Planned improvements to Pleinmont track will benefit all

MOTOCROSS competitors and spectators alike are set to receive a welcome boost next year.

Paul Le Messurier leads Leo Gomes and GH Smit in a B Group race. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 31491322)
Paul Le Messurier leads Leo Gomes and GH Smit in a B Group race. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 31491322)

A live planning application is currently in place for improvements to the facilities at Pleinmont Point, with motocross captain Graham Waddingham hoping that work can begin next spring following the first half of the 2023 championship.

Waddingham also hopes that the new track will ‘encourage more people to come up here and give it a go’.

‘It’s probably been like this for four or five seasons, and in the past we were able to run it so you could run alternate tracks each race meeting,’ he said.

‘That had to stop, safety-wise, because you can’t land on a take-off and you can’t take off on a landing.

‘Safety-wise, we had to change the track in keeping with the ACU, but now we’re going to change certain areas so we’ll run shorter sections but also have a longer section as well, so it will benefit all sorts of bikes.

‘We want to try to change the Auto route for the kids coming in to encourage them to do more.

‘Hopefully the track will be improved – safety-wise, drainage-wise – for all abilities, not just the experienced rider.’

The work will also benefit spectators and supporters, who ordinarily would have to wait and be marshalled across a live track to reach the infield.

A parked bus housing several officials and the race laptop is currently their only refuge from the elements.

‘We’re hoping to do it so the track goes into the infield, so we’ve got a spectator area that can be accessed all the time,’ Waddingham added.

‘We’re also hoping to get rid of the bus and have a structure, then camouflage it so it’s more in keeping with the area – more like a bird hide, that sort of thing.

‘We want to combine what we’ve got and have it more permanent so we can store stuff up here – bringing the bus up means transporting it, because they’re not keen on us keeping it up here.’

The penultimate round of the 2022 championship unfolded on Saturday afternoon, bringing with it eight Jersey visitors.

Those visitors made their mark.

In particular, Kieran Gregory claimed two early wins in the high-quality A Group, relegating local stars Owen Waddingham and George Symons.

Local favourite Symons suffered an off in the first race, leaving Gregory to win it convincingly from Waddingham and teenager Braden Morris.

The Jerseyman merely scraped the next, though, with Symons following just 1sec. behind and Waddingham third.

Waddingham and Symons each took a MX2 class win by virtue of the Jerseyman having a much more powerful bike and competing in the Open, with the latter clinching the third and final race in Gregory’s absence from Joe Holden and the in-form Morris.

A similar trend occurred in the B Group, with Jersey visitors Oliver Bonhomme and Leo Gomes taking a win apiece.

In race three Paul Le Messurier came to the fore with a great ride, backing up his runner-up place in race one. Veteran GH Smit and young Josh Beasley also claimed two podium finishes.

However, Guernsey’s Oliver Crawford swept the Youth 125s and Cody Wallbridge did likewise in the 85s, where he was followed each time by Jake Beausire and Jersey’s Ashton Hardman.

Jersey’s Joel Leonard emerged a triple winner among the very youngest riders in the Autos, giving Seth Batiste and Max Robilliard something to aspire to.

The Jersey riders have kept their bikes in storage and will, if weather suits, return for the season finale on Saturday 3 December.

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