Hat trick for Nicholls as Benstead claims 2017 title

The final round of the Bickers Lifting Eastern Motocross championships was held at Cadders Hill, Lyng, in Norfolk on Sunday. Rain on Saturday evening saw the tough circuit in excellent condition for racing. In the premier class, the expert graded riders were joined by the fastest ten junior grade riders from timed practise, and moto one saw national grade rider, Jake Nicholls, storm to the front of the pack, chased by local stars, Luke Parker and Declan Whittle. Sixteen year old, Tom Grimshaw joined the battle for second place, and when Whittle retired from the race, Grimshaw and Parker traded places several times. Nicholls was a clear winner at the end of the twenty minute long race with Parker just holding off Grimshaw for second place. Shaun Southgate rode well for fourth, with youngster Calum Mitchell having his first ride in an adult meeting taking an excellent fifth place. Series leader, Luke Benstead, riding in considerable pain with a knee injury, finished in eighth place, and that was good enough for him to clinch the 2017 title. The leading junior grade rider was Aaron Framingham, with teenager Reece Martin chasing him to the finish. Connor Baldry had a good outing, claiming third place.

Moto two saw Nicholls last away from the gate, and Parker led from Whittle and Grimshaw. With second place in the championship up for grabs, Parker and Whittle continued their season long battle for supremacy, but a mistake from Parker saw Whittle and Grimshaw at the front after three laps. All eyes were on Nicholls however, as he sliced through the pack, and after ten minutes he was into fourth place. With five minutes left, Nicholls had the lead, leaving Grimshaw in second place following a small mistake from Whittle. Parker finished fourth, leaving Jason Morland, Mitchell and Steve Bixby squabbling over fifth place. Harvey Thomas was the junior winner from new Eastern junior champion, Rheis Morter, followed by the consistent Reece Martin.

The third and final premier class race once again saw Nicholls getting away last, leaving fast starting Shaun Southgate at the front, chased by Parker and Whittle. Southgate went missing at the top of the demanding circuit leaving Parker and Whittle at the front. Morland was holding third pace, chased by Grimshaw and Bixby. Nicholls however, was four seconds a lap quicker than everyone else, and after twelve minutes was in front. Parker crossed the finish line in second place, and secured second in the series from a hard charging Whittle. Young Grimshaw rounded out his first adult season in fourth place, followed by Morland , Bixby and South African, Brad Woodroffe. New junior champion, Rheis Morter, won the junior class to round off a great season. Reece Martin was the day's overall winner however, with second place. Connor Baldry was third, just holding off another up and coming youngster, Tommy Clark.

Chelmsford's Joe Salmons had two wins and a fifth place to take the overall win in the intermediate group, with Yorkshire's Craig Marsden in second place. Paul Hubbard claimed third overall to win the junior over 40's trophy fro 2017, followed by enduro rider, Toby Morley.

The support classes saw Justin King winning the A group overall from veteran Mark Goodson. Surrey rider Roger Frean won the B group with a couple of firsts and a fourth place.

Results.

Bickers Lifting Eastern Championships Premier Class overall.

!st Jake Nicholls Hitachi KTM, 2nd Luke Parker GH/FINCH Husqvarna, 3rd Tom Grimshaw Apico Yamaha, 4th Steve Bixby Aim KTM, 5th Jason Morland Aim KTM, 6th Calum Mitchell KTM

Junior Championship overall.

1st Reece Martin Husqvarna, 2nd Aaron Frmingham KTM, 3rd Connor Baldry Honda, 4th Tommy Clark KTM, 5th Liam Walker KTM, 6th Rheis Morter Yamaha

Intermediates overall.

1st Joe Salmons KTM, 2nd Craig Marsden Yamaha, 3rd Paul Hubbard KTM, 4th Toby Morley Husqvarna, 5th Thomas White KTM, 6th Ryan Powley Honda

Support A overall.

1st Justin King Husqvarna, 2nd Mark Goodson Kawasaki, 3rd Marcus Smith honda, 4th Tyrone Tugwell Kawasaki, 5th Garry Holman Honda, 6th Robbie Pearmain Husqvarna

Support B overall.

1st Roger Frean Yamaha, 2nd Anthony Brown Yamaha, 3rd Edward Harst KTM, 4th Edwin Chadd Honda, 5th Ben Phillips Yamaha, 6th Ryan Bailey KTM

Final Championship positions Premier class

1st Luke Benstead 307 points, 2nd Luke Parker 276, 3rd Declan Whittle 271, 4th Steve Bixby 225, 5th Brad Woodroffe 224, 6th Shaun Southgate 202

Final Championship positions Junior class.

1st Rheis Morter 378 points, 2nd Aaron Holloway 279, 3rd James Wayman 235, 4th Joe Salmons 213, 5th Ben Alexander 183, 6th Connopr Baldry 182

 Report Charlie Ralph