Howarth takes gold after stunning battle with Howe
KITSON WINDOWS BORDERNAPOLIS 2018
1st. Kyle Howarth, 2nd David Howe, 3rd. Matthew Wethers, 4th Sam Masters
With a top-class field lined up at Berwick last night for the annual Kitson Windows Bordernapolis Individual Championship, the 16 riders took to the chilly track keen for glory, and at the end of Heat Four David Howe, Josh Grajczonek, Sam Masters and Jye Etheridge were the early leaders on three points each, but for Jason Garrity his night was over in Heat Two after blowing his motor.
Best race of the first four came in the fourth race, led from the gate by Berwick's Etheridge, despite a solid chase from Glasgow's Paul Starke and third placed Kevin Doolan, but in the fifth drama struck when Pole Rafal Konopka clipped the rider in front of him, falling heavily into the fence with his bike almost going over the other side.
The referee called all-four back, and amazingly the Polish lad strode back to the pits with determination to take that place in the re-run, in which he took a fine second place in behind Kyle Howarth who moved on to five points while Etheridge in Heat Six ended up at the back, unable to bake inroads on Coty Garcia and Aaron Summers.
Busk Jakobsen made amends for his Heat One last, racing hard in the seventh to take a great win, again in a superb race thanks to second-placed Starke, while in the final of the second set of four races, home skipper Doolan made the best of gates to win well over Matty Wethers as Masters' bike blew in spectacular fashion on the back straight leaving his power unit in bits, and with two rides each Grajczonek led the way on six ahead of Howarth on five.
Kasper Andersen (on his first ever visit to Shielfield Park) became yet another heat winner in Heat Nine, taking a gate to flag victory over Doolan and Howarth while Masters, on fresh machinery took Heat 10 by storm to win from Garcia and the ever-battling Starke in third, and the top men after three races each saw Howarth, Howe, Grajczonek, Wethers, Andersen, Masters, Etheridge and Doolan, half the field no less, all leading on six points!
After round four, five of those had dropped a point or two behind with Howe, Howarth and Andersen all leading on nine points, but Summers was also withdrawn at this point with major mechanical issues.
Wethers finally broke his run of second places, winning Heat 17 well over Howarth to finish his qualifying on 11, while Doolan took Heat 18 to also end on 11 points, joined on the same score by Howarth with two qualifiers to go.
Grajczonek flew round Busk Jakobsen off bend two in Heat 19, with the Bandits' rider grinding to a halt with engine trouble half a lap later with Grajczonek ending on nine while Howe led the event going into the semi finals on 12 points.
Semi Final One saw Grajczonek get into all sorts of trouble on bend one's tight entry as he eventually fell off the left side of his bike, although for a worrying moment or two it could have been either side in the heavy-looking crash. in the re-run, with all four invited back, but first they ran semi final two to give them time to sort themselves out.
In the second semi Howarth emerged the early leader from a tight opening couple of bends ahead of Andersen, comfortably taking final places before the first semi hit the track again with Wethers scorching away to lead Howe who got right up aside Wethers down the back straight to pass and win in fine style.
Howe shot between Wethers and Howarth off bend two in a very brave dive, but had to defend his position all race with Howarth stuck to his exhaust pipe until the last bends when Howarth overhauled Howe with yards to go proving to be a worthy winner despite breaking hundreds of Berwick hearts.
After the presentation, Scott Courtney, Berwick's team managers said: "This has been a great end to a great season where the guys had just ridden out of their skins with passion and desire to get success for this club and its supporters, and all I want to say is thank you to everyone who has played a part, it's what makes this club so special. 2019?? Bring it on!"
Individual Riders' Score Chart (qualification heats)
Kyle Howarth 2,3,1,3,2 = 11
Coty Garcia 1,1,2,1,1 = 6
Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 0,3,1,3,R = 7
David Howe 3,1,2,3,3 = 12
Joe Lawlor 1,0,0,1,1 = 3
Josh Grajczonek 3,3,0,0,3 = 9
Jason Garrity 0,N,N,N,N = 0
Matthew Wethers 2,2,2,2,3 = 11
Rafal Konopka 1,2,0,1,2 = 6
Aaron Summers R,2,3,R,N = 5
Kasper Andersen 2,1,3,3,Fx = 9
Sam Masters 3,R,3,2,2 = 10
Luke Ruddick 0,1,1,0,1 = 3
Jye Etheridge 3,0,3,1,2 = 9
Paul Starke 2,2,1,2,1 = 8
Kevin Doolan 1,3,2,2,3 = 11
reserve: Kieran Douglas 0,0,0,0,0 =0