A new season and a new championship for Scotland. With ScotMX taking a step back, Johnny Hamilton took the baton from Stuart Flockhart and with the support of the existing ScotMX crew, he’s kept the momentum built up by Stuart over the past few years.
Race Report & Images by Raymond Thomson – Madmaxmedia
No stranger to motocross, Johnny has built some of the best tracks for racing all over the country. Building on Stuarts success, JDH has used his extensive contacts in the Motocross industry and drafted in a good number of new sponsors as well as maintaining the loyal supporters of the series. There had been a buzz around the tracks and it quickly spread to the four corners of the UK and some of the best riders in the country have signed up to race and commit to doing the championship. The crowds were met with an impressive set up in Tain as the trackside barriers and start line back drops resembled that of a British or even GP track.
Jack Quinn Auto
Saturday 3rd March
It’s all about the youth on Saturday. There’s always thrill and spills and the deep sand of Tain would keep the parents on their toes. No shortage of exciting racing, it was a great way to open the championship.
Shirlaws – KTM Aberdeen have come on board to sponsor the youngsters. The wee ones looked box fresh with their new kit and there was a buzz around the paddock as the Auto’s got underway. With Jack Martin moving on as 2022 Champion, it was all to play for. Aiden Anton set the pace in qualifying but bike issues on the line in race 2 would end his day. Jack Quinn failed to set a time in qualifying but stormed to three race wins. Ashton Bain’s consistency would reward him with second as Ellis Easton just did enough to grab the final podium
FXR have committed to support the junior race and the popular brand certainly brightened up the paddock. It was no surprise that the diminutive Lyall Rutherford qualified fastest but he had a challenging first race with bike problems. This allowed Alex Fraser to win the first race but a poor second race meant he would finish overall second behind Rutherford as he powered quite comfortably to three wins in the remaining three races. Cole McAuley did enough to stay ahead of Vinnie Anderson as their dad’s cheered them on trackside. Both dads had their chance to shine on Sunday.
CiSport are part of the championship this year supporting some of the best racing in the championship. The 85’s always provide bar to bar racing and Tain was a tough test for the riders.
Robbie Scott grabbed the fastest lap in qualifying just ahead of Malachi Allan but after sharing race wins between them, they finished on equal points. Allan got the overall as he won the last race, but it will be a hard fought season as the pair promise to battle it out all the way. Ricky Barrack proved his journeys south racing has brought him on as he finished third only one point ahead of Alfie Stott who gained some great experience last month racing in the Arenacross.
Hayden Statt showed his speed and class as he disappeared from the pack in every race. His speed was incredible and would have put him up front in most classes! The fast starting Jaden Anderson proved he can grab the AMD Holeshots and he ran comfortably in second ahead of Jaxon Haswell.
The Youth Rookies class provides a great platform for the young riders to prepare themselves for the bigger classes. With Shirlaws Motorcycles onboard, they’ll enjoy some rewards for their hard work. Ryan Waggott and Jack Fletcher provided some great racing for the crowd. Swapping race wins, Ryan enjoyed three of them and as the riders came together on one corner, Jack was robbed of sharing the spoils. However, as both riders were riding different classes, they would run out winners in their respective class. Waggott finished well ahead of Ryan McKinney but the mixed class was fraught at times as the 250 four strokes mixed it with the two strokes. Louis Perrin-Brown bagged the final podium spot. In the 250 class, Troy Flockhart enjoyed the class win in race one, but he couldn’t match Fletchers speed to take the overall. Three solid seconds was good enough as he nursed a hamstring injury. Ryan Lowes rode well to secure third as he changed from two stroke this year.
Adult Support / 2 Stroke Open
After race one, the Two Stroke race sponsored by Slavin Plant Hire & Construction Ltd joined the Adult Support and the mixed class gave a lot of riders the chance to bed themselves in for Sunday. Dylan Carnegie ran out winner in the Two stroke class and in the Adult Support, Carlton Husband, no stranger to Tain, proved he would be the man to beat in MX2.
Sunday 4th March
Vets 40,50 and 60
Niall Mcauley dominated the O40’s class as his smooth riding style made sure he had no drama’s in the deep sand as he finished every race 25 seconds ahead of his fellow vets. Jamie Black more famous for his suspension these days showed he can still mix it but couldn’t quite beat multiple winning vet Barry Gray who showed he’s still the fastest scot. In the O50’s, holeshot expert Gordon ‘Montana’ Morrison was limited to 1 holeshot for the day as Barry Gray took the cash but he did take the overall ahead of Morton Hannah. The Scottish Twinshock riders did battle it out and stayed ahead of Alasdair McGowan who had a sold day. The stalwart of the vet class, Ian Wilson secured the O60 overall and he got tore into the new season.
Logan Adsley was 10s ahead of the rest in Qualifying and it was no surprise he turned that into the overall in the C class. He was pushed in race 2 William Anderson who finished right behind him and in race 3, he was beaten by Daniel McDonald and Anderson. They would both finish second and third respectively as Adsley used his Arenacross experience to get himself ready for the season.
With a number of riders choosing to drop down from MX1 and MX2 into the B class for 2023, it promised to be a tightly fought class. Jamie Clark out qualified the pack and the fast starting Irishman did his best to run top three in every race but a DNF in race three meant the long journey home with nothing to show for it. Another Arenacross rider John Kirk showed he meant business by winning all three races and dominating the class. Scott Paterson return to racing was profitable as he comfortably ran behind Kirk. Jake Hall improved in every race to round out the podium. Special mention to Elaine Maceachern finishing top 5 behind Logan Ferguson as she looked impressive in her first race of the season, setting herself up well for racing the Women’s British Championship.
John Kirk B Class
MX1 / MX2 Combined Race
With a massive prize fund, it was no surprise that the MX1 and MX2 classes were packed. Billy MacKenzie was sporting the red plate #1 on his new Kawasaki and was up for defending his title.
MX2 Safe Access Highland Ltd
In the MX2 class, Carlton Husband ran away with the overall. He looked smooth riding on the Saturday on the Adult support and continued that into Sunday. He pushed hard in all three races mixing it with the MX1 riders all day. His Phoenix Evenstrokes Kawasaki teammate Sam Atkinson would finish second overall narrowly ahead of Brad Anderson as he enjoyed being on the podium on his new two stroke. He’s just getting it dialled in and promises to come back stronger for the next round. Daniel Hutchinson also placed well ahead of Ryan Thomson who was delighted to get back to racing after a tough 2 years and multiple wrist surgeries.
MX1 Carnegie Fuels
Shaun Simpson looked to be in a determined mood as he took no prisoners in qualifying. He was over 1.5 seconds ahead of his nearest rival Brad Todd. It was current Scottish MX Champion Billy MacKenzie that blasted out the gate first in race 1 but he only held that place for a lap as Simpson powered through to take the win. In race 2, it looked like no one could beat Simpson, but he crashed out whilst in the lead and ended his day. This left ASA GasGas rider John Adamson and Gabriel SS24’s Tristan Purdon to battle it out and after clashing in race 2, it was Adamson who got up first to take that win but it cost him a radiator. He was able to finish that race and change it out before race 3.
Another rider who would miss out was Jay Hague. He took a heavy tumble in race 1 as his bike lay on the track for a short while with steam pouring out of it. Ben Edwards looked fresh and the Carnegie Fuels rider certainly got his season off to a great start by being fast and consistent. His podium place was well deserved but he couldn’t live with Adamson and Purdon and they were in a battle for that coveted overall. John Adamson came out on top after an intense race and his determination was there to see. Brad Todd must have felt robbed as his clutch disintegrated in race 2 and resulted in him finishing behind MacKenzie. After a poor race 1, Billy got his mojo back to finish 4th overall and keep his sights on back to back championships. Ross Rutherford and Tony Craig showed there’s still riders outside the top 5 that will challenge to the bitter end so it’s shaping up to be a hard fought championship.
With Dyce Carriers, Site Sealants, AMD on board along with all the new sponsors including ACTIPH Water, Scottish Motocross has never been better placed to show the rest of the UK how it’s done. They say money talk but so does results and there’s a good number of riders wanting to prove a point.
The next round of The Scottish Championship will be at Rhynie (nr Aberdeen) 29th / 30th April