THORPE NOW AHEAD IN TRIAL EXPERT CLASS.
Aided by two fellow Yorkshiremen who finished second and third, winner Dan Thorpe (GasGas) now enjoys a nine mark series lead after his arch rival Brad Bullock (Beta) slipped to fifth in the Torridge Clubs promotion on the slopes of Dartmoor on Sunday. Tying for ninth place at the end of the first twelve section lap which Bullock and Emma Bristow MBE (Sherco) completed for five marks each, Thorpe improved as the day progressed and his three laps of 10-6-5 was just enough at the end of the event to secure the win - and the sole red plate holder going into the next round in his native Yorkshire in two weeks time.
Effectively his rivals let him off the hook as eventual third place finisher, Sam Beecroft-Penny (TRRS) followed up his first lap loss of seven with a single mark deficit on the second tour to lead by four from Charlie Smith (Vertigo) , but both could not return single figure scores on their final lap which handed Thorpe the win.
So with Smith visiting the podium for the first time in 2023 in second place, Beecroft - Penny in third, newly honoured Bristow was just one mark away from a podium visit in fourth with laps of 5-11-10.
Corey Dubik (Vertigo) was right up at the sharp end after two laps but a final tour of fourteen put him down to sixth, losing out on the tie break with Bullock by a single clean.
Tipped by many local fans as a podium contender, Joe Baker (Beta) made a one off return to the series to finish seventh, being unable to point the four stroke Beta to the exact lines on the unforgiving rocks in the later stages of the event, but recorded more cleans than the rest of the Expert field.
Being drawn as the first starter in the ballot did not deter Jonny Starmer (Beta) from a strong result in eighth with another front runner, Oliver Sharp (GasGas) in ninth and Malcolm Summers (GasGas) completing the top ten. All of these three made the most of the best conditions on lap one, but their scores increased over the subsequent two laps.
Our Trial Media image shows winner Thorpe with both wheels airborne on the last group of sections.