As we reflect on the NG Road Racing Club’s weekend at Anglesey earlier in April and gear up for another exciting weekend of racing at Snetterton, we can’t believe it’s only three months until they head to Combe for the Grand National on 1st–2nd September!
NG Road Racing Anglesey Race Report 21st – 22nd April 2018
After the cancellation of the intended first meeting of the year at Brands Hatch due to the ‘Beast of the East’ that blanketed the Kent circuit in thick snow and blowing in –9 degree winds, the NG ranks headed up to Anglesey. It was the first opportunity for many to get their 2018 season on track. As well as the usual NG runners we had an influx of big names as the Scarborough meeting was called off. Also as the 2018 season has been slow to get underway due to inclement weather a number of Pure-Roads teams turned up to get some valuable testing under the belt. This spiced up many of the NG classes and gave the crowds a real treat.
Saturday saw clear skies and sunshine bathing Anglesey, which is a very pleasant sight in mid-April. Things turned a little sour on Sunday morning as the wind, rain and mist rolled in off the Irish Sea. As everyone headed for their various garages, caravans and motorhomes (….presumably to put the kettle on for a brew!) the circuit was hit by a power cut, meaning no PA, no timing system and no radio comms. The circuit staff isolated the overload and fed power to the more vital areas so that racing could get underway.
In a packed weekend, the stand-out races were almost defiantly The Black Widow Bandit Challenges. They got the year off to a great start as reigning champ James McHardy, John Warwick, Matthew Baker and class new boy Harley Prebble had four elbow-banging competitions on the Suzuki’s 600 commuter tool!
Saturday’s first race saw the four drag away with McHardy leading the way. There was literally the preverbal fag-paper separating them corner-on-corner and lap-on-lap. Warwick was mounting a late challenge when he ran wide at Church putting him on the grass and dropping him to fourth. Scrabbling his was back on track he set about making up the lost ground, in doing so he set a new Bandit lap record but could not quite catch McHardy and had to settle for second. Warwick won the next two races but again the top four were almost inseparable. For their final race with conditions almost perfect it was the turn of Matthew Baker to take his first class win as he came out on top after a last lap of the Anglesey circuit that saw four changes of lead. Warwick leads the title chase so far, but this title chase is one that is not going to be easily won… roll on Cadwell Park!
NG Road Racing Snetterton Race Preview 2nd – 3rd June 2018
After the late start to the year as a result of the ‘Beast from the East’, we are now fully into the swing of things after two sucessful meetings at Anglesey and Cadwell Park. Finally championships are starting to take shape and the form book can now hold some weight.
This is the first time that NG have been to Snetterton since 2010 when Phil Bevan was the man to beat. Back then, his rivals for the superbike classes were Sean Hennessey, Michael Blank, Mark Compton and young charger James Kiff. Well Bevan may have moved onto the National Endurance series but the rest all all still on the grids (...older, but none the wiser!). 2010 was also the year that a 20-year-old Josh Day was winning the British 600 Superstock championship. Josh is now a firm fixture in the NG paddock and is THE man to beat when it comes to the Open and Powerbikes. Hennessey, Blank, Compton and Kiff are now chasing Day's tail. They will be joined by Chris Pope, Allister Haynes and a host of others trying to topple Day's dominance.
As ever though, it’s not all about the big bikes. Take a look though the respective and varied solo classes and the in form men and women are popping out as the season starts to take shape. Aaron Ridewood is showing why he was a pre-season pick for the 600 class, however he currectly sits second in the series behind 2015 champ Sean Montgomery, who everyone is at pains to point out is still looking for his first win…could this be the weekend ? Kayla Barrington too is hitting a run of form after a stuttering start to the year, She is now a regular top 6 runner and a first podium is surely not too far away for the former National super moto front runner.
Tim Bradley had a tough year in 2017 on a 600 and has now returned to hos beloved FZR in the F400 class. He has picked up exactly where he took off in 2016 with six wins on the bounce to start this season. Michael Rees and Nick Brown must be scratching their hears as to how to find an answer for Bradley’s pace.
William Holland is another in form rider as he heads up both the Mini Twins and Super Twins tales over Paul Wardell. Dave Hampton is another that heads two title chaces as he in top dog in the Supermono and 500 Open. Phil Webber too has a double top leading both the Formula Prostocks and Pre injection, on two different bikes!
See how all the championships pan out with two high speed days at the Snetterton 200 circuit…
Tickets are available for the Castle Combe Grand National Motorcycle weekend, priced at £30 for an adult weekend ticket and £24 for a senior weekend ticket. Day tickets also available. Accompanied Under 17s go free. To book, visit: www.castlecombecircuit.co.uk/race-days/motorcycle-grand-national/1/9/2018/?book