Favourite to lift the British A Youth Championship title, Dan Peace – Gas Gas today returned to the top step of the podium following his only defeat of the season yesterday at the first of two days of the 2014 Luscombe Mitsubishi ACU British Youth A&B Trials Championship held at the Bob MacGregor Trials Academy in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Today marked the sixth scoring round of the 2014 series. Second today was yesterday’s winner, Thomas Minta – Sherco with Michael Todd – Gas Gas taking third place to earn his first podium spot of the season.
Clerk of the course, Paul Battensby had made substantial changes to the twelve sections that comprised the compact quarry course with these changes reflected in higher scores across both classes. With confidence perhaps knocked following events on day one where he lost the Trial on the final step of the final section, Peace didn’t get off to the best of starts picking up two marks on the very first section whilst Minta, spurred on by taking top spot the previous day kept his scorecard clean. Both riders picked up marks for single dabs in the third section and both fived the fifth. This was to mark the beginning of a short spell of bad scores for Minta with two marks picked up on both the subsequent sixth and seventh sections, both of which were ridden clean by Peace to give him a slight advantage as they entered the closing stages of the opening lap. That is, right up until what was to prove to be his bogey section of the day, the tough eleventh where he picked up the first of what was to be three maximums for him on that section. With Minta getting through for just a single dab it was the young Sherco protagonist who held a three point lead at the close of the first lap. Tom Hooper – Sherco, who has placed on the podium at every round this season, unfortunately suffered an accident on the eighth section of his opening lap and was taken for medical attention to an injury to his leg.
It was to be the second lap of this Trial that was to prove to be decisive in the outcome of the A Class battle. Despite riding the first section clean on his first visit, that was not to be the case for Minta on his second visit where he was to pick up three marks. Fortunately for him, Peace also dropped three on the same section, but a further three on the third, a dab on the seventh, a maximum five on the ninth and a single dab on the eleventh whilst Peace rode the lap clean apart from five on his bogey section eleven put the Kirkbymoorside rider in the lead by a margin of two with just one lap remaining.
Going into the final lap, any confidence issues following Saturday’s events had clearly left Peace and he settled down to a clean lap ride apart from his now obligatory five on the eleventh section. Minta, meanwhile picked up a total of eight for his closing lap, putting him on a total of thirty two to Peace’s twenty seven and having to settle for second place.
With the riders allowed to drop one result from the total of seven days of competition and just one event left, doing the sums it would appear that Peace cannot now be beaten. He currently has one hundred and seventeen championship points. Even if Hooper is returned to full fitness and wins the final round, dropping his zero points score from today, the highest he can achieve in the championship is one hundred and three.
In the B Class Championship, Sam Yeomans – Gas Gas bounced back from his disastrous sixth place the previous day to take the win over day one winner, Toby Martyn – Beta by a two mark margin, largely down to an impressive second lap performance where he dropped just a single mark on the ninth section compared to Martyn’s score of ten for the same lap. Martyn did try his very best to recover and returned the favour with a final lap score of just one to Yeoman’s five, but the margin from the second lap was simply too great. Brother of Dan, Jack Peace - Gas Gas took the remaining podium place despite having only very recently had the plaster cast removed from his arm following an earlier injury.
Mathematically, even with dropped scores, it is still possible for either of these riders to take the Youth B crown so this is one battle that will go to the wire and be decided at the final round of the season at the Mansfield Maun Pidcock Trial on the 12th of October.
Ed: Our thanks go to Stevenston & District MCC and the Bob MacGregor Trials Academy for another enjoyable weekend and our best wishes go to Tom Hooper for a speedy recovery.
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