Hillclimb - Fastest-ever day thrills Barbon fans

First published in Motor sport

THE STARS of the motorcycling world took in the sun and smashed the record books at Barbon last Saturday.

The Handley Rose Bowl for the fastest time of the day deservedly went to Matt Winstanley, the Wigan-based rider from the locally-based SHR Racing team who competes at British and World level.

On a day of scintillating times, Winstanley set the fastest practice with a 26-45, initally setting a new record in the timed runs, beating that of the fastest motorcycle up Barbon held by a three-wheeler since 1999 - and he went on to eventually lower it to 25-28 on the Honda CRF 450.

In a compelling top three shootout he faced South African Craig Venske, of the Kendal-based D3KTM Racing Team and the current British Supermoto Champion, along with Paul Jeffrey, the multi-hill climbing national champion.

Venske was first up and set a 25-93 - his fastest of the day.

Jeffrey was next and he set his fastest of 25-43, so this meant Winstanley would have to be perfect and match his previous time to win.

Off the start line and perfect up to the straight and now just the slide to the hairpin and it was surely his day ...well not quite.

Winstanley's first mistake all day happened at the wrong time as he ran a little wide and with it also went the win - his 26-17 showing how quick he was, having made a mistake, but a blistering time was only good enough for third.

Fastest in Class 1 was Dave Clarke with a 28-13 just pipping D3’s Ben Stafford who got second with 28-24.

Class 2 was won by Stuart Anderson with Heversham’s Mark Postlethwaite second.

Into class 3 Matt Winstanley led the way with his team-mate 15-year-old Malachi Mitchell Thomas in second.

Class 4 was easily won by Iddon with the consistent Jeffrey in second, who was also going sub 26 seconds.

Class 5 was won by Sam Matthewman and the outfit class 7 was won by Leed’s Simon Blenkin with passenger Paul Nelson.

Class 8 for vintage machines was won by Sam Rhodes on the Velocette, Sam being the son of class record holder Graham and grandson of Ivan who has competed at Barbon for years.

Iddon's chance of making the final three shootout went when he flew into the hairpin, but a very slight mistake proved very costly: a brush with the big bales left his time in tatters and that was him out.

Winstanley was on fire and flew up the hill to set another fastest time - down to 25-28, but Paul Jeffrey was getting quicker as was Venske and these were the three to go through to the final shootout that ended the day.

The Supermoto boys vowed to return next year and this can only mean an even stronger entry.

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