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The 5th annual Connor Smith Memorial meeting was particularly poignant this year at the Quad x Des Nations motocross competition at Cingoli, Italy, owing to the trophy being brought to the UK for the first time after being won by a British motorcyclist.
The meeting, and the Connor Smith Memorial Trophy, is in honour of Shiskine quad racing champion, Connor Smith who tragically died during a quad racing event in 2013.
Last year the American riders took home the bulk of the prizes but at the most recent Quad x Des Nations – where eight riders represented the UK over the two days – four riders took podium finishes, bringing the silverware back to the UK.
A very on-form and consistent Harry Walker took a win in moto 1, then a p2 in class behind Mastronardi on Moto 2. Saving the best for last in the superfinal he took the win with a breath-taking pass on Patrick Turrini on his Weinen Yamaha in the last lap with 500 metres to go right in front of everyone to see. The grandstand and pit box both lit up and he instantly became the star of the day with the Italian crowds and becoming the only British rider to bring the trophy back to the UK in its five years existence, under the close observation of Connor’s father, Bill Smith.
Alfie Walker on his new 250cc Yamuski started with a cautious approach to day one, but with a night to sleep on it spared the Italians no mercy with two confident wins and winning the youth 250cc class by some margin ending up fourth overall in the adult support and vet group.
Ayrton Knowles who had a mixed Saturday with a spill on one of the large double jumps, pulled his way back through to third in the sport class with three very strong rides for the youngster.
Scot, Murray Graham who has had the pleasure of riding most of the five visits to Cingoli set a blistering pace in timed training and looked to be going to the gate first on Sunday only to be summonsed to P3 after both Walker and Mastronardi pulled their best laps out with seconds to spare. Murray slept on it and in warm up proved again he could still go fastest, he took runner up honours on the weekend with p3/2/3 in class.
Both Steve Pinder and Matt Alberti experienced the perils the big tracks can bring with a couple of spills in the vet class too. Adam Robinson finished a very respectable fifth in class and Mark Wilson fourth.
The whole event was a very heartfelt tribute to the life of Connor with all participating pro and sport riders demonstrating a fitting tribute by revving their bikes at Connor’s memorial stone on Saturday evening.
The meetings manage to maintain their momentum due to the generosity of the Smith family to keep the memories alive of Connor’s hobby and the solidarity of the UK Quad clubs and the supporters.
Winners podium left to right. Connor’s dad Bill Smith, Matt Alberti, Ayrton Knowles, Steve Pinder, Alfie Walker,Murray Graham, winner Harry Walker Adam Robinson, Mark Wilson and Patrick Turrini. No_B22connor01
On the Quad: Left to Right Master Alfie Walker, Mr Harry Walker and Mr Darren Bridge.
The Quad x Des Nations is held in Cingoli, Italy where the Connor Smith Memorial meeting takes place. No_B22connor01
Connor Smith Memorial Trophy has been brought to the UK by on-form rider Harry Walker. No_B22connor02
Attendees at the meeting were treated to a Sunday lunch under the grandstand by the Motorcycle Club of Cingoli. No_B22connor03
Winning riders Alfie Walker, Harry Walker and Darren Bridge. No_B22connor04