Simpson Dominates Rhayader Wednesday Motocross
Report: Chris Czora
Images: Courtesy of Vision Media
Shaun Simpson crests the fearsome Cymythig Hill triple jump, en route to victory
Shaun Simpson was the star as Rhayader Motor Club brought back their popular Evening Motocross at Cwmythig Hill.
Having not staged the event since 2011, the club responded to the many numerous calls for the event to return, and it came back with a bang!
Renowned track builder Johnny Groves produced a superbly refurbished track, and the club’s efforts were rewarded with full line-ups in all race classes.
The only thing missing was the weather, however a rather drizzly evening certainly didn’t put the crowds off, with spectator numbers far above expected levels.
Despite its remote location Cwmythig Hill is well located for the major roads, meaning spectators travelled quite some distance for the event.
Along with motocross fans, the event receives a lot of local support from the neighbouring towns and villages, with many of the residents coming out to enjoy the action.
First race of the evening saw a decent line up of Pro riders take to the line, joined by many of the top local aces in the Experts.
As the gate dropped, it was the Honda of Ray Rowson who grabbed the early lead, hotly pursued by Nathan Dixon, Simpson, local star Henry Williams and Taylor Hammal.
Now in semi-retirement, Rowson showed fantastic speed in the early stages, as Simpson, who had never ridden the track before, soon got to grips as he moved past Dixon and started putting Rowson under pressure.
Making a well-worked pass on the Shropshire rider, Simpson soon took control of the race. Behind him the battle for second was close, the man to watch being Ryan Houghton, who after a poor start was charging through the pack, enjoying some close battles with his RHR Yamaha team-mate Taylor Hammal in the process.
As Simpson took victory, Houghton powered through to second place from Hammal, Rowson hanging onto fourth place from Dixon, Henry Williams just behind in sixth.
Simpson made a strong start to moto two, with Houghton also quick out of the gate on his impressive comeback from injury. It seemed that Houghton was going to pressure Simpson for the win, as he tailed the Scotsman. However as the conditions deteriorated, Simpson was quick to change lines, pulling away from Houghton in the closing stages. Nathan Dixon ran strongly to take third from Hammal, Ben Franklin and Henry Williams. Ray Rowson had battled with Dixon for most of the second moto, but dropped out of contention late on, and was a non-starter in moto three.
That final moto saw Nathan Dixon snatch the early lead, however Simpson and Houghton had the pace as the front and soon fought through to the front. There was no matching Simpson however, the current Maxxis British Championship leader showing his form as he charged to a clean sweep of wins, busting a stylish heel-clicker as he took the chequered flag! Houghton finished a strong second from Dixon, with Hammal a strong fourth, ahead of Franklin and Williams. Local star Alex Walton ran well, battling with former Rhayader champion Brad Anderson.
In the Experts, local star Kieron Cooke took the first moto win, with Reagan Skinner winning the following two. However Skinner could only manage fourth in that opening race, meaning Cooke took the overall by one point. Jonathan Roderick Evans rode strongly to third overall.
Over in the Vets class, former multiple AMCA champion Gary Davies rolled back the years with three stylish victories, posting some quick lap times in the process! Tim Foreman fought through the pack to take second overall with Chris Brown a strong third.
Despite a poor start in the final race, there was no stopping Iwan Roberts in the Seniors who took three wins. Jay Bryant was in the middle of some thrilling battles en route to second overall whilst another of the fast locals, Kyle Biggs, snatched third overall.
Top lady Jane Daniels battles through the gloomy final moto. She beat the boys to take a clean sweep of wins
Juniors and Local Beginners races together, with a Ladies’ class also held. Given the skill set of some of the ladies taking part, it seemed quite possible they would be heading the field, and it proved so as Jane Daniels took three victories. Good starts and smooth riding on the slick surface meant Daniels was hard to beat, although second overall Tanisha Thomas pushed Daniels hard in the final moto. Gabbi Hamlet started well but had to settle for third overall.
The Junior class saw Ben Weaver take the overall on his mighty 490 Maico, on which he got a fine holeshot in the final race. Weaver did not take a moto win, but with double winner Ieuan Brooks hitting trouble in the last race, Weaver’s consistency gave him the win, Martin Rowan just behind in third.
Of the Local Beginners, Tristan Leyshon took two moto wins to grab the overall from Lee Gould and Jonathan Murvai.
As the daylight faded, a selection of Pro & Expert riders gathered for the Grand Final ‘Dash for Cash’, a 10 minute plus one lap moto, with a healthy prize fund for the podium finishers.
Expert rider Nathan Frayne earned some serious bragging rights by grabbing the holeshot, beating MXGP star Shaun Simpson and leading him for the opening corners!
However Shaun Simpson soon got to the front, and had a challenger in Ryan Houghton, with thrilling close battle in their wake as Hammal, Anderson, Dixon and Franklin did battle with local star Alex Walton. Hammal was not able to keep with his RHR Yamaha team-mate as Houghton pressured Simpson.
With the track slippery in places due to some late drizzle, Simpson coped with the pressure and held of Houghton by just over one second to take the win, Hammal an impressive third.
As the crowds filtered away into the night, a little more cold and wet than hoped, there were a lot of happy faces in the crowd. Familiar names and faces from the ‘glory days’ mixed with new race fans; with some of the youngsters in attendance not even born when this event was last held!
All had one feeling in common, the magic of this great evening event is still alive!
Fortunately it seems Rhayader Motor Club feel the same, with the event set to return next year.