AS spring begins to makeway for summer, the British Motorcycle Racing Club headed to Leicestershire’s Donington Park for the fourth round of the championship.
Keith Povah started the weekend at Donington Park 52 points adrift of series leader Glynn Davies in the ProperlyProtected.co.uk MRO Minitwin series, but he did his championship challenge no end of good over the course of the weekend, picking up three race wins from three races to move 14 points closer to the top of the standings.
Daniel Singleton set pole in qualifying, and led the charge as the weekend’s opening race got underway. He held station at the front of the pack until the midway point, relinquishing the lead to Povah.
From there he was never headed, although he had a fight on his hands for the victory. He was chased hard by Singleton and David Twyford, while Davies and Mark Taylor also gave hot pursuit.
However, Povah was spared a fight to the finish, as Twyford and Singleton tangled on the penultimate lap and crashed out. That elevated Taylor to second and Davies onto the podium in third. It also promoted Tommy Downes to fourth, as he collected the Rookie class win.
Sunday’s 10-lap encounter yielded another close race at the front, with four riders within a second of each other before disaster struck for Davies on lap seven, as he crashed out of fourth.
At the chequered flag Povah had pulled out a second on Tywford, with Taylor another three seconds adrift in third, after losing touch in the closing stages. Downes was sixth and again the Rookie class victor.
Battle resumed between the main protagonists in the final race, but there were again casualties, as Twyford again recorded a DNF. Povah, Davies, and Singleton were left to duke it out, but it was Povah who came out victorious, taking another win to complete his hat-trick.
The highest placed rookie was again sixth, this time with Matt Wetherell collecting 25 championship points.
After only two previous visits to the podium this season, Ben Wotton broke his winning duck with a brace of victories in the Team Respro MRO 600s.
Starting from the front row, he suffered a poor start to the opening lap of race one to cross the line for the first time in sixth place. Undeterred, he kept his head down and picked off the riders in front, and was in the lead at the end of lap five.
He pulled out a slender-yet-significant lead, starting the last lap one and a half seconds to the good, and while a small mistake cost him a second, he held on to take his first win of the campaign, crossing the line ahead of David Shoubridge and championship leader Jamie Kelman. Michael White collected the MSS Performance Clubman win in sixth.
Wotton backed his first victory up with another win in race two, but again gave himself work to do despite starting from pole. At the end of lap one he had dropped to sixth, and again had to work his way through. However, by lap six he was in front, and pulled a lead of over three seconds to take win number two.
Shoubridge was again second, while Michael Mills picked up third place. Meanwhile Kelman only completed two laps before crashing, costing him valuable championship points. White was again the Clubman winner, this time in fourth.
It wasn’t to be a fairytale weekend for Wotton, as he was beaten to the win in race three by Shoubridge. After finishing the opening circulation in third, Shoubridge crossed the line in the lead at the end of lap two, and from there he comfortably extended his advantage to take the win.
Wotton collected 20 championship points in second, with Kelman third. White was eighth and made it three Clubman wins from three.
There was a change at the top of the championship in the L&W Contractors Rookie 1000s, with a trio of victories for Luke Dixon allowing him to overhaul Michael Cherrett, with the series leader himself absent from the weekend’s proceedings.
All three of Dixon’s wins came ahead of Seb Jenkins – who also moved past Cherrett in the standings with his weekend’s results – and Shaun Sugden, the trio finishing on the podium in the same order in each race.
There was more dominance in the Rookie 600s, as Bloch, who won every race at the opening two rounds before missing out victory at Cadwell Park, returned to winning ways.
The SDC Performance Kawasaki rider won all three races, the first ahead of Elliot Fricker and Tom Vaughn.
Fricker’s DNF in race two allowed Vaughn to take second after a dice with Christopher Smith, before the pair again finished on the podium in race three, with Vaughn taking another second and Smith the bronze medal in third.
In the combined Thunderbike Extreme and Thunderbike Ultra races Aiden Patmore and Steve Palmer split the wins, two going to Patmore as he extended his Ultra series lead, with Palmer picking up the other.
It was a two-horse race at the sharp end all week, and in race one Patmore and Palmer were split by just half a second as they started the final lap. However, Palmer crashed out, with the time sheets showing Patmore taking the win by nearly eight seconds from Ande Friend. Alan Woods crossed the line in third, and was the winner in the Thunderbike Extreme class.
Patmore and Palmer resumed their battle in race two, chopping and changing at the front, but in the end it was Patmore who triumphed, taking his second win. Wood was again third, and again the Extreme victor on his J.Clubb Aggregates & Concrete Suzuki.
Palmer finally tasted victory in race three, and he took his win in commanding fashion. Leading every lap, he disappeared into the distance to cross the line a huge 11 and a half seconds ahead of Patmore, who finished second. It was a third podium for Wood, who’s third overall gave him another Extreme win.
Singleton picked up another win in the first of the two Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Sport races on Saturday as he crossed the line ahead of Thomas Watson and James Seath. The second race was won by Jack Sim, half a second ahead of Mark Taylor, himself only three tenths ahead of Craig Howton and Shaun Wallis, the top four covered by a second.
Singleton maintained his 100% record of winning every race he’s finished, taking victory in the 10-lapper by three and a half seconds. Watson was second ahead of Sim.
Watson and Sim were back on the podium in race two as winner and runner-up respectively, with Edward Watson third, before Singleton won the final race by a massive 20 seconds, taking victory with Seath second and Edward Watson third.
After winning at the opening round, three non-scores at Cadwell put a dent in Robert Dessoy’s BMZRC Chilton Motors 250 challenge, but he returned to winning ways with a brace of victories.
He won the day’s opener, but it came by a slim margin, as half a second covered the top four. The runner-up was Christopher Rogers, with Peter Woodall third and Andrew Wales fourth.
Fine margins defined race two, although this time it was championship leader Rogers on top, as he took victory by three tenths of a second. Dessoy was second, just a tenth up on Woodall.
The results sheet told a different story in the third races, as Woodall made it three winners from as many races. He took victory in the end by 10 seconds, after series leader Rogers dropped from contention on the final lap, the pair locked in a fierce battle until that moment.
Second was handed to Dessoy, himself a tenth of a second ahead of Wales.
Dessoy picked up his second win the fourth and final race, with victory again decided by the narrowest of margins – he crossed the line a tenth of a second before Woodall, with Rogers third after a dice with Alexander Mann.
Scott Carson bagged himself a G-Force Blue Haze Two-Stroke GP win in the opening race, before Jonathan Stamper stamped his authority with a hat-trick of wins.
Carson’s victory came ahead of Peter Moore, the pair one and two in the GPF class, with Stamper the GP winner in third.
Stamper then secured three wins from the remaining three races, bettering Steven Howard and Carson on each occasion, with Carson’s thirds making him the GPF class winner each time.
A clean-sweep of wins for Tommy Philp and Jon Allum gave them another 75 championship points and saw them extend their series lead in the RKB-F1 Sidecar championship, while Estelle Leblond and Marlene Couillard collected three F2 class wins with a best finish of fourth.
It was a perfect weekend for Philp and Allum, and after setting pole Saturday’s victory saw them take the chequered flag with a five second advantage over Martin Kirk and Shelley Smithies, themselves another five seconds up on Phil Bell and Ryan Anderson. Leblond and Couillard were fifth.
It was a repeat podium for both of Sunday’s two races, this time with F2 winners Leblond and Couillard fourth at the chequered flag in both outings.
Glynn Davies and Keith Povah swapped Minitwins for four-cylinder 400s and resumed their on-track battle, this time at the sharp end of the EDIasia Formula 400 races.
Davies drew first blood, winning race one by a little over a second. Povah gave chase, but also had to deal with the attentions of Richie Welsh, until the former champion retired with a lap to go. That handed third to Doug Edmondson, who also claimed the Sub-64bhp class win on his TZR250 Yamaha. Graham McCarthy was the Rookie winner.
It was another one-two for Davies and Povah in the second race of the weekend, this time with Matthew Scott third ahead of Welsh, as Edmondson picked up another Sub-64bhp win in fifth and McCarthy another Rookie win in eighth.
Povah was able to exact his revenge in race three, taking the win by the narrowest of margins, crossing the line just four hundredths of a second ahead of Davies. It was the only lap of the race Povah led.
Scott took another third, while McCarthy impressed to take fourth overall and another Rookie class victory. Edmondson also took another Sub-64bhp win in fifth.
Ash Barnes and Lewis Jones were the two winners from the weekend’s three Team Green Junior and Senior Cup races, two going the way of Barnes while Jones capitalised on Barnes’ misfortune in the final race to collect victory.
Barnes and Jones finished winner and runner-up respectively in races one and two, with Elliot Dufton third on each occasion to make it an all Junior podium. Tony Davies was also fourth in both races to take the Senior class win.
With Barnes failing to complete a lap in the final race, Jones took victory but was pressed hard all the way, Dufton second by just seven tenths of a second. Davies took a lonely third and another Senior class win.
*Image: JTW Motorsports Photography