BEMSEE racers were met with blue skies as the oldest bike racing club in the world rolled into Norfolk for its fourth round of action.
There were three winners from the weekend’s four ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwin races, as the championship tightened up.
Byron Kirk took pole, but it was Keith Povah who took the opening win, with the podium finishers covered by a little over half a second. After leading the opening lap, Povah was shuffled backwards, but was able to regain the lead on the final lap to take victory from Mason Williams and Kirk.
A race-long battle for the win in race two ended with Kirk taking his only win of the weekend thanks to a last-lap move, as less than 0.1s separated him from Povah. Ryan Folkes took third, less than a tenth ahead of of Daniel Sinlgeton, with Paul Witherington almost a half a second further back.
The result closed things up at the top of the championship, with Singleton taking points away from Witherington, and even more away from series leader Mason Williams, who was disqualified for a technical infringement.
Singleton then did his championship challenge the world of good in race three, taking a victory 0.2s ahead of Williams. The three podium finishers were covered by less than a second, with Povah third.
Povah was back on the top step of the podium in the final race, finishing just ahead of Singleton with Williams third. Charlie Downes and Charlie Crawt split the Rookie Minitwin wins, taking two apiece.
Peter Branton was a cut above in the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters races, taking all four wins to extend his championship lead.
After qualifying on pole, he bagged two dominant wins on Saturday, the first ahead of Ben Miles – fresh from racing a TZR250 in the Endurance Legends four-hour at Donington the week before – and Scott Grant.
Miles was again second in race two, as Andrew Burscough took the final podium position and with it the Clubman win, to add to his Clubman victory in race one.
Branton took two more wins on Sunday, but his margin of victory was greatly reduced. Win number three came ahead of Doug Edmondson, who pushed him all the way to the finish, while Grant picked up another podium in third and Burscough bagged fifth as leading Clubman.
The final win for Branton was again ahead of Edmondson, this time with just seven tenths of a second covering the podium. Third went to Pete Fishwick as Burscough made it a Clubman clean sweep in eighth overall.
Defending champ Jason Byard nabbed a hat-trick of wins in the Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Extreme class at Snetterton, with arguably only a DNF in race four costing him the clean-sweep.
The May Construction Suzuki rider beat Phil Seton in race one by nearly eight seconds, with Seton 12 seconds ahead of the battle for the final podium spot. Dave Shelvey ultimately took third ahead of series leader Barry Chamberlain, as Ross McLurg crashed out of the fight on the final lap, while Rookie honours went to Robert Breen in 15th.
Byard crossed the line ahead of Seton once again in race two, while the latter closed the distance but wasn’t able to challenge for the win. Behind, another battle for third ensued as three tenths of a second decided it at the flag.
Three riders fought for bronze, and again there was a casualty on the last lap as Tony Russo crashed out on his Titan Elevators Suzuki. Chamberlain took it in the end, ahead of Matt Hinnells, while Rookie spoils went to Breen in 18th.
Byard made it three from three as he beat Seton for the third time, but a 10 second penalty dropped the Yamaha man from second to third, promoting Shelvey to the runner-up spot after he came out on top in another tense battle.
But Seton finally took the win in the fourth race after Byard failed to complete the first lap. He led from start to finish, with Hinnells second and Shelvey third as Breen took two more Rookie wins in Sunday’s races.
Steve Topping took three wins and a second in the Thunderbike Sport races, further extending his championship lead.
The first win came ahead of Thomas Watson, as Topping ran away at the front of the field, with Ben Doolan making it an all-Yamaha podium. There was a Yamaha win in the Rookie championship as well, with Scott Miller 12th.
Topping’s second win looked a sure thing until the final lap, when a mistake cost him two seconds and allowed Doolan to close the gap significantly, followed closely by Watson. Despite reducing the gap to just a tenth of a second, Topping claimed his second win, with Doolan and Watson on the podium in second and third respectively. Shane Beasley’s 10th gave him the Rookie victory.
Doolan was able to turn the tables in race three, as Topping made a poor start from the front row to end lap one in 12th. He battled forward to reach second, but could not bring the gap down to Doolan who took the win. Malvern May finished third, with Beasley’s 11th good enough for top rookie.
It was a return to the top step for Topping in the final race, as he put in another dominant display to finish 16 seconds ahead of May in second place, with Watson third. Beasley was again the Rookie winner, this time in seventh.
*Images: Jenny Wells