Event Reports

MCLERNON TAKES THREE OUT OF THREE AT NORA-MX ROUND 4 - REPORT

May 23rd, 2018.

2018 Nora-MX Quad Championship, Round 4, Milton Park, Milton Maisor, Northampton
Sunday 20th May 2018.

The fourth outing of the 2018 Nora-MX championship saw the series return to the popular Milton Park venue. Glorious sunshine coupled with a well-prepped and well-watered track, led to some of the best racing of the Nora season to date.


Clubman start; 46 Gary Atkinson, 126 Ayrton Knowles, 2 Sam Jeffries

2016 British QX Champion Mark McLernon was on dominant form in the Pro/Pro Am class with three straight wins against a strong 20 line-up of many of the main British Championship contenders. He was second only once on the day, and that was in qualifying behind George Callaway.

In race one the Welsh whiz kid Dafydd Davies took the hole shot in front of McLernon. McLernon stayed hot on his heals though and made his move to the front on lap four, maintaining a consistent gap to the chequered flag to take the win over Davies by 2.7 seconds. Surging through the field from way back was teenage sensation Harry Walker, who took third, just 0.5 seconds behind Davies. The second moto was a copy of the race one start with a Davies hole shot and McLernon second to the corner. McLernon wasted little time and, by the second corner of lap two, he was out at the front. There was no looking back as he took the win, again over Davies, with George Callaway a further 5 seconds behind in third. The final race saw Davies, Walker and Callaway in the battle for second overall and were well placed should McLernon drop down the order. There were no surprises here though as the advantage gained by Callaway with a hole shot was soon reversed when McLernon shot past on lap four and pinned it to the finish line to take a well-deserved treble and overall on the day. Walker with a stronger start got a strong second, a comfortable 14 seconds of Callaway in third.

McLernon (1,1,1) taking the overall, 2nd Dafydd Davies (2,2,4), 3rd Harry Walker (3,4,2).


100cc geared; Rory Wood in front of Jago Jackson

The Clubman/Elite class enjoyed a full grid of 36 entries. Pre-season favourite Ayrton Knowles was keen to try and start bridging the points gap to Zak Orchard following his "off" at Grittenham. Knowles was on form and needed to be! His full house of hole shots in addition to wins in races one and two was the perfect start. In the opening moto though there was a new rider in the mix; Gary Atkinson who had moved down from the Pro/Pro Am class. He took the battle to Knowles and was running a close second to him for four laps. Could he put a few spanners in the works as the season progresses?

Championship leader Orchard was the real threat on the day and, whilst bad starts put him down the pack, his strong determination took him to second in both the first and second race. The final race saw a better start from Orchard and it made the difference. He got past Knowles on the first lap and held on to take the win by 2.9 seconds. This has closed the points gap slightly. In the Clubman sub class Rick Indge took the win, recovering from a fifth in class in race one to take two good wins.

On to the Novice class and a new club member for 2018 is quickly making a name for himself. Harry Koller followed his six wins at Grittenham with a further full house of three wins and he was also smashing the hole shots! His smallest winning margin on the day was over 25 seconds. William Dunlop took three seconds and Ryan Hickman three thirds.


Ayrton Knowles #46 ahead of Gary Atkinson #46

The 100cc is another class where a rider is proving to be a step above the others, namely Jago Jackson. One hole shot on the day for Jackson, but more importantly three further wins, to maintain his 100 per cent start to the season with nine out of nine! Rory Wood is not giving up the chase though, with two hole shots and three second-place finishes. Alfie North rounded out the podium with two seconds and a fifth. Good to see three girl riders, in Brooke Bunce, Ellie Stott and Ella Robe making their mark in this group. Brodie North won the 50cc auto sub class and Brooke Bunce was third in the competitive 100cc auto sub class.

In the Masters "A" Ed Davies continued his dominance with two hole shots and three race wins. Jonathan McKnight was the best of the rest with three strong seconds. Greg Fisher managed to grab a hole shot and the final place on the podium. Masters "B" and Geoff Otway was hitting the heights again with three hole shots and three wins. David Marriott was looking a cert for second, with two second place finishes, but finishing down the order in the final race of the day promoted Richard Clark to second overall.

The most open group this year could well be the 250cc open class, with potentially six or seven in the championship mix out of the line-up of 17. Jack Young, another new rider at the club this year, showed that his strong performance at Grittenham was no one off. He took two hole shots and two wins, to take the overall on the day. The smallest winning margin in this group was by just 0.6 seconds in race one - Young over Robbie Wood. Wood held on to second overall, despite having a clash with Luke Berlyn in race three. Alfie Walker, with a slower start to the season than expected, took the final place on the podium (4,7,3).


Aerial view of Milton Park

Overall results:
Pro/Pro Am: 1st Mark McLernon (1,1,1), 2nd Dafydd Davies (2,2,4), 3rd Harry Walker (3,4,2).
Masters A: 1st Ed Davies (1,1,1), 2nd Jonathan McKnight (2,2,2), 3rd Greg Fisher (3,5,3)
Masters B: 1st Geoff Otway (1,1,1), 2nd Richard Clark (3,3,2), 3rd David Marriott (2,2,8).
Novice: 1st Harry Koller (1,1,1), 2nd William Dunlop (2,2,2), 3rd Ryan Hickman (3,3,3).
Clubman/Elite overall: 1st Ayrton Knowles (1,1,2), 2nd Zak Orchard (2,2,1), 3rd Lewis Rowles (4,3,3).
250cc overall: 1st Jack Young (1,3,1), 2nd Robbie Wood (2,1,12) 3rd Alfie Walker (4,7,3).
100cc overall: Jago Jackson (1,1,1), 2nd Rory Wood (2,2,2), 3rd Frank Marston (3,3,5).

Championship:
Pro/Pro AM; 1. Mark McLernon 120, 2. Dafydd Davies (U21) 107, 3. Harry Walker (U21) 105
Masters A; 1. Ed Davie 120, 2. Jonathan Mcknight 111, 3. Greg Fisher101
Masters B; 1. Geoff Otway 120, 2. Richard Clark 107, 3. David Marriott 101
Clubman Elite; 1. Ayrton Knowles 117, 2. Zak Orchard 114, Lewis Rowles 103
Clubman; 1. Rick Indge 111, 2. Axel Bone 108, 3. Sonney Ward 103
250cc; 1. Jack Young 115, 2. Robbie Wood 100, 3. Alfie Walker 96
100cc; 1. Jago Jackson, 1202. Rory Wood 111, 3. Alfie North 101


Next on the Nora-MX calendar is a visit to one of the riders’ favourite tracks; Pontrilas on the 3rd of June 2018.

www.nora-mx.co.uk

Words: Pete Chell
Images: John Cook