Experience pays off for Ashley Thixton

Collin Matiza Sports Editor
FORMER Zimbabwean motocross champion rider Ashley Thixton proved that there’s no substitute for experience when he romped to victory in the MX2 Class during the opening round of the 2016 Bogwheelers Club National Championship series at Donnybrook in Harare on Sunday.

Ashley Thixton, who has just turned 23 and has been riding since he was four-years-old, summoned all his experience to emerge as the overall winner in the MX2 Class after a tough three-way tussle for the first step on the podium with fast rising young rider Regan Wasmuth and Cameron Thixton.

After having been living in the shadows of Jayden Ashwell in the past three or four years, Ashley Thixton showed that he still has what it takes on the track when he won all the three heats on Sunday to amass the maximum 60 points.

Wasmuth was forced to settle for second place with 45 points, two ahed of third-placed Cameron Thixton.

There were 12 riders in the MX2 Class, including Zvishavane-based Tafadzwa Mawarire, who was back on the track at Donnybrook on Sunday after having been “missing in action” for quite sometime.

Wasmuth later gained some measure of revenge over Ashley Thixton by beating him into second place in the 125cc Class in which Josh Gobey came third.

Now riding for one of South Africa’s top motocross clubs, Tintswalo/Out Of Africa/ Yamaha Club, 14-year-old Wasmuth was just streets ahead of Ashley Thixton and Gobey in the 125cc Class.

Nine-year-old Emmanuel Bako also surprised all and sundry by taking second place behind Daiyaan Manuel in the 65cc Class in which he (Bako) finished ahead of “seasoned campaigners” Big “BJ” Chitima (Jnr) and Ryan Masimo who came third and fourth.

Bako has just graduated to race in the 65cc Class, up from the 50cc Class and he is already showing some great form this year. The future certainly looks bright for the Mai Mugabe Junior School’s Grade Four pupil.

In fact, Bako indicated after Sunday’s event at Donnybrook that he would like to follow Manuel’s footsteps by going for some training stints in Germany during his school holidays this year and his father, Brighton, is currently working with the GeBe Foundation for this to materialise.

It was full-tilt from the get-go in the 85cc Class where Davin Cocker, Reagan Bond and Tristan Grainger jostled for first place but Cocker was just too good for the opposition as he swept to victory in all the heats to emerge as the overall winner of this class, amassing the maximum 60 points.

Bond, with 51 points, settled for second place, while Grainger (43 points) came third.

There was a strong field of 10 riders in the 85cc Class where one of the country’s top junior bikers Kuda Mhene (Jnr) finished a disappointing seventh and was even beaten by David Evans (sixth place), Daiyaan Manuel (fifth place) and Mudiwa Chigumba (fifth place).

Eight-year-old Jordan Dewdney of Lilfordia School was one of the stand-outs on Sunday, with a first-place finish in the 50cc Class where he got a three out of three.

In fact, Dewdney had a very good day on Sunday, he led all three races from the start, he didn’t make any mistakes on the track which was more sandier than normal and he managed to win all the three heats.

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