The South West would be plagued with winter weather leading up to the MXT’s first event of the year. Because of this, the team riders arrived to a drenched track on the morning of Sunday the 17th of February. It was to be a good old fashioned ‘mudder’. South West Off Road would host the round at Little Silver.
The event would see Nick Carbury, the reigning Royal Navy and Royal Marines Motocross Champion from 2018, step up to the Senior class. Returning rider Tristan Lethaby would compete in the Junior Open after several years away from the team. Completing the team presence in the Junior Support class would be returning rider Josh Dale, team debutant Chris Lewis, and an influence from the RNRM Enduro Team in the form of Ollie Harcombe and Neil McCrow.
The day would begin with timed qualifying and the Senior class was up first. Carbury seemingly struggling with the quicker pace of the new class early on. As a result, only managing to qualify 21st and nearly 30 seconds off the pace of the leader. Next up was Junior Open, and Lethaby showing he still had form after qualifying 5th. Lastly, the Junior Support. It would be enduro rider Harcombe on pace for the Navy riders, qualifying in 3rd. Dale and McCrow qualifying in 13th and 14th respectively. Meanwhile, disaster would strike for Lewis as his clutch burnt out on one of the step hills. This would bring his debut to a close.
The first race of the day started well for Carbury, rounding the first corner in 2nd place! However, a mistake riding through a boggy patch of mud later that lap would cost him time and positions. The race would continue to deteriorate as a series of tip offs in corners would see him finish in 20th place.
Another great start in the second race would see Carbury in 3rd before dropping a few positions early on. Seeing great improvement from the first race, running the same pace as the front racers. This would see Carbury battling for 7th late on in the race, before a small tip off in a back section of the track meant he dropped back to finish in 9th.
The final Senior race of the day began, and unfortunately Carbury not getting quite the same jump as he had in the first two. He would sit around 10th place. Never quite on pace with the top 10, the third race would see him circulate and finish in 11th.
Lethaby would round the first corner just inside the top 20 in the first Junior Open race. Working his way through the first lap chaos, pushing onto 15th place. Running a clean race for the remainder, Lethaby would push through the field making passes each lap to eventually finish in 10th place- a strong showing for a returning racer in trying condition.
Upping the tempo in the second race, Lethaby exploding out of the gate to a 2nd place start. Being able to settle into the race in a more comfortable position would see Lethaby matching the pace of the front runners. A charge by the 3rd and 4th place riders late in the race would see them pass Lethaby and he would finish in 4th.
Lethaby showing his class yet again in the 3rd and final Junior Open race, with a great start and moving to the front on the first lap. Leading every lap to the chequered flag for a fantastic race win on his return.
It would be RNRMET (Enduro Team) rider Harcombe leading the charge for the Navy in the first Junior Support race. Although starting outside of the top 5, Harcombe managed to work his way upto top spot despite the challenging conditions. MXT rider Dale would turn the first corner in the top 3, however would struggle with the track and would steadily drop through the field to finish just inside the top 20. Harcombe’s fellow ET rider McCrow would suffer from a snapped chain early in the race, resulting in a DNF, and subsequently the end to his day.
The second race would see Harcombe improve his form with a top 3 start. He would quickly move himself into 2nd place, and with the leader crashing out of the race would inherit the lead. From there, pulling out a substantial lead with a pace the field could not match. Dale would start just outside of the top 10. However a hard crash coming down one of the hills on the second lap would see him retire from the race and the day.
Now the sole representative for the Navy for the final Junior Support race of the day, Harcombe confirming his abilities and Marine fitness by winning with close to a one minute lead.
A very good start to the 2019 season for the MXT. With 6 riders spread across 3 classes, it was a very good showing!
In the Senior class, Carbury’s results would lead to an 11th overall for the day. The Junior Open class would see Lethaby mark his return to the team with a 3rd overall and a race win. In the Junior Support, Harcombe would sweep the class with 3 race wins for a 1st overall. Unfortunate circumstances would see the other 3 riders not finish the day.
The RNRMMXT would like to thank the Royal Navy Royal Marines Motorsport Association for giving us the opportunity to represent the RN and RM at the sport we love, as well as the support we receive from the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, the Royal Marines Charity, and the RN & RM Sports Lottery.
Along with the support we receive from team sponsors-