Weather watch

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TRAWDEN-based Bradford Motor Club general secretary Phillip Crosby will be watching the weather forecasts today at his home to find out what he faces at bleak and remote Yarnbury on Sunday.

Phillip and his Bradford team will stage the second round of the Yorkshire Centre ACU 2012 trials championship at the disused and protected derelict lead mine north of Grassington.

The venue is exposed to all elements with not a vestige of shelter. Even the trees are sparse!

The club managed to stage their Autowbars closed championship event at Silsden on Saturday. That trial was the only motorcycle event that took place from Derbyshire to the Scottish Borders as other planned events vanished under the snow.

The second event in the Yorkshire Championship at East Morten last Sunday was one of the axed events.

Arctic would be an understatement in describing the conditions high above Silsden on Saturday afternoon, where the Bradford Motor Club staged round three of the Autowbars Winter Series trial championship.

Sixty competitors signed entry forms in overcast conditions, but within half an hour of the riders leaving the start, the horizon vanished and the snow started to fall.

The ground was frozen and the snow settled rapidly as spinning rear wheels polished the sections. After a dozen or so riders managed to ride the sections, the remainder battled to stay upright let alone get into one of the eight sections. The planned four laps was axed to three, and for some it was a case of one struggling lap and then load up and head for home. Despite the best efforts of Clerk of Course Paul Bailey, the approach to all eight sections resembled the next best thing to a an ice rink. Of the 21e finishers, only Horsforth over 40s contender Simon Armstrong managed to grasp the conditions. A returnee to trials, he was a very talented youth class rider, and lost half the number of penalties as Todmorden visitor Ross Hall. The trial started at dead on 12-30 p.m., by which time the snow clouds were hovering over distant Crosshills, and by the time the field got to the Wallside, the first section, flakes of snow were already coming down. The climb right up against the stonework afforded some shelter, but the triple routing was just frozen. Some could not get off the launch pad and others got moving only to stop on the earth step a bike length ahead.

A soft throttle was the key as winner Armstrong demonstrated. Bedale’s Rachael Stelling just stood on her Sherco and breezed up the easy route on a constant throttle. Rachael repeated the same move and line on lap two to post a second clean.

The brothers Lampkin, Sam and Tom, were just about the same but Sam strayed off line and required some leg work. Significantly only Amstrong cleaned on all laps, followed by a double from over 40s runner Gary Rushton. On the hard course Anderton got his act moving on the second section, way up on the top pasture where the launch area was even worse than on the first section. Dabs went down to Jason Dunning, Rushton, Anderton, Tim and Scott Jackson. The worst sections were at the far boundary where Ron Eddings and Alan Hodkinson were verging on hyperthermia.

At least the fourth was user friendly in all classes as was the fifth but that all changed at the sixth. Only Anderton and Rushton mastered the twists and frozen ruts. Mick Shorrock, alias Eskimo Joe, was stationed at the seventh where only Dunning, Armstrong and Tim Jackson got the best out of the icy terrain.

Novices winner was Richard Anderton (Gas Gas), and Over 40s winner was Simon Armstrong (Beta).

On the green course, John Spensley (Honda) came out on top, and easy course victors were, novices - Andrew Kernahan (Gas Gas), Over 40s - David Milner (Gas Gas), and Youth C - Tom Lampkin (Beta).