Premier Cup - Pontrilas  (Jun 14, 2016)

Picture courtesy of Mike Gurney. Chubbie Hammond in action

The latest round of the 2016 Premier Cup took place this past weekend at the Pontrilas Circuit in Herefordshire and a very depleted TM UK team were there to compete. The 'natural' track, with some great elevation changes, looked in fine fettle upon arrival and as expected kicked up a fair amount of dust from the hard baked circuit on day one, however, the forecast rain did not arrive in the amount expected. Some small showers, early doors into Sunday, was all the rain that fell and the track took the water well creating a little more 'grip' for the riders once the 'slick' layer had gone off the top.

With multiple champ Jim Davies still out of action, Troy Willerton on the sidelines with a small injury and Ryan Butler and Callum Gasson recovering from surgeries and Liam Gale at another event, it was less busy in the awning than normal. However, with Richy Roberts on his 125, Archie Hicks and Sam Hunt in the Big Wheel 85's and Jack Grayshon in the Small Wheel 85's there was still plenty to do and watch, and just to add a little more excitement to the 125 group, Chubbie Hammond made a welcome return to the 125 class borrowing one of the teams TM 125 MX machines.

In the small wheel class young Jack Grayshon once again showed great pace and ability, taking the holeshot on his TM 85 MX machine in every race Jack did what he needed to do, allowing himself some battles with guest rider, Kessell, he used the competition well to hone his skills. Jack ended his weekend with a 2/1/2/2/2 scorecard for second overall for the event (1st in champs) and extends his championship lead once again. A great result.

In the big wheel 85cc class it was Archie Hicks on his '200 hours and counting' 2014 TM 85 MX machine that set tongues wagging. Some good starts witnessed Archie running where he should be with the pace he can run, well inside the top ten and fighting. Some great rides form start to finish, and some unlucky moments leaving himself with work to do on Sunday, combined to give Archie a 8/4/6/14/10 scorecard. Archie took a well deserved 7th overall for the weekend and now sits in 5th place in the current championship standings.

Young Cornishman, Sam Hunt, had a difficult weekend compounded only further by a loose spark plug causing running issues in the last two races. Sam found it hard running in the mid-pack on Saturday as the dust caused some big visions problems and did not allow him to push as hard as he could. Sunday saw Sam having some small technical issues after a loose spark plug caused some running problems. Sam ended his weekend with a 29/30/21/33/33 scorecard which now sees him in 22nd position in the current standings.

In the 125cc class Richy Roberts showed once again that his pace is increasing as his is track craft improves. Riding better than ever Richy put in some sterling results this weekend and albeit for a difficult race 4 he was never outside the top ten. Richy ended his weekend with a 10/7/8/12/8 scorecard for 8th overall and 8th place in the current championship standings. A great result for Richy and great to see such visible improvements.

Chubbie Hammond, no stranger to a TM 125 MX machine, had a guest ride at this event and jumped on-board the TM UK 'spare' bike to do battle with some old adversary's!. Having not raced a 125cc machine since last season Chubbie was in at the deep end, on a 'strange' bike, but took to it like a fish to water. A smiling Chubbie did not make the best starts, a bit more practice time required there!, but nevertheless was soon in the thick of the fast paced front end action. Battling hard and showing some great speed and line choice, Chubbie ended his weekend with a 2/1/5/3/4 scorecard for a well earned 3rd overall for the event.

A big well done to all of the TM UK riders, mechanics and supporters and of course a big thank you to all of the teams sponsors. Also a big well done to all of the TM riders at the event, a great showing from all of you.

Thank you, TM UK.