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Prize winners in today's Youth Championship Image Credit: Jack Cupido

Thompsons on top as the bikes roar again

NEWS Saturday 19th September 2020, 9:21pm

by Mike Hunter

The bikes roared at Armadale today for the first time this season, and although there was a big pileup in the very last race, the event ran smoothly with some very impressive performers in the various age groups.

Most important of all there seems to have been no serious damage done to any of those who came down. Archie Freeman was the most spectacular faller when he flew into the air fence in the 500cc final, and he was nursing a sore shoulder, but it doesn't seem to be serious.

Those who have been following the results of the Youth Championship will not have been surprised that the Thomson twins finished as top two in the 500cc class. It was their first appearance at Armadale and they showed their quality throughout, even though a second ride stoppage meant that Dan still needed to do well in his final race to make the final.

In that last race of the day, Joe Thompson took the title with Dan on his tail, while Freeman lost control battling for third with Harry McGurk.

The Thompsons are so well turned out and such stylish riders that it's no surprise that Leicester were planning to give them their reserve berths for this season. That, like everything else, will have to wait. The heats between them were the classiest of the day.

In the 250cc class we saw the race of the day, heat 11 between Luke Harrison and Max James. Luke led the way but had Max trying some spectacular swoops round the outside, which eventually paid off with a brilliant overtake. Luke then spun off on the last lap which was his second fall of the day, bringing to an end his unbeaten run over the previous two Championship meetings. Harrison could not continue and Max James took the final.

Another Max, Perry, was the winner in the 'A' group of the 125cc racers, while runner-up William Cairns had his best result of this series. Many would be looking out for Ace Pijper but he had an unlucky day with just one race win and a last ride retirement.

But there was still joy for the Pijper family as younger brother Stene showed terrific style to win the 125cc 'B' group. He won all of his five heats including some nifty overtakes.

The 31 races were rattled through in not much more than two hours, a fantastic effort. These youngsters don't waste any time coming out, head round to the tapes and then off without digging any grooves or adjusting their race gear.

They clearly enjoy themselves and GB Under-21 manager Neil Vatcher should be very proud of them all. Neil said "It was a very good day. There were a couple of incidents, nothing to do with track conditions, in fact the track was really good. They were the kind of incidents which can happen on any tight technical track and in fact it was all part of their learning experience."

One thing that didn't go well, regrettably, was our Live Stream of the event. In spite of much testing over a long period the internet connection wasn't satisfactory resulting in problems of freezing and buffering for the many who had signed up to watch it, at least for the early heats. We will of course ensure that people do not miss out and we certainly still see this as an important feature of future Armadale events.