The third round of the 2016 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championship took place in the picturesque surroundings of the popular Helmsley venue in North Yorkshire last Sunday. A great turnout of competitors to the event saw riders able to take full advantage of the perfect weather conditions. Organised by Dirt Bike Action’s John Kerwin the event attracted many of the UK’s top Hard Enduro riders.
The Pro class riders were set off at 10am to start what would prove to be a gruelling but enjoyable day for most of the field.
Honda mounted David Knight proved untouchable throughout the event, but young Geordie Billy Bolt kept him honest aboard his KTM for most of the first lap as Graham Jarvis shook off his jet-lag to stay near the front of the field.
The single track, steep cambers and climbs proved challenging. The front-runners found parts of the single line course difficult as they came up to lap some of the slower riders.
The second to last group had a near vertical climb from a riverbed that twisted and turned its way through the densely wooded hillside that caught out many riders.
Knighter was the first Pro to arrive with Graham Jarvis roughly 4 minutes behind and Billy Bolt a further four minutes adrift after virtually flattening his exhaust.
James Jackson was the first Clubman to tackle the difficult climb, and Joe Chambers made a spirited and vocal attempt as he led the Expert group to the climb by roughly 2 minutes. Joe describes the track as being marked out perfectly with nothing too hard and everything manageable, he enjoyed every minute of the event, which shows in his results.
For riders nearing the end of the event that felt they were on the home straight had no idea of what lay ahead. Labelled the ‘ultimate climb’ by the organisers the final section didn’t disappoint. The finishing climb was very challenging and draining for riders of all groups. Pro rider Owain Humphries lost time here, as did most of the rest of the field.
A happy David Knight was surprised with the victory having done little practice as well as having concerns about his bike fitness, throw into the mix he was riding his Honda 250x trial bike he had every reason to be pleased at the way he dominated the event. This is what he had to say about the event.
“I was expecting to get a bad start and having to pass everybody, I knew I would have my work cut out with the first half as it was quite fast going but just off the start I started to look for a way and find arrows. Me and Billy Bolt broke everyone else, he was sat behind me when I made a wrong turn but managed to break away again but then my punch card got stuck in the punch and he caught me again. I managed to brake away once again so settled down into a rhythm and started to really enjoy it. That what I came for this weekend, last few months have been a bit up and down with one thing and another, I have been busy doing road racing and I feel its really done me good, its made me relax a bit more and with the high speed of the road racing todays event made me feel as if I was going slow. Enduro has been my life for years and still is but with me having to concentrate on the road racing and different things such as the training schools as well as doing a lot of bikes up at home, I have been flat-out not having time to get out riding which is why I am surprised I won todays event to be honest as I feel the least fit I have felt in a long time. I feel that not getting out on the bike has really done me good as its given me chance to rest and because of that I feel great today, didn’t get tired and enjoyed every minute. It’s a pity there aren’t more big lap events such as this as I enjoy it when I don’t know where I am going and that really suites me”
We also caught up with Billy Bolt after the race and this is what he had to say:
“The first lap went really well as I followed Knighter all the way getting a nice little rhythm together. The start of the second lap there was back markers everywhere, Knighter managed to pick his way through slightly better than me and this resulted in me losing him for a bit but I really enjoyed the event”
Winner of the Youth class was Brad Lilburn, 2nd Tom Widd, 3rd Henry Yardley and closely behind was the youngest racer of the Knight family, Tom Knight who’s main aim was to finish the 15 mile extreme event on board his KTM 85.
This is what he had to say “I really enjoyed the event but it was tough, I had to stop for a breather at one point but apart from that it was really good, really love the venue with it being so massive and very happy to have come 4th”
Report and photos: Nicky Morson – Morson Photography