Ferguson. Rider of the day for me was Graham Haddow who had his first competitive SACU race in two years. Having suffered a horrific injury at a practice track, he rode extremely well to secure fourth ahead of local lad Caydan Mearns who lost his podium chance when he lost his front end in the last race.
2 Stroke (Saturday)
That unmistakable smell of two stroke oil filled the air on Saturday. The race actually has two classes, up to 150cc and Open class. In the 150 race, Harris Campbell took the overall on his CR but it was the Open two stroke that provided the thrills. Logan Hendry ragged his 250 KTM round Rhynie and beat Fraser Norrie by a point to secure the bragging rights. Norrie’s final race win wasn’t enough to grab the overall, but he was some way ahead of Dylan Carnegie who had an uncharacteristic race one finished down the order. George Stewart and Greg Campbell continued where they left off at Duns swapping places each race, but Maxwell missed out on the top 4 by 2 points. Steven Rennie’s day was over early as he crashed out of the first race after blasting out the gate and running first.
Adult Support (Saturday)
Aaron Carroll’s return to competitive racing got a major boost this weekend. Aaron used the Adult support race to dial into the track and with Billy MacKenzie suffering a DNF in race 2, and Tristan Purdon choosing to sit out race three, it gave Aaron the overall. He had pushed in every race and battled in the top 5 all day. With 10 MX1 and MX2 riders in the Adult Support race, it was a great set of races for the crowd to watch and see what was on offer for the main event on Sunday.
Barry Gray had an eventful return to ScotMX. The seasoned vet had his hands full in all three races as he battled with Fraser Watson and Gordon ‘Montana’ Morrison for the race wins. As usual, Barry came out on top, but his wins were hard-fought as Montana, the holeshot specialist managed to hold off Gray for long periods before being passed. Bearing in mind, that they race in different classes, they would both run out overall winners. With Gray winning the o40’s, Fraser Watson did enough to comfortably hold off Nigel Smorfitt who enjoyed his first visit podium. In the over 50’s, Ian Wilson ran out second to Montana and Morton Hannah came third. Wilson enjoyed running at the front in race three before eventually being passed by Gray near the end of the race. There’s a clear pattern forming in the o50’s with that top 3. Popular vet Paul Chiappa wrestled his KTM round Rhynie to win the o60’s.
The ‘C’s top 5 is beginning to look familiar. With Dale Hynd getting out the gate in every race, he’s glad he’s made the comeback this season. The only rider to spoil his party was Louis Tobin. It didn’t take Louis long in each race to get out front and once he did, there’s no catching him. A well-deserved overall in front of Dale. Martin Lyell has cemented his results in each round and his consistency is starting to pay off, the final podium slot proved this. John Kenny is always in the mix and promises to deliver more so his peers need to keep an eye out. Logan Adsley’s spirited riding broke him into the top 5 and he’s another rider making measured improvements.
The class had some of the best races of the day with Myles Reid showing no signs of faltering. 2022 has been his year so far and he literally has “Style for miles”. His riding may look effortless but under that calm exterior, he had to ride with real grit to fend off Rusty Robertson and Jamie Clarke in particular, as the pair battled hard every race. Ivan Williamson narrowly missed out on the podium by one point behind Clarke as the Irishman took a tumble in race 2 dropping to 15th but fighting back to 5th. Williamson gained 7 or 8 places in every race so just needs a better start to get on the podium. Ewan Watson took a lot of positives away from the day as it looks like the young rider is getting back to his best.
MX1 / MX2
The Carnegie Fuels MX1 and Safe Access MX2 races featured multiple Scottish/British and South African championship winning riders. Shaun Simpson, Billy McKenzie, Tristan Purdon, Ross Rutherford, Ben Edwards, Tony Craig and Elaine MacEachearn. Current ScotMX Championship leader Billy MacKenzie needed a strong performance to maintain his lead in the MX1 class and in MX2, Steven Craig would have to deal with visitors Ben Kennedy and Sam Atkinson who promised to spoil his day.The Safe Access MX2 race saw Sam Atkinson and Ben Kennedy make their first appearance in the 2022 season. They both rode hard up against the MX1 bikes and topped the MX2 class with Sam getting the upper hand. Now back fully fit after an early season injury, Sam used the Adult support on Saturday to check over the track and it paid dividends. Ben Kennedy continued to show he can mix it with the best as he managed to finish ahead of series leader Steven Craig whos urgent racing style was enough to finish third. Logan Hendry had a solid weekend after racing the two stroke on Saturday and commanding his four stroke to fourth on the Sunday.
The Carnegie Fuels MX1 promised much and didn’t disappoint and the top 6 riders showed the entire race field what’s possible on a motocross bike. Although MacKenzie came away from the meeting still the overall championship leader, the pack are catching up fast. Having missed the first round, Shaun Simpson is hard on the heels of Ross Rutherford in second and one DNF from Mackenzie for the overall. It wasn’t all about Shaun at Rhynie as multiple South African MX1/MX2 Champion Tristan Purdon pushed him all day. Tristan got to see Simpson in full flow in race 1 as he blasted out the gate and increased his lead every lap finishing nearly 20s ahead of the pack. Race 2 was a stark contrast for Shaun as Purdon got passed him on Lap 2 and with Simpson hitting a back markers wheel, he dropped his bike and although he charged hard, was not quite able to make up such a deficit but still finished 8s off the leader.
Race 2 also saw Ben Edwards and MacKenzie tangle with Edwards coming off worse. He left the track and when he re-entered he’d raced out with track limits and received a 1 minute penalty for doing so. Ross ‘Bunga’ Rutherford got the better of MacKenzie over the three races as the pair also had some intense battles but Bunga came out on top to finish fourth behind Edwards whose penalty wasn’t enough for him to lose the podium behind Purdon.
The last race saw Simpson take the overall but had the crowd hugging the barriers as they watched the race unfold.
Round 5 of the ScotMX Championship, powered by Milwaukee will be at Doune Motocross Saturday 9th and Saturday 16th July. Entries are open and available www.scotmx.com