Jake Nicholls lost the chance to overhaul Scotland's Shaun Simpson in the unlimited class in the fourth round of the British Motocross Championships at Swanley, Kent, on Sunday.
As the field jockeyed for positions going into the first turn, the Ipswich KTM star was pushed into the rough and was last at the end of the opening lap. He battled his way back to eighth place at the finish but he is now 17 points behind his rival.
The two raced away from the rest of the field in the first race but Simpson lost ground after making a couple of mistakes in the last two laps.
Reigning title holder Kristian Whatley took third place some 40 seconds in arrears.
Simpson and Nicholls were again at the fore in the second race which Simpson won by less than half a second.
With Nicholls out of the reckoning in the final race, Whatley put Simpson under pressure in the latter stages of the race and there was only a second between them at the finish.
Mel Pocock, 250cc championship leader had not won any of the previous races, but with close rival Latvian Mattis Karro being involved in a start line shunt with Swindon's James Dunn, he dominated the first race.
Karro came back to win the second encounter by four seconds and the last race by an even greater margin and he was helped by Bryan Mackenzie, who passed Pocock in the latter stages to take second place.
Simon Prideaux ended Jason Hamblin's winning run in the North Somerset club's hour-long timed and observation trial at Charterhouse-on-Mendip on Saturday evening.
Both lost half a dozen marks on time but Prideaux lost only a further three on observation in the fifth sections, a u-turn climb over tree roots, as opposed to Hamblin who incurred a five-mark debit in the third when his engine cut out.
One of the biggest surprises was that enduro class winner Charlie Frost took third place overall.
He was first to complete the event and he lost marks on observation in only three sections.
Father and son Gary and George Marshman topped the awards in the Somerton club's club championship trial which was staged over four laps of ten sections at Sutton Montis near Wincanton on Sunday.
They both dropped their marks in the eighth section which was the more severe. In the twin shock class Stuart Keedwell dropped a mark in the same section and another in the fourth, whilst runner-up Colin Bennett dropped all three of his in the eighth.
Porlock teenager Tom Hooper fought back from collecting a five-mark debit in the first section to win the experts class in the Moretonhampstead club's trial at Neadon Farm, North Bovey in Devon the same day.
After his mistake he dropped only single marks in the fifth and ninth sections.
The father and son event was won by Colin Green and his son Billy. Colin finished second in the twin shock class and Billy was the best C class youth competitor.
British Motocross Championship, round 4 at Swanley, Kent – Unlimited class, first race: 1, J Nicholls (KTM) 2, S Simpson (KTM) 3, K Whatley (Yamaha) 4, G Irwin (Suzuki) 5, B Anderson (Honda) 6, P Ratsepp (Kawasaki). Second race: 1, Simpson 2, Nicholls 3, Anderson 4, Irwin 5, M Potisek (Yamaha) 6, Whatley. Third race: 1, Simpson 2, Whatley 3, G Krestinov (Kawasaki) 4, S Carless (Kawasaki) 5, Anderson 6, A snow (Honda). Championship standings: Simpson 211pts, Nicholls 194, Whatley 165, Anderson 146, Irwin 119, Krestinov 117.
250cc, first race: 1, M Pocock (KTM) 2, B Watson (KTM) 3, N Bradshaw (Honda), 4, B Mackenzie (Kawasaki) 5, S Lenior (HVA) 6, L Trickett (Yamaha). Second race: 1, M Karro (KTM) 2, Pocock 3, Watson 4, Bradshaw 5, Lenior 6, S Clarke (KTM). Third race: 1, Karro 2, Mackenzie 3, Pocock 4, Clarke 5, Bradshaw 6, Watson. Championship standings: Pocock 195pts, Karro 189, Bradshaw 161, Mackenzie 143, A Steery 130, Watson 122.
Somerton MCC trial, Wincanton, Somerset – Best expert: G Marshman, 2 marks lost. Runner-up G Marshman. Third: J Dunning 13. Best clubman: A King 0. Class awards: M Cox 3, G Currie 9. Twin Shock class winner: S Keedwell 2. Class awards: C Bennett 3, D Fisher 12. Over 50 years: M Lillywhite 9, D Fry 9. Youth B Class: C Edwards 22, K Reeves 26. Novice awards: D Whitty 5, P Pontin 11, J Gillard 13. Pre 1965 D Williams 1, M Palfrey 7, N Smith 8. Youth C class: T Helps 6, M Holland 13, H Ridgeway 13. Novice: M Hancock 11, R Edwards 12, I Bradshaw 22. Youth B class: P Chamberlain 44, L Shakespeare 69, G Shurley 104. Beginner awards: T Webster 0, G Green 0, M Holland 1.
North Somerset MSC Timed and Observation Trial, Charterhouse-on-Mendip, Somerset – Winner: S Prideaux (Sherco) completed 9 laps, lost 6 marks on time plus three on observation = 9 marks lost. Runner-up: J Hamblin (Montesa) 9 laps 6+5=11. First class awards: C Smith (Beta) 9 laps 15+17=32, S Davey (Sherco) 9 laps 16+20=36, K Steel (Sherco) 9 laps 15+24=39, B Sinclair (Beta) 9 laps 20+24=44, J Walters (Gas Gas) 9 laps 18+27=45. Non-expert awards: M Lewis (Sherco) 9 laps 11+36=47. Novice award: P Edwards (Honda) 9 laps 20+35=55. Enduro class awards: C Frost (KTM) 9 laps 0+17=17, A Frost (KTM) 9 laps 9+23=32, T Smith (KTM) 9 laps 4+42=46.
Taunton MCC Long Distance Trial at Raleigh's Cross, West Somerset – Overall winner: G Marshman, no marks lost. Special test time 29.87 seconds. Runner-up: J Atwell, no marks lost. Special Test Time 31.32 seconds. Up to 250cc class winner: R Samways, no marks lost. Special test time 36.94 seconds. First class awards: D Cottle 1, A Lloyd 2, C Berry 2, G Moses 5, G smith 5. Over 250cc class winner: J Atwell, no marks lost. N Manuel 1, M Husband 2, R Litson 6, N O'Connor 11, A March 11. Ladies awards: A Cottle 33, C Martin 69. Twin Shock class awards: P Perry 17, M Coates 64. British bike award: C Hedges 30. Best team: Cornish Pirates (D Prowse, G Airey, N O'Connor) 48. Runners-up: Neath Trio (Moses, M Mortimer, N Root) 50. Third place: Stonegallows (Atwell, M Huggins, S Saranr) 134.