Thanks to Trial Magazine UK, we bring you the report on last year’s Scott Trial to whet your appetite for this year’s gruelling event! (Reproduced with permission)
The 2015 Scott Trial – A Grand National event
Words: Jonny – Pictures: Trials Media & Eric Kitchen
You can compare the Grand National horse race very much with the traditional Scott Motorcycle Trial, as both have a very long sporting heritage and both are about runners and riders. Many questions are similar, such as looking at the form of the competitors and the day’s conditions as both play a big part in the event’s results, but what competitors in both need to excel on the day is a little piece of good fortune. This year’s Scott conditions were very dry despite the overcast weather at the start, and the talk was that we could see a new winner with a host of young riders coming through the ranks having served their Scott apprenticeships. Some of the more experienced Scott Trial pundits were not sure about the younger riders and, as we shall see, they were proved correct at the end of a long hard day’s motorcycling.
With the start-field commentary in the experienced hands of Scotsman, John Moffat it was his friend from Richmond Councillor John Blackie who flagged the first man away, Robert Hunter, who gave the crowd a traditional wave of the hand at exactly 09.00am.
The overcast conditions would soon clear as the remainder of the 200 riders left the start field at Feldom Range near Marske to set out on the course, which was over 70 miles long and contained 76 hazards.
By the time the riders reach the exposed rock outcrop at ‘Reals Head 1’ they have passed through other aptly named hazards such as ‘Cold Knuckles’ and ‘Underbanks’, and it’s quite a good early indicator of the riders on form. The first rider to arrive was number 14, Andrew Woodward at 10.18.08, who looked relaxed and fresh. From this point on the bedlam begins as rider after rider arrives. The first of the fast riders to arrive was Billy Bolt at 10.56.58 followed by Sam Haslam, Alexz Wigg with Ladies’ World Champion Emma Bristow on his tail, Jonathan Richardson, Ian Austermuhle, John Sunter, Richard Sadler and then, in tandem, last year’s winner James Dabill followed by his Vertigo team-mate Dougie Lampkin who was looking for another victory.
Tales of problems even before the first hazard were coming through, such as Dan Thorpe’s front wheel puncture before the first hazard had even been reached, and Iwan Roberts who had crashed and broken his front mudguard.
The mass exodus of the hundreds of spectators from the ‘Reals Head’ hazards and ‘Underbanks’, which is close by, sees them travel to the next vantage points at around the halfway point, such as ‘By-Pass’ where the river had three hazards on offer with the middle one the most testing. The lead rider was now number 37 Gareth Palmer, who arrived at 12.09.04 as more riders arrived with some looking very hot and bothered from the physical exertion that they had just been through over the ‘Grouse Moor’ crossing that they had just made. The third rider through and looking very much on a mission was lady rider Chloe Richardson, with John Sunter arriving a few minutes later and obviously in a rush as he knew the chasing pack of front runners was coming fast. Sixteen seconds later was Bolt and at the change of the minute Haslam, Richardson and Wigg, and then a couple of minutes down was Austermuhle, Guy Kendrew and then Lampkin, who had moved in front of Dabill, and Ross Danby who had certainly picked up the pace as he pushed towards the front.
Yes it was case of ‘Bridge End’ for both Lampkin and Dabill as the new Vertigo machines they were riding hit trouble with electrical problems. Lampkin managed to rectify his machine pretty quickly but for Dabill it was game over as it was quite a while before his machine would burst back into life, and he knew he would not be repeating his victory of 2014. On the return journey the competitors pick up the course they used in the morning and also take in the hazards once again at Reels Head where two hazards were waiting.
The crowd tension was pretty high as they waited for the first rider to arrive, who was Sunter at 13.52.08 followed by eventual fastest rider Richardson at 13.54.23, and then Bolt at 13.54.56, Haslam who crashed taking five marks with it and then ‘Wiggy’ who also fived it, and then Austermuhle at 13.59.05 who remained feet-up, as did Danby and Lampkin who would eventually provide the best observation score of the day with 24 marks lost. It’s now time for the fast riders to push as much as they can to be the first rider back to the finish and set the ‘Standard Time’.
The first rider back was Richardson at 14.48.03 followed by a fresh looking eventual winner Austermuhle at 14.50.24, who had really put the hammer down in the closing stages passing Billy Bolt whose motor had expired and John Sunter who’d punctured his front tyre. It was then ‘Wiggy’ at 14.51.27 who looked very happy with his day’s work which would be rewarded with a very strong second position overall. His Southern team-mate Haslam was next followed by Sunter and local Game Keeper, Will Reynolds. Ben Hemingway was next and then the young James Stones and his mate Richard Sadler, and Ross Danby who looked very fresh. There was still no sign of Lampkin as Guy Kendrew and the first of the young stars Jack Price, and a couple of minutes later Iwan Roberts, appeared. It was then the turn of a disappointed Lampkin, who was not sure he had done enough for the victory eventually finishing third overall. The Scott had once again lived up to its reputation as the toughest one-day trial in the world as the last official finisher in time, Paul Marwood, arrived back having been on the course for seven hours, eleven minutes and fifty-one seconds – well done that man.
Scott Trial 2015 Abbreviated Results:
1: Ian Austermuhle (Beta-UK) 42; 2: Alexz Wigg (JST Gas Gas) 46; 3: Dougie Lampkin (Vertigo) 49; 4: Jonathan Richardson (Beta-UK) 61; 5: Ross Danby (SXS) 62; 6: Richard Sadler (Acklams Beta) 65.
7: Sam Haslam (JST Gas Gas) 69; 8: Jack Price (Gas Gas) 70; 9: Iwan Roberts (Beta-UK) 84; 10: Guy Kendrew (Beta-UK) 84; 11: James Stones (AGB Sherco) 84; 12: Dan Thorpe (JST Gas Gas) 93; 13: James Dabill (Vertigo) 97; 14: Chris Pearson (Splat Sherco) 108; 15: Rob Waite (Acklams Beta) 110; 16: James Fry (Sherco) 111; 17: John Sunter (Appleyard’s Montesa) 112; 18: Ben Hemingway (Beta-UK) 114; 19: William Reynolds (Montesa) 119; 20: Luke Walker (Sherco) 125; 21: James Lampkin (Beta-UK) 127; 22: Dec Bullock (Team Roundhouse Beta-UK) 132; 23: Thomas Hick (Acklams Beta) 149; 24: Stephen Dixon (BMS Scorpa) 153; 25: Jack Stones (Acklams Beta) 154; 26: Andy Cripps (DCR Sherco) 169.
Standard Time: Jonathan Richardson (Beta-UK) 4.42.22
The Last Official Finisher: Paul Marwood (Sherco) 7.11.51
Best on Observation: Dougie Lampkin (Vertigo) 25
Manufactures Team Award: Beta
Club Team Award: Richmond MC
Best Under 21 Rider: Jack Price (Gas Gas) 70
Best Lady Rider: Emma Bristow (Sherco) 172
Best First Time Rider: Thomas Housecroft (Beta) 254
Best Over 40 Rider: Chris Shorey (Sherco) 373
Top 26 Machines: Beta: 11; Sherco: 5; Gas Gas 4; Montesa/Honda 2; Vertigo 2; SXS 1; Scorpa 1.
Trial Magazine UK – 2016