Auke Theuninck and last year’s champion, Jerome Bricheux, were always at the sharp end of the competition in the Quad class, but the home-grown talent of Carl Bunce on his 450 Suzuki gave them a hard time, winning the final race of the weekend to claim a well-earned third overall and to keep the British flag flying.
 
However, it was a different story in the solo class as no one could get even close to beating last year’s winner Arnaud Degousee and his 450 Yamaha as he cruised to six wins from six starts.
 
The hard-working crew at ATE bulldozed the best track ever at Margate, using the limited beach area to full advantage and giving the large crowd of spectators that lined the sea-wall on both days the best view of the racing action.
 
Unfortunately the weather forecast for the weekend was correct and the mainly dry and partly-sunny Saturday turned into a wet and rainy Sunday.
 
 
Round 1 – Saturday
 
Paul Holmes, European Quad Champion in 2009, was using the event to try out some new parts on his Yamaha.
 
He grabbed the holeshot at the start of the first race and went on to take the race win, but he was shadowed all the way by Theuninck as the pair crossed the finish-line separated by less than a second.
 
Fast-starting Sheldon Seal (450 KTM) was third initially, but succumbed to the pressure of Bunce and Bricheux by the end of the race with just the top five being on the lead lap.
 
Race two was Theuninck from start to finish, as Holmes went wide half-way round the opening lap, tipped his quad over and injured his shoulder, forcing him to pull out of the race.
 
Once again Seal got a great start but once again he was passed by Bricheux and Bunce – the latter having to make do with third place, despite some heroic overtaking attempts.
 
Holmes was back for race three, late in the day, and stormed to a holeshot-to-flag win, beating Theuninck by almost 19 seconds.
 
Bricheux was third, passing Seal on lap five, with Bunce relegating Seal another place on the final lap.
 
The overall for round one was Theuninck from Bricheux, Bunce and Seal in a strong fourth.
 
Degousee was in a class of his own in the solo class as he made clear from the very start by posting a qualifying time almost four seconds faster than anyone else. 
 
He grabbed the holeshot in race one and just cleared off, taking his first win by almost a minute.
 
Fellow Frenchman Maplon Marshall tried to stay with Degousee at the start, but was passed with two laps remaining by two-stroke KTM mounted Steve Bixby, with only those three riders staying on the lead lap.
 
Degousee led race two from start to finish with Bixby who gated second staying in the position to finish the race just under 
30 seconds behind the leader while Marshall had to pass the fast-starting Belgian rider Thijs Verbrugghe for third, as the rest struggled round a lap down.
 
Degousee cleared-off again in race three, but this time was chased round the opening lap by Verbrugghe, who was passed on the second circuit by Bixby. 
 
Marshall charged up from fifth on the opening lap to finish third, albeit 90 seconds behind Bixby.
 
Overall, it was an unbeaten Degousee with best Brit Bixby in second, from Marshall and Cedric Tasatto.
 
In the Quad B National class, Luke Brown took the overall from Joel Ivell and Nik Blythe. Meanwhile Tristan Ovenden claimed the Solo B honours with three wins, ahead of Regis Everard.
 
FOR FULL REPORT AND PICTURES SEE T+MX MARCH  9
 
British Beach-Cross Championship
Rd 1 – Margate Beach, Kent (Saturday)
Quad Class
 1 Auke Theuninck (F - 525 KTM) 57 + 60 + 57 = 174
 2 Jerome Bricheux (F - 515 KTM) 53 + 57 + 55 = 165
 3 Carl Bunce (GB - 450 Suzuki) 55 + 55 + 53 = 163
 4 Sheldon Seal (GB - 450 KTM) 51 + 35 + 51 = 155
 5 Antoine Vitse (F - 450 KTM) 48 + 50 + 50 = 148
 6 Liefooghe Benoit (F - 450 Honda) 50 + 48 + 49 = 147
 7 Jamie Clark (GB - 450 KTM) 49 + 51 + 47 = 147
 8 Jean Luc Taccoen (F - 450 KTM) 45 + 49 + 48 = 142
 9 Miles Shaw (GB - 450 Suzuki) 47 + 43 + 45 = 135
10 Antony Barrett (GB - 450 Suzuki) 44 + 44 + 46 = 134
Solo Class
 1 Arnauld Degousee (F - 450 Yamaha) 60 + 60 + 60 = 180
 2 Steve Bixby (GB - 250 KTM) 57 + 57 + 57 = 171
 3 Meplon Marchall (F - 250 Honda) 55 + 55 + 55 = 165
 4 Cedric Tosatto (F - 450 Honda) 53 + 53 + 50 = 156
 5 Thijs Verbrugghe (B - 450 Honda) 50 + 51 + 51 = 152
 6 Geoffrey Marcq (F - 450 Yamaha) 49 + 49 + 53 = 151
 7 Arthur Ringot (F - 450 Honda) 51 + 50 + 49 = 150
 8 Ryan Griffiths (GB - 450 Honda) 48 + 48 + 46 = 142
 9 Stephane Guilbert (F - 450 Honda) 47 + 47 + 47 = 141
10 Stephane Dufay (F - 450 Honda) 44 + 44 + 45 = 133
Rd 2 – Margate Beach (Sunday)
Quad Class
 1 Jerome Bricheux (F - 525 KTM) 60 + 57 + 57 = 174
 2 Auke Theuninck (F - 525 KTM) 57 + 60 + 55 = 172
 3 Carl Bunce (GB - 450 Suzuki) 51 + 55 + 60 = 166
 4 Sheldon Seal (GB - 450 KTM) 53 + 51 + 53 = 157
 5 Jamie Clarke (GB - 450 KTM) 50 + 50 + 51 = 151
 6 Anthony Barrett (GB - 450 Suzuki) 48 + 49 + 48 = 145
 7 Antoine Vitse (F - 450 KTM) 49 + 48 + 47 = 144
 8 Liefooghe Benoit (F - 450 Honda) 47 + 47 + 49 = 143
 9 Jean Luc Taccoen (F - 450 KTM) 46 + 46 + 50 = 142
10 Geoff Sharpe (GB - 450 Honda) 45 + 45 + 46 = 136
SERIES STANDINGS after 2 rounds: 1 Theuninck 346 points, 2 Bricheux 339, 3 Bunce 329, 4 Seal 312, 5 Clarke 298. 6 Vitse 292, 7 Benoit 290, 8 Taccoen 284, 9 Barrett 279. 10 Gallagher 266.
 
Solo Class
 1 Arnauld Degousee (F - 450 Yamaha) 60 + 60 + 60 = 180
 2 Steve Bixby (GB - 250 KTM) 57 + 55 + 57 = 169
 3 Chris Bayliss (GB - 250 Honda) 53 + 57 + 48 = 158
 4 Thijs Verbrugghe (B - 450 Honda) 49 + 53 + 55 = 157
 5 Arthur Ringot (F - 450 Honda) 48 + 51 + 53 = 152
 6 Cedric Tosatto (F - 450 Honda) 51 + 50 + 51 = 152
 7 Meplon Marshall (F - 250 Honda) 55 + 46 + 49 = 150
 8 Geoffrey Marcq (F - 450 Honda) 50 + 48 + 50 = 148
 9 Alban Coutois (F - 450 Honda) 46 + 45 + 47 = 138
10 Marc Darcourt (F - 450 Yamaha) 45 + 49 + 44 = 138
SERIES STANDINGS after 2 rounds: 1 Degousee 360 points, 2 Bixby 340, 3 Marshall 315, 4 Verbrugghe 309, 5 Tosatto 308, 6 Ringot 302, 7 Marcq 299, 8 Dufay 264, 9 Horton 259, 10 Darcourt 229.
NEXT ROUND: June 23/24 – Ingoldmells, near Skegness, Lincs.