Anderson turns on style with Cadders Hill double
Brad Anderson, the 2009 British Champion, took control of this year's MX1 title chase with a determined display at Cadders Hill on Sunday.
After qualifying, less than a tenth of a second separated him and Buildbase CCM's Stephen Sword, so the indications were there that it was going to be a close battle in the day's three championship races.
When the gate dropped for the opening race it was Sword's CCM team-mate Tom Church who made the initial running and led the field for nearly eight minutes of the 20 minute plus two lap encounter.
Anderson had followed in his wheeltracks from the first lap and made his move for what turned out to be a winning pass on lap five.
Sword immediately followed him through into second but made an error on the next lap which allowed Church to retake the position.
Kristian Whatley had a consistent ride on the Samsung Yamaha to hold fourth place throughout the race, and proppa.com KTM's Martin Barr made up for a poor start to clinch fifth ahead of HM Plant KTM mounted Graeme Irwin. As the chequered flag was unfurled Sword made a last lap challenge to grab the runner-up spot from Church.
Second time around Sword took the honours with a gate to flag victory ahead of Whatley, who had passed Gert Krestinov's Maxxis Kawasaki on lap seven.
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The large crowd at Lyng had their eyes firmly on the progress of both Anderson and Church who were carving through the field after being caught in the turn one traffic.
Anderson was in determined mood, and forced his way through to snatch third just two laps from the end, while Church had to settle for seventh. Barr was another to pass Krestinov for an excellent fourth, and title hopeful Jason Dougan was sixth.
In the final MX1 race it was Whatley who took the early initiative and it looked like he may grab a priceless senior class win before Anderson came sweeping past at two thirds race distance. Sword got the better of Church once more to take the final podium place, and Bikeit Yamaha's Dougan enjoyed the better of a race long duel with Barr for fifth.
Brad Anderson now heads the MX1 table with a slender 12-point advantage over Kristian Whatley, with Tom Church a further 14 points adrift.
At the previous two rounds the MX2 class has been dominated by the Bikeit Yamaha duo of Arnaud Tonus and defending champion Zach Osborne, and after qualifying it looked a repeat was on the cards for round three.
Race one saw the American, Osborne, take control from the start with his Swiss team-mate following in line astern. Just as it was looking like a straight forward one-two, Tonus' machine succumbed to a broken waterpump housing, forcing him to retire.
This allowed Bury St Edmunds' Elliott Banks-Browne to take a superb second after pushing hard on his DB Honda to move up from sixth at the end of lap one.
Maxxis Kawasaki's Bryan Mackenzie had one of his best rides since switching to a new team for third, just holding off a last corner challenge from Ray Rowson on the Samsung Yamaha.
Scott Elderfield held his nerve to hang on to fifth on the Lanes Kawasaki after fending off the race long attentions of Ipswich youngster James Cottrell on the second DB Racing Honda.
Normal service was resumed in race two as Osborne and Tonus headed home the chasing pack.
Tonus had to work hard for his runner-up spot after coming through in a lowly tenth at the end of lap one. Mel Pocock, who had failed to start the earlier race on his TAS Relentless Suzuki, showed his qualifying pace was no fluke and finished third just ahead of Banks-Browne, who once again had Rowson snapping at his back wheel. After holding fourth at mid distance, Mackenzie slipped to sixth by the end of the 25-minute race.
Having suffered a mechanical stoppage in the first, and having to claw back from a poor start in the second, Arnaud Tonus was in no mood to be beaten in the final outing.
It was his team-mate, Osborne, who set the early pace and had a healthy lead until Tonus broke through and went on to win by a 23-second margin. Osborne fell on lap six trying to stay on the leader's pace but managed to remount before any other riders got past.
Pocock took a steady third while Rowson and Banks-Browne had a battle royal for the entire race before claiming fourth and fifth respectively. Mackenzie rounded out a successful afternoon with sixth.
Osborne has leapfrogged his team-mate Tonus in the MX2 standings but has the slimmest three point margin, with Banks-Browne moving up to third.
HM Plant Red Bull KTM prot�g� Ryan Houghton was hoping to take a stranglehold on the youth championship at Lyng, after series leader Jake Shipton was a non-starter.
Having set the fastest time in qualifying, and enjoying a clear win in his first race, it all went wrong for Houghton in race two as he failed to finish. His despair was James Dunn's good fortune as he took full advantage on his Doodson KTM to win the second race after following home Houghton earlier in proceedings.
It was Jordan Divall who benefited most though as his third and fourth place finishes on the Evo-Tech Honda have pushed him to the top of the MXY2 table, seven points clear of Houghton.