2016 Premier Cup - Final  (Aug 22, 2016)

The final round of the 2016 Premier Cup took place this past weekend at the Sherwood circuit just outside of Mansfield, Nottingham. The TM UK Team were in attendance to complete the championship, its 4th season for this event, after a difficult season for many of the team riders with injuries abound throughout the ranks. 3 times 125cc Champion, Jim Davies, is still out of action after his injury at round one, Ryan Butler had to retire mid-season through his 125cc campaign to undergo surgery, to which he has just returned. Callum Gasson also missed the entire season after surgery but made it to this last round, this time on a 125cc machine. Liam Gale also succumbed to injury making the move from 85cc to 125cc and has been on the recovery list for the past few months, and finally, Archie Hicks, who looked like he was on for his best overall result to date at this event, broke his leg and missed out once again, a tough year for many of the team and a prime example of how hard this sport can be.

With Richy Roberts, Sam Hunt, and the VRM supported riders of, Jack Grayshon and Troy Willerton in the awning, we also witnessed the welcome return of Ryan Butler and Callum Gasson, with Callum now moving up to 125cc machinery and his first competitive event for 10 months.

In the Smalll Wheel 85cc class young Jack Grayshon once again put on a masterclass. 5 wins from 5 starts whilst looking super smooth and super quick, leading from start to finish in most races. Jack left the field winning races by comfortable margins, on his TM 85 MX machine, and not only took another overall win but a well deserved Championship title.

In the Big Wheel 85cc class, newcomer to the national scene, Sam Hunt, had a mixed weekend after a small technical problem saw him finish race 1, but required him to swap bikes for the remainder of the event. Nevertheless a determined Sam pushed on and on an 'alien' machine and showed some real class under pressure to adapt to the change of bike. Sam ended his weekend with a 19/17/17/18/14 scorecard for 16th overall and a well earned 19th overall in the championship standings in his debut year.

In the 125cc Class Richy Roberts once again stepped up his performances this year and gave himself his best result to date in the championships standings. Richy also gets the 'team award' thumbs-up for his incredible efforts on and off the track to be able to do the sport he loves, juggling his work, family life, his personal sponsors and finances to keep it all rolling along. Richy had his share of ups and downs to contend with at this final round both mechanically, after some contact with a competitor, and physically due to feeling a little under the weather. No matter, as per usual Richy battled on and for his efforts ended his weekend with a 9/11/DNF/12/10 scorecard, but more importantly a hard earned and well deserved 6th overall in the final standings.

Ryan Butler made his return to the championship for this final round and if not for a crash in race one, subsequent back problems and a puncture thrown in just to complete the saga!, could have been set for a podium position with the pace shown and the result in the one race where it all went to plan. After a crash in race one, but an 8th place finish, a puncture in race 2 seeing him drop out, followed by some severe back pain forcing retirements in races 3 and 5, Ryan did however have a great 2n place in race 4 scything through the field and finishing some 10 seconds in arrears of fellow TM rider Troy for a 1-2.

Another welcome return to the camp was Callum Gasson, last years 85cc big wheel champion has missed all but the final round this year, recovering from surgery, and returned here on a 125cc machine as he makes the move up to the 'big' bike. In his first competitive race in 10 months, on a new bike, Callum still showed he has the class even in this new field, with little riding time, reduced bike fitness and little bike set-up and adapting time, Callum made the best of a very new job to end up with 8th overall for the event.

Troy Willerton awoke on the right side of his bed on Saturday and, after qualifying second, went on to take his first ever national race win in the first moto, checking-out from the field and flying on his TM 125 MX machine. Race two saw another great start but a knock to his ankle in race two left him in discomfort and finishing eighth. A fine second place in race three and yet another win in race 4 left the points table for the event tight at the top and Troy heading the field with one race remaining. Sadly for Troy arm-pump did little to help his last race result and after taking 7th he ended his weekend taking 3rd overall, tied on points with second and with wildcards removed, joint first.

A big well done to all of the team, the riders, the families,the supporters and of course the sponsors who make it all possible. A big well done also to all the TM riders at the event, and those that have seen the championship through taking some great overall year-end results. Alfie, Jake, Alfie, Alex, William, Ozzie, Pete, Deejay, and the list goes on!. Well done to all.

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