Sunday May 14, 2017
No less than 35 riders of the near future were in action in the third round of the British Youth Championship which was staged at Rye House, with Daniel Gilkes, Leon Flint and Corban Pavitt the individual winners in the three classes on show.

For Gilkes, it was an early present just a week ahead of his fifteenth birthday as he took a sensational 500cc Final that took two re-runs to reach its conclusion.

Opening round winner Drew Kemp was at the centre of the heat’s first two efforts, initially hitting the deck in an industrious first bend, and then pin-pointing the smallest of gaps to squeeze past the previously undefeated Kyle Bickley at the end of the first circuit only to end up in the third bend safety fence following the FIM Gold Trophy winner’s attempt to power back inside him. Bickley was excluded from the final re-run, but with Kemp unable to find new machinery in time to beat the two minute time allowance (twice), the decider became a direct match race between Gilkes and King’s Lynn’s Taylor Hampshire, with the Revolution Academy rider taking the chequered flag to sit nicely alongside his achievement of second place at Peterborough in the series’ opener.

Leon Flint won the 250cc Final to add to his earlier success at the East of England Showground – and handed Jason Edwards his only defeat of the day in the process. Flint was leading the race’s first attempt when Nathan Ablitt fell on the second lap, but, unperturbed, re-emerged to lead home Edwards again in the re-run, with the latter having to work his way around Jordan Palin on the second lap to claim second spot.

Corban Pavitt took the 125cc class, claiming the Final ahead of Sam McGurk – who had taken the series’ previous two rounds at Peterborough and Scunthorpe, and also won his programmed rides here – and twin brother Harry McGurk. Sonny Springer finished fourth in the Final, and deserves an extra mention for his incredible last bend pass of Aiden Arthur to win Heat 34 and sneak through to the decider on count-back.

The three Finals proved a riveting conclusion to the day, with Young Lions Manager Neil Vatcher saying, only partially tongue in cheek, afterwards that “If an alien had come down from space today, he really wouldn’t have known that he was watching youth riders. That highlights the dedication, attitude and professionalism of everyone out there.

“I want to say a big thank-you once again to Rye House for stepping in at short notice to stage this event, and to everyone who came out today to support the Young Lions. We are already looking forward to being back here for Round Four on June 11th.”

500cc Class:

Kyle Bickley 12, Daniel Gilkes 10, Drew Kemp 9, Taylor Hampshire 4, James Laker 4, Liam Little 2, Elliot Bloxsome 0.

Final: Daniel Gilkes, Taylor Hampshire, Drew Kemp (exc 2 mins), Kyle Bickley (exc)

250cc Class:

Jason Edwards 12, Jordan Palin 8, Leon Flint 8, Nathan Ablitt 6, Joe Thompson 6, Dan Thompson 5, Sam Hagon 2, Jacob Clayton 0.

Final: Leon Flint, Jason Edwards, Jordan Palin, Nathan Ablitt (fex)

125cc Class:

Sam McGurk 12, Harry McGurk 11, Corban Pavitt 10, Sonny Springer 8, Freddie Fox-Baron 8, Bailey Fellows 7, Luke Harrison 7, Charlie Jenson 6, Alex Goldsborough 6, Aiden Arthur 6, Callum Gill 5, Mickie Simpson 5, Archie Wareham 5, Elliot Kelly 5, Sam Peters 4, Mikey Robbins 4, Taya Thurtle 3, Beau Stonehewer 2, Jacob Fellows 2, Max Perry 0.

Final: Corban Pavitt, Sam McGurk, Harry McGurk, Sonny Springer