A CLOSER LOOK AT THE TRIAL EXPERT RESULTS.
A total of fifty one riders set off in the Expert class at Hookwood yesterday with three laps of twelve sections in front of them and right from the first few sections a pattern began to appear. It was also obvious that Clerk of the Course, Jim Connor had set the level of the sections just right, with the top riders in the class just managing to keep into single figure lap scores, whilst the lesser riders in the class still managed to record several cleans.
Rain started falling mid way through the opening lap so consistency was the key to success and by marginally improving his lap scores as the day progressed was enough to put a surprised Chris Alford (Scorpa) on the top step of the Covid secure podium at the end of the event. Returning lap scores of 10 - 9 - 7 plus two marks on time was enough to give Alford a two mark winning margin over one of the pre event favourites Tom Affleck (Sherco). Being the only rider to return three single figure lap scores should have been enough to give Joel Edwards (Scorpa) the win, but seven time penalties demoted him to third.
Joe Collins (Beta) started his 2021 campaign off in fine style finishing fourth with the very experienced Dan Hemingway (Beta) in fifth after sharing the lead on the first lap. Losing nearly half his total marks on the first lap dropped a vastly improved Tyler Rendall (Vertigo) to sixth, whilst the highest seeded rider, Lloyd Price (GasGas) suffered two poor, by his standards, first two laps before coming back strong on the final tour of the race. Olly Kendra was in the hunt for a higher position than his eventual eighth, but doubled his score on lap three,which was just enough to fend off Tom Culliford (Vertigo) whose ninth gave him a good points haul, whilst Bradley Bullock (Beta) completed the top ten.
An examination of the results show it was the dreaded section two, Sand Mountain and the adjacent eighth and ninth zones which caused most problems in this class, where avoiding five mark penalties was essential for success.
Local ace Jonny Starmer (Beta) was leading after two laps, but having to rush on the final lap, plus fifteen time penalties dropped him out of the points.
Full results can be found by clicking onto the RESULTS section above.
Our picture shows the class leader Chris Alford immediately prior to the start of the event.