Shown here - the winner of the Bemsee Champion of Snetterton for 2017 - Joe Morphett
Here's the Final Round report from James Sharpe:
Team Respro MRO 600
The final round of the 2017 British Motorcycle Racing Club’s season took place in changing conditions around the Snetterton 300 circuit this weekend, and with nothing to split the MRO 600 championship protagonists of David Tinkler and Adam Hartgrove - the pair tied on points on arrival at the Norfolk venue.
A number of riders struggled through the weather conditions - 78 across all of the club’s classes on Saturday, alone, troubled the marshals - including both Tinkler and Hartgrove, who both failed to record a lap time in qualifying before crashing out. It meant both would be coming from the back of the grid race one, with Tommy Philp qualifying on pole on his Draper Vent Yamaha R6.
A damp opening race for the class saw Tinkler draw first blood in the fight for the championship. Aboard his Alltrades Yamaha he fought his way through to second place, while Hartgrove came home outside of the points, in 16th.
The win went to Clubman 600 champion-elect, Paul Wilby, with polesitter Philp completing the podium.
Tinkler increased his championship lead by a further nine points in race two, taking fourth place with Hartgrove down in 12th in the wet conditions.
At the front, Philp took a start-to-finish victory, pulling out a four and a half second gap over the thrilling fight for the podium, which saw James Nagy, Wilby, and Tinkler, split by less than three tenths of a second. Nagy claimed second, with Clubman class winner and 2017 champion, Wilby, third.
It was all over for Hartgrove after race three, crashing out on lap four to hand Tinkler the title, which he sealed with another podium, finishing second to Philp. Aaron Clarke finished third after another thrilling podium battle, that saw second to eighth covered by two seconds at the chequered flag. Phillip Baker’s seventh gave him the Clubman win.
Philp took another win in the final race of the season, and was joined on the podium by Clarke and Chris Burrage, with Tinkler fourth and Hartgrove fifth. Michael Mills, in eighth, took the Clubman class win.
In the BMCRC Rookie 600 class Tom Newman took the title, after finishing third in the first of the weekend’s four races. His title rival, Charlie Patterson, did pick up a race win in race two, with victory in race one going to Luke Hopkins. Toby Trundle and Jon Clark also picked up wins over the weekend.
EDIasia Formula 400
Andrew Gill wrapped up the 2017 EDIasia Formula 400 title with a brace of race wins from Saturday’s two races, the new champion aided by the two DNFs suffered by title rival Gary Henning, who failed to finish the first lap of either race.
Gill qualified on the second row, with pole going to Rookie 400 champion Aiden Patmore. From the off, Henning had given himself work to do, crashing on his qualifying outlap to start from 22nd on the grid.
In race one, Gill set the fastest lap of the race en route to a commanding victory, while second overall went to Sub-64bhp class leader and eventual champion, Jeremy Hill. Matthew Scott took third. The champion then doubled up in race two, pulling clear of Sub-64 runners Hayden Wood and Richard Hickling to take the win. Wood and Hickling finished second and third overall, first and second in the Sub-64 class.
Sadly for Gill, he was unable to celebrate with a perfect weekend, after only managing one lap of Sunday’s opening race. Former Sub-64 champion, Carl Johnston, took the overall win, with Scott third and 2017 Sub-64 champion Hill, third.
However, Gill did sign his season off with victory in the final race, beating his championship adversary Henning to the win. Henning took a fitting second place finish to cement his runner-up spot in the championship, with Keith Povah third. Hill capped his season off with a fourth overall and the Sub-64 win.
ACU Team Green Junior & Senior Championships
Charlie Farrer had already clinched the Junior 300 championship, while Ben Hawes was already crowned champion in the Senior 300 class, and despite the overall title not yet officially decided, with it almost certainly heading in the direction of Farrer, neither he nor Hawes were in action over the weekend.
However, despite nothing to play for, the racing was still close and competitive. Victory in race one was decided by just five hundredths of a second, with the win going to Harry Fowle ahead of Joey Lambden. Joe Holdsworth took third, just over a second further down the track. With an all Junior Cup podium, the Senior 300 win went to Jamie Kelman in fourth.
Kelman added another Senior 300 win to his tally in race two, but with it took the overall victory. Hitting the front on lap one, he extended his advantage to take the chequered flag five seconds to the good.
Lambden took third, with the battle of note the one for the final step on the podium, which saw Michael Stone hold off Holdsworth to take third.
If race one’s winning margin was close, then Sunday’s opening race was won by the slenderest. Less than two hundredths of a second split Holdsworth and Lambden at the line. The race was led by Kelman until the final lap, the Senior 300 runner unable to hold off the chasing Junior riders in the closing stages. He eventually finished third and took another Senior win.
Holdsworth and Lambden were at it again in race four, as less than a tenth of a second again covered the duo. The pair were able to gap the chasing field to make it a two-horse race for the final race of the season, with Holdsworth taking the spoils. Fowle was back on the podium in third, leading a three-rider battle for the final podium spot. Kelman’s fifth gave him the Senior 300 win.
BG Products MRO Powerbikes
Joe Morphett may have already sewn up the BG Products MRO Powerbike title with a round to spare, but he was still fighting for the Champion of Snetterton trophy, which he promptly secured with two wins and a second place.
Also still up for grabs was the Clubman 1000 championship crown, which would be played out between Tom Norton and Kyle O’Donovan, with 75 points up for grabs and 29 points between them.
In race one Morphett took the win ahead of outgoing champion Colin Parker and former champion Peter Baker. But the intrigue surrounded the Clubman battle being fought in fifth and sixth overall. The chequered flag fell with O’Donovan fifth taking 25 championship points, reducing Norton’s lead by five points.
With just two races to go, however, it was still an uphill task for O’Donovan.
Race two saw Parker take the win, with Morphett second, while O’Donovan, in his quest to take the Clubman championship, took an impressive third place. Second in the Clubman class was Kevin Silvain, with Norton third in class. It meant O’Donovan had reduced the deficit again to 15 points with one race to go.
It was, ultimately, too big an ask, and despite taking another Clubman win in the final race and fourth overall, O’Donovan would have to take second in the championship standings, with Norton doing enough over the season to take the title.
Morphett showed why he was the Powerbike class champion with victory, as Parker and Baker took another second and third placed finish each.
In the BMCRC Rookie 1000s, Alex Penrice arrived at Snetterton with a healthy lead in the championship standings, and despite 100 points yet to play for, he boasted a 69-point lead before turning a wheel over James Lyon.
And when the wheels did start turning, he did everything right to keep his championship aspirations on track.
In race one he finished second with Lyon third, as Aiden Patmore took the win. He then finished third in race two, as Dan Welford took the win, with Lyon sixth.
Already crowned champion, Penrice was absent from Sunday’s races, which saw Lyon and Peter Gunn take a win apiece.
Steve Jordan Motorcycles Thunderbike Sport
The Steve Jordan Motorcycles-supported BMCRC Thunderbike Sport title was still to be decided, despite series leader Andy Gill holding a commanding 56-point lead over Jack Wallis
Wallis was able to eat into Gill’s championship lead, beating the champion-elect in both of Saturday’s races, however, it was not by enough, and Gill had the title wrapped up after the first race on Sunday.
Carl Mitchell won the weekend’s opener, with Wallis second and Danny Huskinson third. Gill crossed the line in fourth. Steve Topping then took the win in race two, ahead of Mitchell and Huskington. Wallis was fifth with Gill sixth.
Topping was again victorious in race three, holding off the new champion to take the win by three tenths of a second. Gill secured his title in second place, with Wallis third.
Gill then capped his season off the right way with a win in the fourth and final race. He was joined on the podium by Topping and Wallis, in second and third respectively.
DFDS Yamaha Past Masters
With Anthony Johnson already crowned champion in the DFDS Yamaha Past Masters championship, there was just pride at stake, and former champion Matt Barber stole some of that by setting pole on a drying track.
However, he would miss race one with machine trouble, and could only watch as Johnson stormed to victory. Peter Branton took second, with Doug Edmondson third. Andrew Burscough took the Clubman win in fifth, ahead of fellow Clubman Michael Stanley.
A soaking wet evening race saw Johnson double up, while Stanley took an excellent second place to secure the YPM Clubman championship, as Barber came from the back of the grid to finish third.
Two became three and Johnson made it a hat-trick in the first of Sunday’s two races. He was chased early on by Barber, who eventually fell back into the clutches of Pete Fishwick. Fishwick snatched second from the former champion with a last lap move, with Barber taking third. Stanley’s fifth gave him the Clubman win.
It was a full-house for Johnson after the final race, as he took his fourth race win of the weekend. Branton was back on the podium in second, with Edmondson third. Burscough took another Clubman win in fifth.
Glynn Davies and Ryan Folkes were already secure in first and second overall in the MRO Minitwin championship, leaving little to race for at the final round. Yet that didn’t stop the class delivering its typically close racing, with four winners taking the top step of the podium in four races.
Chris Kent looked to have the measure of the field after race one, and after qualifying on pole he raced to an impressive victory. Six seconds behind the winner, however, there were four riders dicing for two podium positions, with Keith Povah and David Twyford taking second and third when the chequered flag fell.
In race two, it was an altogether different affair at the front, as just two tenths covered first and second at the end of the race. Charlie Downes led early on, before crashing out of contention. That left Kent in the lead, but he was eventually passed by Paul Witherington, who would take the win. Kent was second, with James Plummer third.
Picking up where the class left off, race three saw the entire podium covered by just two tenths of a second, as Povah took the win. Plummer improved on his third in the previous race to take second, as Kent completed the top three.
Plummer continued improving in the final race, taking the win to make it four winners from four races, as Kent took second and Twyford made it back onto the podium in third.
Charlie Downes took three wins in the Rookie Minitwins and Wil Green the other, with Cameron Harris already crowned class champion.
RKB-F1 Motorsport F1 and F2 Sidecars
Both the F1 and F2 championships were already decided coming into the final round, with Barry James and Jack Tritton the F1 title winners and Simon Gilbert and Carl Morgan the F2 champions.
That didn’t stop James and Tritton winning race one, with Craig and Craig Clarke second. Third and the F2 win went to Sean Reeves and Harry Payne.
In race two James and Tritton were again victorious, but were pressed all the way to the line by the F2 outfit of Sean Hegarty and James Neave. Reeves and Payne were back on the podium in third.
It was a more dominant outing for James and Tritton in race three, the duo taking a commanding win, but it was again Hegarty and Neave in second and the leading F2 outfit. Third went to the F1 pairing of Martin Kirk and Shelley Smithies.
Hegarty and Neave won the final race, with Ian Guy and Sophie Buckland second and the leading F1 entry, as Kirk and Smithies took another third.