Three times British Trials Champion, James Dabill – Beta took a step towards reclaiming his crown from friend, rival and reigning champion, Michael Brown – Gas Gas today at the Yeadon & Guiseley MacKenzie Trophy Trial, the third scoring round of the 2014 RT Keedwell Group sponsored ACU British Trials Championship at the famous Addingham Moorside venue.
A very windy day greeted the healthy entry of sixty seven riders across the three championship classes as they prepared to do battle on the rocky outcrops of Addingham, a problem exacerbated by the exposed nature of the venue. Despite marker flags, hats and even the odd spectator falling victim to the wind, it wasn’t to affect Britain's best riders as they settled down to the matter in hand.
Despite not having the best of times in the FIM Trial World Championship at present, it was reigning British Champion, Brown who set the early pace, riding confidently to end his first visit of the day to the twelve sections that comprised the route with a clean punchcard. Dabill, however, desperate to win back the British title was nipping at his heels throughout and finished his first lap with a score of just one following a single dab in the tenth section.
With any early nerves gone, the second lap saw Brown take an early dab in the second section to level the scores between the two protagonists, but that was not to last long as Dabill dropped two on the fifth, a section he’d ridden clean on his previous visit. With both riders running clean for the remainder of their second laps, it was still Brown leading as they entered the final lap of the competition by a margin of three points.
With two riders so evenly matched, at least at British Championship level, a single mistake can cost victory and that was to be the case for Brown today. On both his first and second laps, the fifth section had caused him no problems at all, but it was to be his downfall in the third when he picked up his only maximum score of the day. With Dabill turning in his best lap score, riding the lap clean it was sufficient to give the Leeds rider top spot on the podium with a final score of four to Brown’s six.
Claiming the remaining podium place on eighteen points was Alexz Wigg – Gas Gas who’s score doesn’t really reflect his riding on a day which didn’t get off to the best of starts for him with two fives on the very opening two sections of the Trial. At this level of competition, there is rarely any way back from that and despite upping his game scoring just a single five on the second lap and riding his final lap clean, he had to settle for third spot.
Dabill now leads the Championship standings by fifty seven points to Brown’s fifty four with four scoring rounds remaining so this battle is far from over.
In the Expert Class, thirty eight riders fought it out with Guy Kendrew – Beta making it three wins from three starts in this year’s series, but he didn’t have it all his own way and found himself tied on a score of sixteen points at the end of the day with Tom Affleck – Sherco who recorded his best performance of the championship to date. With both riders tied on points, the eventual winner was decided on most cleans with Kendrew claiming top spot on thirty two cleans to Affleck’s twenty eight. Just off the top two and claiming the remaining podium place was John Sunter – Montesa on a score of eighteen.
Over in the Youth Class, fresh from his World Championship exploits, it was young Tom Minta – Sherco who took home the silverware, winning by a nine point margin over Tom Hooper – Sherco with Dan Peace – Gas Gas completing the podium line-up.
The 2014 British Championship now takes a short break, but only for one weekend, with the riders heading north of the border into Scotland for the fourth scoring round of the series at the Bob MacGregor Trials Academy in East Ayrshire on the 17th of August.
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