Banks-Browne and Strijbos take the honours at Exeter
EAST Anglian Elliott Banks-Browne and Belgian Kevin Strijbos are the new British motocross champions.
In the final round of the Maxxis Tyres backed series at Little Silver, near Exeter, on Sunday. Strijbos gained the 18 points that he needed to take the open class title by finishing second to his closest rival Shaun Simpson in the first 14-lap race.
He won the second encounter after Simpson had come to grief on the final lap of a rather processional race.
The main interest was now centred on the 250cc class. Mel Pocock went in to the final races with a 16-point advantage over Banks-Browne and he lay second to Scot Bryan Mackenzie in the tension packed first race for two laps, but then he spluttered to a halt with engine problems.
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Seizing his chance with both hands, Banks-Browne powered past Mackenzie before half-distance and after winning by seven seconds he had wiped off his deficit and he now had a nine-point lead over Pocock. The latter needed to finish in the top three to qualify for the mixed class race at the end of the day, but it was Mackenzie who made another superb start with Pocock and Banks-Browne snapping at his heels. The latter slid off on the third lap, but he was up and away again without losing a place and after five laps he displaced Pocock and both rivals were now closing on Mackenzie.
Then, with three laps remaining, Banks-Browne stalled his engine and lost half-a-dozen places before he could restart. Taking advantage, Pocock passed Mackenzie and went on to win and with Banks-Browne finishing sixth he now led the title chase by a mere point and the outcome was now hinged on the final race. Although pitted against the open class contestants, Banks-Browne led the 40-minute race for seven laps before losing the advantage to Simpson, but with Pocock finishing in fifth place he was the new champion by a matter of five points.
Veteran Phil Mercer broke his collar bone in a crash during practice, but after receiving medical attention he insisted on riding and he clinched the veteran championship with third and second place finishes.
British Championship Motocross (final round) at Exminster, Devon, Open class, 1st race: 1, S Simpson (Yamaha); 2, K Strijbos (KTM); 3, N Aubin (Honda); 4, B Anderson (Honda). Second race: 1, Strijbos; 2, Simpson; 3, Anderson; 4, J Dougan (Honda). 250cc 1st race: 1, E Banks-Browne (KTM); 2, B Mackenzie (KTM); 3, G Irwin (Yamaha); 4, L Tombs (Honda). Second race: 1, M Pocock (Yamaha); 2, Mackenzie; 3, Irwin; 4, A Sterry (Honda). Mixed open class and 250cc: 1, Simpson; 2, Banks-Browne; 3, Strijbos; 4, G Krestinov (Honda). Veterans championship, 1st race: 1, G Hoptrough (Honda); 2, G Hanson (Kawasaki); 3, P Mercer (KTM); 4, T House (Yamaha). Second race: 1, Hoptrough; 2, Mercer; 3, Hanson; 4, House. Youth championship, 1st race: 1, J Gilbert (Yamaha); 2, T Kellett (Kawasaki); 3, L Houghton (KTM); 4, R Yates (Suzuki). Second race: 1, Gilbert; 2, Houghton; 3, Kellett; 4, Yates. Final championship standings - Open class: Strijbos 530 pts, Simpson 477, Krestinov 363; Karro 308. Veterans: Mercer 134, Hoptrough 131, Hanson 122, House 118. Youth: Gilbert 125, Kellett 117, Keogh 113, Houghton 103. National Sprint Association Quarter Mile meeting at Westonzoyland, Somerset. Racing class - 125cc: P Wilson (Yamaha) 70secs, terminal speed 91mph; 250cc: T Sanchez (Suzuki) 11.67 - 84; 400cc K Laker (Yamaha) 12.63 - 107; 750cc: A Tinnion (Yamaha) 10.45 - 134; 1000cc: D Glover (Ducati) 10.19 - 132; Unlimited: T Davenidge Snr (Suzuki) 10.24 - 130. Road Legal class - 250cc: G Parkinson (Suzuki) 13.15 - 105; 400cc: M Jenkinson (Yamaha) 16.68 - 96; 750cc: A Tinnion (Yamaha) 10.98 - 119; 1000cc: A Bury (Yamaha) 11.30 - 122. Unlimited: F Granger (Hayabusi) 10.55 - 138. Super Street: B Varndell (Kawasaki) 9.04 - 158.