It was the Turn of Rye House to host a Round of the Mitas British Youth Championship for Round 4, and for anybody that has not visited the Hertfordshire venue in 2016 it was an impressive site. All of the riders arrived to see the improvements that the Rye House promotion has done to the venue since our last visit there in 2015.
The British Youth Championship has been very fortunate already this year to have been able to visit some impressive venues, such as Glasgow and King’s Lynn, and now with the improvements at Rye House, again this is another venue that is on the up.
Again another fantastic turn out of riders, 41 in total across the 4 classes, and it is credit to all the riders and Mums and Dads involved that we have now such great numbers at each and every round across the country, and backs up why this year’s championship has been increased to 8 rounds.
The 2 British Championship classes of 500cc and 250cc, are really hotting up at the half way stage, and you can witness the disappointment of any riders dropping points in their heats, as they all try to amass enough points to make the all important final.
Leading the chase from the 500cc class was series leader Tom Brennan, who looked really quick in the heats with some real fast times, and won each of his 4 qualifying heats, to get first pick in the final.
Daniel Gilkes also looked quick, and qualified for his first final after just dropping 1 point to Brennan in the heats, along with Luke Woodhull who only dropped points to Gilkes in both his 1st and 4th qualifying race.
The 4th qualifier went right down to the last race of the day, and was between 2 riders who had experience mechanical gremlins during their heats, Jordan Jenkins and Kyle Bickley.
Both Jenkins and Bickley were in scoring positions when their machines let them down, and for one of them it would prove really costly and a place in the final.
The pressure was on Bickley as he had to win his last heat to qualify, but with the calmness of an experienced campaigner Bickley did the job, and made it through as the 4th highest scorer.
In the Final Brennan selected Gate 2, Gilkes went off 3, Woodhull selected the outside gate, and one would imagine that Bickley to have gate 1, from the last pick could not believe his luck to be left with the inside gate.
The start in the final was key, and Bickley made a blinder, and just stopped Brennen from getting across him, and then on his 2nd machine powered his way to his 3rd British Youth win from 4 rounds, and ultimately taking a 1 point lead in to Round 5 from Brennan.
Brennan made the rostrum for the 4th consecutive round, this time as runner up, with the much improved Luke Woodhull in 3rd place.
The unluckiest rider of the day was Daniel Gilkes, who on his maiden 500cc final, was trying all different lines to pass Woodhull, on the last corner of the last lap, picked up some unexpected drive, and rode full gas in to the safety fence, much to everyone’s despair.
After being attended to by the paramedics for about 40 minutes, Daniel was able to take himself of to hospital, where it was diagnosed that he had broken his wrist in 2 places, and although of course very disappointed, with the speed of the crash it could have been a lot worse.
Every one at the Young Lions wishes Daniel a speedy recovery!
The 250cc Championship only consisted of 4 riders, so during the heats, each of the 4 riders would be racing to have 1st pick of gates in the final.
After just missing out to Jason Edwards in the 1st heat, the very stylish Leon Flint made no more errors after that, and although did not have it all his own way, and had to come from the back on more than one occasion, won the next 3 qualifying heats to amass 11 points.
Series leader Jason Edwards had 1 win and 2 seconds on his way to the final, and the frustrated Drew Kemp, although as hard as he tried, could not challenge Flint or Edwards for any race wins, scored 4 points with the unlucky Aaron Butcher failing to score.
Coming into this round Edwards was 6 points in front, so Flint knew he really could not let Edwards pull away anymore than that, so he made no mistake in the final, and reduced the series points to just 4 points behind Edwards, and with Kemp claiming his 3rd rostrum place out of the 3 rounds he has competed in.
In the support classes, Nathan Ablitt again dominated the 150cc class, and incredibly still has not been beaten in the whole 4 round series thus far.
There were also impressive performances from both Keiron McCoy and Sam Hagon who both made it on to the rostrum in the 150cc class.
In the 125s it was good to see Harry McGurk back racing again after breaking his arm at round 1 back in April, and although he did a great job to qualify for the final was perhaps a bit race rusty to put in a real challenge to the ever impressive Thompson twins, who both maxed out in their heats, and Joe just beat Dan in the final, to claim the bragging rights in the Thompson household until at least the next round.
Also a special mention to the ever improving Corbin Pavitt who made his 1st final, and also the unlucky Mickie Simpson who won 2 of his heats and crashed in his other 2, otherwise for sure would have made the final.
All in all yet another very successful day, and congratulations to all the riders, as each and everyone of them are worth a mention, as they all did a sterling job.
The series now moves on to Leicester on the 31st July, and already the Young Lions Management are counting the days!