MOTORSPORT: Cossar so close to defending British Masters

Cossar (37) at the British Masters
Cossar (37) at the British Masters
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Cossar just misses out on fifth Masters title

Rugby’s battered and bruised Mark Cossar came within a whisker of successfully defending his British Masters title in Kent on Sunday when he was just beaten to the chequered flag by Rod Winterburn.

Despite riding with two broken ribs from his recent crash in Huntingdon, which left him hospitalised, Cossar gritted his teeth in a truly admirable bid to hang on to his title.

Hampered by bike problems during practice and searing rib pain from as much as sneeze, Cossar still won his first three heats from the start at the huge (700m) Swingfield circuit near Folkestone – but had to come from the back to beat Pete Colvin in his next race – and again against the same rider in the semi-final, this time with a blazing outside manoeuvre on the pit bend.

The showdown in the final between the unbeaten Cossar and the also undefeated Rod Winterburn lived up to all expectations. Inside and outside, Cossar threw everything at Winterburn, but just couldn’t find a way past. For the moment, British Masters victory number five will have to wait.

“I needed more power,” said a disappointed but philosophical Cossar afterwards. “Rod Winterburn rode solid defensive lines in the final, blocking me all the way – and his engine was very, very powerful. Oh well. Time to let the ribs mend – but I’ll be back”.

1st Rod Winterburn & Liam Brown

2nd Mark Cossar & Carl Blyth

3rd Gareth Winterburn & Billy Winterburn