Saturday May 18, 2013
On the same night that former Silver Ski Rocket Tai Woffinden became the first British rider to win a Grand Prix round since Chris Harris at Cardiff back in 2007, the next wave of domestic talent was very much in evidence at Rye House.

Young Lions co-manager Phil Morris had promised beforehand that the second round of the British Youth Championship would provide “fast and furious action”, and the 33 rider U-16 field delivered just that with competitive racing and a level of professionalism that both belied the riders’ young age and ensured that a mammoth 38 race programme was rattled off in less than three hours.

Defending 500cc champion Nathan Greaves showed that he is not prepared to relinquish his crown in a hurry by taking the Final of the senior class ahead of Reece Downes and Michael Neale, who had finished second and first, respectively, in the opening round of the series at Leicester. Second generation starlet Kelsey Dugard – the son of former World Finalist Martin – suffered the misfortune of a third bend fall when holding second spot in the decider. He had earlier beaten Greaves when the two clashed in their main programme race and also posted the fastest time of the night of 61.0 secs in Heat 5.

The 250cc Final was also fiercely contested, and took three attempts to be completed. Favourite Zach Wajtknecht looped at the start of the first shot, and his heavy fall necessitated an instant stoppage to the race. The FIM Gold Trophy World Champion had been unbeaten up to that point, having also gone through the card at Leicester.

There was no quarter asked or given in the re-run, which was halted after Lewis Whitmore had hit the deck on the second bend. Whitmore dusted himself off and won the re-re-run to improve on his second place finish at Leicester. Also on the podium were Callum Walker (2nd) and Luke Woodhull (3rd).

The Leicester 125cc Support winner was also victorious at Rye House. Kyle Bickley dropped just one point in the qualifiers before winning the deciding shoot-out from Tom Brennan – whose only other defeat came when a last ditch effort to win Heat 4 had seen the defending titlist come to grief on the very last bend – and Sam Stead. Charlie Brookes finished 4th in the Final, with Jolyon West falling when holding a rostrum spot in the five rider heat.

Rye House local interest Macauley Leeke only just missed out on a spot in the Final after bagging a win and 8 points.

Young Lions co-managers Phil Morris and Neil Vatcher were understandably delighted with the night’s programme. As Vatcher said afterwards, “It was a very eventful meeting, and there were some very good races. All three categories were very competitive, and you couldn’t really pick a winner in any of the Finals beforehand. It was exciting to the end.”

Rye House promoter Len Silver concurred, adding that “It is so very important to support these lads. They are the future of the business, and from what we’ve seen here tonight the business is in really good hands.

“They couldn’t all be winners here tonight, but they were all champions in their own right.”

500cc Main Programme:

Reece Downes 11, Nathan Greaves 10, Michael Neale 9, Kelsey Dugard 9, Josh Bailey 6, Luke Harris 5, Connor Mountain 5, David Abraham 2, Ben Harrison 1, Alex Wilson 0

Final: Nathan Greaves, Rhys Downes, Michael Neale, Kelsey Dugard (fell)

250cc Main Programme:

Zach Wajtknecht 12, Lewis Whitmore 10, Callum Walker 8, Luke Woodhull 8, Ben Woodhull 6, Kean Dicken 2, Daniel Miles 1, Saul Bulley 1

Final: Lewis Whitmore, Callum Walker, Luke Woodhull, Zach Wajtknecht (fex)

150cc Support Programme:

Tom Brennan 12, Kyle Bickley 11, Jolyon West 11, Charlie Brookes 9, Sam Stead 9, Jorden Jenkins 9, Macauley Leeke 8, Henry Atkins 7, Jamie Halder 6, Dan Thompson 6, Harry Jones 5, William O’Keefe 5, Kai Hubbard 3, Joe Thompson 2, Sam Wright 0. Non-starters: Luke Whitehead and Connor Fletcher.

Final: Kyle Bickley, Tom Brennan, Sam Stead, Charlie Brookes, Jolyon West (fell)

The third round of the six event series is scheduled for Eastbourne on July 14th.