The fifth round of The ScotMX Scottish Championship, powered by Milwaukee, was held at one of Scotland’s best tracks. It’s the “Hawkstone” of the north. There are many similarities between that iconic track and Woodside as the deep sand and uphill tree sections make it an amazing test for all those riders who have travelled far and wide to race the penultimate round.
Report & Images by Raymond Thomson – Madmaxmedia
Saturday 4th September
The track was immaculately prepared by the Woodside MX Team and the addition of the ScotMX sponsor banners made for a fantastic sight as the Scottish championship continues to grow from strength to strength and has become a draw to riders of all abilities. Saturday was “kids” day and to maximise the available parking, all races were done in one day to make room for the Adult races on Sunday.
Lyall Rutherford – Auto
Lyall Rutherford’s late championship push might be too late to overhaul Zak Hendry’s command of the series but he certainly showed he was up to the challenge by riding from dead last in race 1 and winning three out of four races. Zak had a problem with his bike in qualifying but he was able to borrow a bike. Not ideal, but Zak kept his championship on track with the overall second, he did win the second race but he narrowly missed out on the overall win. The usual suspects weren’t far behind as Tucker Moffat got the final podium ahead of Caleb Shearer. Ivan Williamson’s consistent riding was rewarded with the fifth and Hunter Haldane did enough for sixth.
Malachi Allan – 65’s
Malachi Allan showed again why he is the runaway leader of the championship with a textbook performance at woodside. No one could get near him as he never looked out of shape all day. Apart from missing out on some AMD Hole-shots as Kian McGill got out the gate, the deep sand took its toll on a few riders as they all battled for position. Robbie Scott had to come through the pack at times and Kyle Graham admitted it was not his favourite track but to his credit, he soldiered on for the final podium spot. The fast-starting Kian McGill was overall fourth as he relished the deep corner starts. Alfie Lawrie had a tumble in the last race and it looked to be a serious arm injury but he was fine and managed to secure fifth. George “Doodle” Dryden had a blinding race as he rode like a demon which was enough for him to bag the final top 6 place as he finished on the same points as Ryan Jackson. The next 4 riders were within 3 points of the top 6 in this hard-fought class.
85 Big Wheel and Small Wheel – Start
The frantic mixed class race is always a crowd-pleaser as the small wheel riders battle to outshine the big wheels. It would be a struggle in the deep sand but they did their best.
Ben McConville and Lewis Spratt ran 1st and 2nd respectively in every race unchallenged. There was only 1 point between Robbie Peace and Jaden Anderson for the final podium as Jaden paid the price for a poor third race. They both had two third places during the day but Robbie sneaked it. James McGowan’s consistency was enough to beat Alfie Stott into fifth as Alfie couldn’t consolidate his two fourth places as his poor final race sent him down the race order after a big crash in the wood section.
Jack Fletcher 85 Big Wheel
Jack Fletcher had a faultless day again at Elgin with four easy wins. Rhys Whyment showed early promise as he would grab the AMD Hole-shots and run at the front before Jack would overhaul him. Mistakes would cost Rhys a possible podium as his results were ruined by a poor third race, crashing down to 11th. Troy Flockhart has demonstrated he can run consistent races behind Jack and was only beaten by Rhys in the last race for third. His overall second was his reward. Ryan McKinney is always a threat and his final podium never a doubt as he beat Rhys into fourth. The high flying Ewan McPherson couldn’t do enough to overhaul Rhys but he edged out Ryan Ingram by 2 points.
Ayden Smith was nearly 2 seconds clear in qualifying and turned that into a barnstorming day by winning three races. It wasn’t all plain sailing though as the diminutive rider would have some thrills and spills as Charley Irwin would push him all the way with his usual hard riding lap after lap. Kyle Peel matched Charley’s lap times in qualifying but found he couldn’t quite catch him during the races. To his credit, he rode fast and hard all day and his consistent thirds and one fourth bagged the final podium.
Charley Irwin – Rookies
There’s always a few riders who take the opportunity to ride the Adult Support on the Saturday to bed themselves in for Sunday. Ben Kennedy rode his MX2 bike in preparation and luckily, after running at the front in race 1, noticed his oil filter cover was loose and pulled in or it could have been costly. He would win race 2 but didn’t figure in the overall. The win went to Steven Rennie as only Ben could beat him in the second race as his 1,2,1 was an easy result. Mikey Graham’s two seconds showed he was dialled in for the Sunday as Adam Slavin narrowly beat Stuart Mack into fourth as the experienced enduro rider ragged his 300 2 stroke around Elgin. He would have loved to disappear into the woods and rip through those trees off track as he looked like he was enjoying himself in the deep sand.
Sunday 5th September
After an overcast day on Saturday, Sunday promised to be slightly better with the forecast rain just holding off until the racing had finished. Due to parking limitations, the Kids were done on the Saturday and most of them had gone home to allow the Adults to take up the parking slots.
Mikey Graham – Vets
Mikey Graham had used the races on Saturday to set himself up for a clean sweep on the Sunday. He bagged the AMD Hole-Shots and race wins and he pushed hard early in the races and seemed to coast for easy wins as he gapped the field by over 30s in two of the races in the o40’s. Only Jason Moir would get within 30s but only just as he managed an overall third by taking a second place in his last race. He had a bad start and had to ride through the pack in his earlier races. He did enough to match Alan Deans on points but on countback, he took the podium. Kevin McBride’s return to racing o40’s was rewarded with the second overall as he showed he still had good pace to stay ahead of the chasing pack at times but not enough to catch Mikey.
In the o50’s, Gordon “Montana” Morrison also benefited from the track time on Saturday and had the best results of his season. After an early injury in the year, he’s getting back to where he should be, running up front. Still not there with the AMD Hole-shots but two race wins was an easy podium. 1 point separated the next three riders as Ian Wilson missed out on the podium because Alastair McGowan and Graham Anderson edged second and third. McGowan got second on the better last race finish. Wilson’s third race win was not enough to get on the podium but he travels to the Vets Des Nations at Farleigh next week on form. Douglas Garrick was the only o60 rider but he looked like he was enjoying riding in the pack with the younger vets.
Adult C start
The riders in the “C” class are predominantly from Fife and at times, they are like a train and the “Fife Flyers” rail round the track in unison vying for bragging rights. Keiran Hunters return to racing was rewarded with the overall as his AMD Hole-shot turned into an easy race win in the first race. John Kenny was determined to ruin Keiran’s comeback party and it wasn’t until the third race he managed to do it with the race win and overall second. Kenny had to push had through the pack in the first race and proved there’s more race wins to come on the right track. Josh Rea bagged the third overall as his season had turned the corner at Rhynie and he kept it on track with another solid result.
Rusty Robertson Adult B
Niall Macauley grabbed the first AMD Hole-shot but was ground down by some determined riding by Josh Gray in race1. Josh had designs on the top step but that was foiled by a bad off-track line in race 3 which resulted in him being tangled in the track rope, this dropped him right out of the podium places and left him reeling. Rusty Robertson benefited from Gray’s mishap as he took the overall with race wins in second and third races. Macauley ran a close second as Stuart Mack’s weekend ended up with the final podium, much to his delight.
MX1 / MX2
There had been a few rumours in the paddock as social media hinted that Shaun Simpson might have a run-up to “Sunny Elgin” instead of Turkey, as the MXGP rider had to alter his plans during the week. SS24 rolled out of his motorhome with a big beaming smile and ready for business. This was a great opportunity for all the MX1 and MX2 riders to measure themselves against the MXGP vet to see how they faired. Tony Craig held back on the start line in qualifying, as he does, and he went for a flying lap. Unfortunately, his foot came off the peg and he lay concussed on the track as Ryan Maclean and Shaun Simpson stopped to check on him. That was the end of Tony’s season. He’s on the mend but it was a stark reminder that MX injuries can happen to the best riders. With Simpson qualifying fastest but only 0.2s ahead of local star Ben Edwards, who was on a high having secured the MX National MX1 Expert class two weeks before.
It was a masterclass from Simpson, known for his sand riding capabilities, he rode hard and was never troubled by the chasing pack. With all three AMD Hole-Shots and the SafeAccess Bonus, it was a good day for Shaun and the crowd as he proved he’s still got loads to offer and can master any riding or track conditions. Ben Edwards continued his strong form with a great display of focused riding as he turned his local knowledge into three comfortable second places ahead of the very fast vet Richard Mckeown who looked like he had turned back the clock at times as the young guns in the MX2 class couldn’t quite catch him in the first two races.
The MX1 podium matched the three race results as Simpson, Edwards and Mckeown raced in order all day. In the MX2, Kyle McNicol matched Simpsons form with the AMD Hole-shots and race wins. Lewis Hall looked like he was up for pushing McNicol all the way but his bike had other ideas. Race 2 DNF meant it was a long trip home with nothing to show for it. Ben Kennedy was the biggest benefactor from Hall’s misfortune as he bagged the next two race seconds to get the overall. Steven Craig has held on to the red plate for the last two rounds and did enough to keep it going with three solid races and the overall third. On a sad note, Ryan Maclean and Logan Hendry crashed out and joined Tony on the injury list but they’ll be back refreshed next season.
The motocross fraternity was shocked by the sudden death of Jude Morris last week at Duns as the promising rider sadly passed away after an unfortunate crash. At 1.01pm both days, the ScotMX team blew the whistle to commence a parade lap in Jude’s honour. As the riders did their lap, the crowd clapped in respect to the fallen rider who touched everyone he met. There are many fitting tributes being posted and none more so than by his father. A solemn moment but we race on and do so by celebrating Jude’s life. RIP#101. There will be a raffle this weekend at Landrake for Jude’s Air Ambulance UK Fund. There is also an auction section with race shirts on from World and British Championship riders. The auction will go live shortly so make sure you stay tuned.
Round 6 of the ScotMX Scottish Championship, Powered by Milwaukee, will continue on 9th / 10th October at Duns Motocross. Go to www.scotmx.com for entries
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