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1 day ago
By motogp.com

FAB-Racing Minibike British Championship back on track

Round 4 of the series took place at Clay Pigeon Raceway with changeable conditions creating some exciting contests

Tags 2021

The circuit for Round 4, Clay Pigeon Raceway near Dorchester, saw intermittent rain across the whole weekend, giving the riders difficult tyre choices.  The main Championship contenders had to work hard to control and maintain their respective positions.

MK-MiniGP70

One such rider was Ethan Sparks, who led the MK-MiniGP70 class by 26 points ahead of the fourth round of the championship. Sparks won the first race of the weekend in convincing style, leading from lights-to-flag ahead of Mason Foster and Filip Surowiak. However, Sunday proved more complicated for Sparks, who finished fifth in race two before returning to the podium in race three with a third place.

While Sparks was out of victory contention on Sunday, Mason Foster took advantage with a double win, and a commanding double at that. The #88 won the first MK-MiniGP70 race of Sunday in Clay Pigeon by over eight seconds, ahead of Clayton Edmunds and Ronnie Harris, and the final race of the weekend by more than nine seconds from Ben Jolliffe and Ethan Sparks. That meant that Foster took the overall victory for the meeting, taking 70 points from a possible 75, and with 18 points more than second place, which in the end went to Sparks with 52 points.

It was, then, a potentially significant weekend for the MK-MiniGP70 championship, with Foster cutting Sparks’ Championship lead down to just nine points. Surely, then, Foster is the in-form rider ahead of round five.  Elsewhere in the premier MiniGP class, there was a maiden podium for Ben Jolliffe, who withstood the pressure from, firstly, of Charlie Huntingford, and then from Ethan Sparks.

MK-MiniGP50

In the MK-MiniGP50 class, it was a story of two strongly contrasting days for Marco Holt, who retired in Saturday’s race, before taking a double victory on Sunday, narrowly denying Clayton Edmunds victory on both occasions, while for Edmunds it was a case of consistency proving vital.   It was Edmunds who topped the overall points for the weekend, with a win and two second places across the two days of racing, and the #146 extended his Championship lead over #58 Holt by a further 15 points.  After four rounds Edmunds has a 44-point advantage in the GP50 class.  With his podium in the first MK-MiniGP70 race of the weekend it was a very successful weekend for the #146.

Given the mathematical superiority of Edmunds’ weekend, perhaps the two victories for Holt on Sunday played an even greater importance, as he now takes some momentum into round five, which he will hope to take advantage of.

Joining Edmunds and Holt in the overall top three in MK-MiniGP50 class at Clay Pigeon was Ollie Sims, who was third in both Sunday races behind the dominant Holt-Edmunds duo. Harry Paine and Archie Gibbs also had strong weekends with both spending significant periods of time inside the top positions, for Gibbs in only his second meeting in the MK-MiniGP50 class. Paine ended the weekend in fourth overall, with a third and two fourths; while Gibbs went second, seventh, and fifth to bring him to fifth overall.

Minimoto Classes

The LC40 Elites saw Archie Gibbs off to a good start with a win on Saturday. But a temperament bike in the rain saw two non-scores on Sunday, leaving the #3 to only finish sixth overall. In Gibbs’ absence from the lead battle, Austin Johnson took advantage to take a Sunday double and top the weekend overall for the liquid-cooled class, beating Archie O’Brien by five points. Byron Johnson finished third overall, with 42 points on the weekend, but it was O’Brien who extended his championship lead out to 36 points over the unfortunate Gibbs ahead of round five.

The AC40 Pro class saw Harrison Day take two wins and a third place to top the weekend overall, breaking Archie O’Brien’s 100% win record for the season. O’Brien himself rebounded from a non-score on Saturday to finish the weekend third overall with a 3rd place and a win on Sunday; while Finlay Polhill was second overall on the weekend, adding two second places to the three he picked up at the previous round at Red Lodge.

In the Junior air-cooled class, the AC40 Rookies, it was Bradley Curtis who took his first podium of the season on Saturday, with third place, before backing that up with a win and a second place on Sunday. Prior to Clay Pigeon, Curtis had not finished higher than seventh all season, so to take a 100% podium record away from the Dorchester venue was an impressive result. 61 points saw Curtis top the weekend overall, while Harley Baker took second overall with a 6th-2nd-3rd scorecard.   Championship leader Oliver Hall bounced back from a disappointing result on Saturday to go 3rd and 1st on Sunday and finish third overall, ensuring he has a 27-point championship lead after the 4 rounds in 2021.

Round 5 venue is the Rowrah Circuit in West Cumbria on the 13th to 15th August 

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