TIGHT AT THE TOP OF TRIAL EXPERT.
By grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat, Bradley Bullock (Beta) now shares the lead - and the leaders red plate - with Dan Thorpe (GasGas) with a stunning final lap at round four which took place at the Inch Perfect Trials facility yesterday. Going into the final third of the competition, Bullock trailed Thorpe by nine marks, but whilst his arch rival Thorpe struggled to find grip on the unforgiving sections on lap three, Bullock parted with just nine marks to secure victory and the important best lap bonus point.
Corey Dubik (Vertigo) was delighted to make his first ever visit to the podium in third after edging a tie break by three more cleans than Charlie Smith (Vertigo).
With the series at the midway point, Bullock and Thorpe both have seventy six championship points and barring disaster one of these two will be crowned champion in October as they find themselves thirty three points ahead of third. With Smith in fourth,
Emma Bristow (Sherco) was forced to rush the last lap after sharing the lead after two tours of the twelve sections and was disappointed to drop to fifth, not helped by six time penalties.
One more clean ride than his closest rivals gave Brett Harbud (Beta) a brilliant sixth place following his Japanese Minding duties, whilst being the only rider in the top ten in the class to escape time penalties aided Sam Beecroft-Penny (TRRS) into seventh ahead of Tom Swindlehurst who lost six on the clock. Oliver Sharp (GasGas) who made the podium at round three slotted into ninth, just one mark ahead of Joe Collins (Beta) who completed the top ten.
The format of four hard, four medium and four easier sections seemed to work. A dry river bed at sections three took marks wholesale as did the steep virgin hillside at numbers five and six, whilst an old fashion straight section seven offered no grip. Surprisingly, section eleven, another rock strewn stream devoid of water, which has been used at regional level also took marks with no cleans being recorded.
The series now heads to Devon for round five in four weeks time.