Hockey out in fifth in enduro opener

FULL THROTTLE: Sudbury's Adam Kempster roars through the track
FULL THROTTLE: Sudbury's Adam Kempster roars through the track

Sudbury Motor Cycle Club claimed a trio of top 10 places as East Anglia’s 2013 enduro season kicked off at Santon Downham, near Thetford.

Chris Hockey was first Sudbury man back in round one of the Eastern Centre Solo Enduro Championship, which is sponsored this year by GH Motorcycles and Husaberg, coming inside the top five finishers.

There was a bumper entry of 194 as some of the top national riders from England, Scotland and Wales rode to familiarise themselves with the Thetford Forest course used in the British Enduro Championship in November.

The stiff competition meant Hockey — who was out to make a good start for his 10th championship win — found himself pushed back into fourth place at the Diss MCC-organised race.

On a day when temperatures were below zero and flurries of snow were falling, 12 of the 65 Sudbury Motor Cycle Club members failed to finish the gruelling course.

Clerk of the course Andy Waters had laid out a 16.5-mile route with six laps for championship and one lap less for each of the other classes.

Finishing in seventh was Jamie Roper, with Sam Toy 10th, Steve Mason 11th, and Craig Roper 12th. Other placings out of the points were Ian Parker 19th and Gavin Hockey 21st.

The only Sudbury points scorers in the Expert Class were Glenn Walsh (10th) and Phil Roper (13th) while Darren Nicolaou, Richard Walters, Andy Tyler, Stephen Green, Graham Mays, Paul Belton and Gareth Young all finished in the top 30.

The best points scorers in the Clubman Class were Kevin Webb (14th) and Ben Ramus (15th).

Five of the six 2013 Team Dave Roper rode with James Hockey in 32nd, George Warren 42nd, Matt Rampton 50th, Jack Nicolaou 54th and Ben Roper 82nd.

In the Sportsman Class Simon Gilbrook was fifth and Jeremy Hardy 10th.

Round two is on Sunday, March 17, at Iken and organised by the Woodbridge MCC. But before then, on March 10, is the Sudbury club’s Endurothon at Foxborough Quarry, Sible Hedingham.