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17th January 2006


Greeves Classic Motorcycle Scrambles Series: 2005 Review

One dead heat; a recovery from 16th place back to the podium; a record entry of 42 scrambles bikes lined up to race -- Michael Eustace saw it all in last year's Greeves series...

Year-on-year the National Greeves Scrambles Series just seems to go from strength to strength, and this year has been no exception. Once again, a number of riders were in with a good chance of the crown but with the series attracting some of England's top classic scrambles riders, it wasn't going to be easy.

Ex-Ipswich Speedway rider, Alan Farmer, leads no 3 Ian Stonebridge and 536 Ian Webster at the Suffolk Grand National on 10 July 2005

The 2005 season was kick-started with round 1 of 12 taking place on 20 March at Marks Tey, Essex. Last year's champion, Ian Bain (250 Hawkstone), from Liverpool, proved his superlative riding skills right from the word go, winning the first two races. He then went on to obtain double-wins at the following three rounds. Eventually his winning streak stalled when a leaking petrol cap forced him to limp to the finish line. On that occasion, Ian Stonebridge (380 Griffon) from Cambridge, was there to take advantage and took the win to add to his double-win gained in 2004.

Even so, Bain was looking unstoppable and it was time for the other Greeves riders to change up a gear.

Round 7 played host to the annual Suffolk Grand National scramble held on 10 July at Great Cornard, near Sudbury, Suffolk where 42 Greeves riders entered in all - a record since the series began in 2001.

Mark Fletcher (380 Griffon) flies his machine out of the bomb hole at the Suffolk Grand National at Sudbury

The 2004 Pre-74 Champion, Mark Fletcher (380 Griffon), was back fully recovered from an arm injury sustained earlier in the year, and in race one his determination shined through. With Bain leading, and Fletcher breathing down his neck, it wasn't long until Bain made a mistake. The result was a fall that put the Liverpudlian down in 16th position. Minutes later Bain had restarted his machine and carved his way through the pack to finish in a momentous third, although giving away the win to Fletcher.

In race two, ex-European grasstrack ace, Alan Farmer (380 Griffon), from Colchester, got the holeshot but after two laps the 2002 Champion, Greg Radley (250 Challenger) had caught and passed Farmer for a well deserved win. In race 3, normal service resumed with Bain back in the lead until Ian Webster (360 Challenger) snatched it from him with one of the best outside overtaking manoeuvres of the year.

Four weeks later the Greeves riders were back at Marks Tey for round 8. Dave Godley (360 Challenger), from Holbrook, was on form and, in race 1, a battle ensured between himself and Webster. Again, close racing was the name of the game, in fact so close that both Challenger riders crossed the line simultaneously with Bain in third.

The only female competitor in the series, Sue Rose (250 MDS) finished fifth in the Pre 64 Hawkstone class

No less than a week later, the Series went to Combe Martin, North Devon. This track would be a test of pure stamina and technique, with a series of fast, off-camber turns coupled with a steep downhill straight - which seems like the length of a football field - which ends in a tricky, off-camber, hairpin turn back up the hill.

Arriving at Devon, Bain's points tally was such that a first and second place would steer him clear of his rivals and hand him crowns in both the Overall and Pre-64 Hawkstone classes. His prayers were answered with no more than the required finishing positions, Steve Salmon (250 Motocross Special ME) being the only rider to better Bain over the day with a win in race one.

Ian Webster (360 Challenger) with the fashion police in hot pursuit.

Now, with three rounds remaining, a gigantic battle ensued for second place with the next three competitors - Webster, Godley and Radley - separated by merely 3 points. However, with all three riders aboard Greeves Challenger models, it wasn't just second place in the Overall class that mattered, the Pre-69 Challenger class title was still up for the taking.

Maylandsea in Essex was the venue for round nine where Webster led for much of the first race, with Radley and Godley in close quarters. Godley, however, managed to better the other two riders when the pair had carburettor problems, sending them down the leader board. By race two Radley had repaired his machine but Webster's machine wasn't happy. Such is the camaraderie between riders in the series that Radley offered him his spare machine, an offer that Webster kindly accepted. Perhaps Radley shouldn't have been so generous since Webster finished second behind Bain with Godley in third and himself fourth!

Dave Godley - is it the one who used to race in the World Endurance Championship?

Going in to the penultimate round, it was clear that Webster was emerging as the strongest of the trio and he delivered a double-win giving him a marginal lead over his fellow Challenger riders. Meanwhile, Jim Patey (380 Griffon), had a good day to extend his lead in the Pre 74 Griffon class, as did Richard Aris (250 Hawkstone) and Adrian Dickerson (250 Hawkstone) - both finishing in top 10 positions against riders on newer, quicker machines.

Overall series winner Ian Bain (250 Hawkstone)

The final round arrived and with Alan Farmer back in attendance, it was sure to be an exciting end to the season. As in the Suffolk Grand National, Farmer was quick off the start-line but Webster was the better man on the day and produced a win followed by Bain and Farmer. In race two, Farmer's European grass-track experience shone through as he led from start to finish, not even Webster could challenge for the lead. With Farmer, Webster and now Bain crossing the finish-line, the attention turned to the scrap between Radley and Godley. Patey had managed to pass Godley but was unable to pass Radley, the trio finished in those positions, with Godley adding to his total of 85 consecutive finishes in top seven positions.

For more info see www.pre65.com or www.greeves.co.uk or call the Greeves Series co-ordinator Dave Harper on 01268 727287

Final Standings

Overall class:

  • 1 Ian Bain (250 Hawkstone) 507
  • 2 Ian Webster (360 Challenger) 409
  • 3 Greg Radley (250 Challenger) 406
  • 4 Dave Godley (360 Challenger) 391
  • 5 Jim Patey (380 Griffon) 344
  • 6 Adrian Dickerson (250 Hawkstone) 343

    Pre-64 Hawkstone:

  • 1 Ian Bain 360
  • 2 Adrian Dickerson 329
  • 3 Chris Huxtable 311
  • 4 Phil Evans 292
  • 5 Sue Rose 290
  • 6 John Runnacles 284

    Pre-69 Challenger:

  • 1 Ian Webster 341
  • 2 Greg Radley 334
  • 3 Dave Godley 332
  • 4 Mark Hamilton 289
  • 5 Richard Reffell 285
  • 6 Andrew Aris 198

    Pre-74 Griffon:

  • 1 Jim Patey 335
  • 2 Keith Lessiter 266
  • 3 Graham Haywood 264
  • 4 Gerry Brock 249
  • 5 Rob Dickerson 193
  • 6 Ian Stonebridge 187

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