The H2O Classic.
Husqvarna Monster Energy rider Billy Bolt finally came good at the 2018 British Extreme Enduro Championship with his first win of the series at H2O to defend his 2017 title. Last off the line he powered into the lead by the end of the first lap then piled the pressure on to take victory some eight and a half minutes ahead of rival Red Bull KTM’s Jonny Walker. His most impressive ride of the season so far.
H2O saw the series reach its mid-point with three down and three to go. Graham Jarvis had nailed the Tong event while Walker took the honours at Cowm Quarry. With a title to defend it needed Bolt to step up to the plate and that’s just what he did. With team-mate Graham Jarvis overseas it was Walker who presented just one of the challenges with the ever-present Paul Bolton waiting to pounce while a surprise late entry from David Knight was curtailed early on as the big Manxman retired after just two laps with a stomach problem.
KTM’s Nathan Watson tried his hand at Extreme Enduro for the first time alongside Beta’s Jonno Richardson with Sam Winterburn, Gethin Humphries and James Dent all in the Championship ranks and all going extremely well.
H2O had undergone quite a few changes over the winter months and the course layout included new stream sections and extended sections which altogether made for the toughest layout to date at the venue. The rock garden and big log were both included along with several other very tricky log challenges scattered throughout the woodland section.
The two and a half hour race saw Paul Bolton and Sam Winterburn get good starts alongside Knighter while Walker and Bolt were the last two to leave the line. Not that it made much difference, Bolt took the lead within a lap and Walker was around third or fourth with Bolton in a solid second spot and that’s how it stayed for much of the race until Walker upped his pace in the final few laps to snatch second with Bolton third. Nathan Watson had been up to fourth but faded to eighth as Jonno Richardson moved to just outside the top three, followed by Jordan Scott, Gethin Humphries and Sam Winterburn.
Joe Deakin once again took the Expert class with a superb ride that saw him fifth overall, mixed in amongst the Pro’s. Charlie frost took second with Sam Ludgate third at the head of a very competitive Expert class.
Gas Gas mounted Juan Knight headed the Elite Vets, a lap clear of second placed Harold Crawford as Kieran Hankin took third in a very tough group of competitors. Dawson Marriott nailed the Clubman class win ahead of Stuart Mack and Richard Hawes.
The two hour morning race once again saw outstanding performances from the Youth class riders with Will Stansbie taking the win and Suff Sella second ahead of both Mick Boam Mark Houson and Richard Bentham in the Vets.
Stansbie has put in some superb rides this season in the extreme series but this was one of his best. Jamie Williams took third in Youth.
Tsuk Sella took his first UK class win in the Sportsman class but couldn’t catch his brother in second overall. Jack Winn and Ryan Crayston took second and third Sportsman spots in a very tough race.
H2O proved to be an outstanding venue once again, providing a mixture of challenges and variety of terrain that more than tested the best of the best.
Billy Bolt saw it all come together in a fast and smart ride that saw him flying around the course with no major mistakes. With three different winners and three rounds to go it’s anyone’s guess who will take the 2018 title but keeping it close and competitive should make for a really interest final three rounds.
Well done to the Fast Eddy crew on a great layout and making the day run smoothly.