The second round of the UK Moto Gymkhana championship took place on the huge tarmac lake at Donington Park, the size of the venue allowing the course designer to come up with a larger than usual layout.
A good entry, excellent weather and nice clean tarmac promised a great day for all.
The first attack caught out fewer competitiors than usual with no fallers and only 6 wrong courses, although championship leader Rob Fox made a basic mistake, losing time going back to redo a part of the course. Taking advantage was one of the title favourites, Andrew Rayfield on his MT009, closely followed by Mark Wraith on a DRZ400 and Andi Beazley putting his new found concentration technique to good use on his XSR700 Yamaha.
On the second attack Andi Beazley couldn’t better his morning time but Mark Wraith blitzed his, going 2.8 seconds faster and putting pressure on both Andrew and Rob. Andrew was next up but again he just missed out. Bailing out of a tight turn when he felt he couldn’t make it meant another full turn and a couple of extra seconds, enough to put him back a couple of places. For last man out Rob Fox the pressure was on, and he delivered in superb style throwing the little RS Honda round in a haze of blue smoke. A huge cheer greeted his time as he took the win by 1.4 seconds. Andrew Rayfield’s slip dropped him to third with Mark Wraith’s great second run moving him up to second place. The top three were separated by less than 2.5 seconds, another tight finish.
In the Novice class Ian Ashford again showed how much he has improved over the winter, getting in amongst the green bib riders and winning the novices by nearly 6 seconds. Making his first appearance on the Novice rostrum was Essex boy Ian Handley, by the looks of his riding this won’t be his last visit to the box. Third Novice was Justin Leary, a strong run considering it was his first event on the CBR600RR.
There were lots of positives for everybody, all competitors recorded a time, some made huge improvements between their first and second runs and some of the newcomers got round the course without error. No less than 10 riders scored a ranking point for finishing within 10% of the winning time, an indication that more riders are upping their game.
The next round of the UK MotoGymkhana championship moves back to the Launch Pad area at Donington Park on 2nd July.
*before adjustment, over championship standing are based on and individual highest 4 rounds in a year.