Title leader Chris Koch extended his lead in the second round of the ACU Trailbike Trials Championship staged by West Glos & Dean Forest MCC.
The Sherco X-Ride rider’s efforts weren’t derailed by a tyre problem in the final group of sections in the 35th running of the annual Wyegate Long Distance Trial, but it was a close battle for the podium positions between him, championship second place holder Martin Gilbert and Michael Hughes.
There were only two sections that the North East London MCC rider couldn’t clean, compared to Devon rider Gilbert and local man Hughes, who both lost marks on four sections each.
Koch got off to a great start on a section which was the same for championship and non-championship riders, a tricky twist across the ruts of Devauden. Observer Andrew Moore saw only one clean, from Koch, who exited on the back wheel. Course closer Ben Bishop later proved that speed was key with a rapid ‘clean’ aboard his enduro machine. The next best performance here was by KTM EXC 250-mounted Ian Worrall, who blasted out for a dab, and recorded a very impressive sixth place amongst trail machinery better suited to tighter sections.
There was one championship section which remained uncleaned, at Nant-y-banw, straight after the lunch control. Koch worked the X-Ride over a large tree trunk for a dab - the same as Worrall lost – but Hughes and Gilbert took three each.
The hillclimb in French Lane took a pair off Hughes, pushing him down from second to third. The trial has been running since 1983 and contained many old – and feared – sections including Pant Glas steps and Devil’s Staircase. The latter has not featured as an uphill section in the Wyegate Trial for approximately 20 years and clerk of the course Rod Jones routed just the championship riders through two tight, twisty and steep rocky gully sections - only three riders cleaned both subs.
The event is not limited to trail and enduro bikes, and Matthew Welch went one better than last year to take best pre 65 victory aboard a Royal Enfield Crusader ahead of the Raw Sports Posse of Steve Grindle, Ben Bowkett and Sam King. Steve Wallwin took victory in the non-championship class which featured around half a dozen easier sections, just ahead of rider/observer Nick Worgan who coaxed his 300 KTM around for 12 marks lost.
The club wishes to thank landowners and volunteer officials who made sure the event ran smoothly.
Trailbike Championship, top 15 points scoring positions (ties decided on most cleans)
1. Chris Koch, Sherco X-Ride 290, 4 marks lost
2. Martin Gilbert, Gas Gas Pampera 320, 7
3. Michael Hughes, Pampera 250, 9
4. Joe Bendall, Pampera 250, 15
5. Henry Bendall, Pampera 250, 19
6. Ian Worrall, KTM EXC 250, 20
7. Ray Samways, Honda CRF 230, 21
8. Kevin Miller, X-Ride 290, 23
9. Andy Foot, Pampera 250, 23
10. Ben Falconer, Pampera 250, 23
11. Keith Jenkins, EXC 250, 24
12. Stephen Kenny, KTM Freeride 250, 25
13. Kevin Stannard, Pampera 250, 26
14. Mark Cameron, Beta RR300, 28
15. Anthony Griffiths, X-Ride 290, 28
Best Pre 65 on Championship Route
Matthew Welch, Royal Enfield Crusader 250, 14
Steve Wallwin, Freeride 250, 10
Next round: Neath MC Fred Rist Trial, July 7