The final round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean was set for the famous and iconic former Grand Prix circuit of Foxhill near Swindon. Recent track changes and dry weather meant that the track was watered in the lead up to the event and provided a good race surface.
Going into the final round Steven Clarke on the Apico Husqvarna was just one point down in the MX2 championship standings and aiming to claim the title, meanwhile, his team-mate, Bryan MacKanzie, was just a further 18 points behind and heading into his final pro event of his career.
MacKenzie set the second fastest qualifying time ahead of Clarke in third. In the MXY2 class young Alexander Brown finished the session second fastest.
When the gate dropped for the opening MX2 moto of the day MacKenzie made a strong start and quickly moved into second with Clarke just behind in fifth and pushing forward. Unfortunately, disaster stuck on the end of the second lap when Clarke’s bike suffered a freak electrical problem and was forced to retire from the race and out of the championship hunt. At the front of the pack MacKenzie settled into a solid third place at the finish.
After the disaster of the opening race Clarke was out to prove a point in the second moto, while MacKenzie lined up at the gate for the last professional race of his career. When the gate dropped, Clarke fired himself into the first corner at the head of the pack and rode a dominant race to claim the last moto win of the season. Behind Clarke, MacKenzie rode a solid race for fourth place.
MacKenzie’s 3-4 scorecard gave him third overall on the day and saw him end his British championship career with third in the standings behind team-mate Clarke in second place.
In the two MXY2 class races Alexander Brown was running well in third place when he twisted his lower leg and the pain caused him to drop back to 18th at the finish. In the second moto, Alexander once again rode a solid moto to finish in third and end the day 10th overall. After an injury-troubled season, Brown finished sixth in the championship standings.
“Today has been a pretty solid day for me,” offered MacKenzie. “The changes to the track layout were interesting but overall it was okay. Riding wise I had a good qualifying and then went 3 -4 in the races which normally I wouldn’t be happy with but I finished third overall in my last ever pro event and claimed third in the championship, which equals my career best, so I’m happy with how today went.
“I came here looking to secure third in the championship and not get caught up in any of the possible drama, and when Martin came up to overtake I let him go as he was riding well and deserved the overall. Also the support I have received today from everyone in the sport at the ACU, the industry and the fans has been amazing and I’m a little bit emotional right now. I want to say thank you to the whole team, my mechanic BC, my Wife and now my little girl and my Brother and everyone that has been around me this year and during my career to allow me to land on the podium in the championship in my final season as a pro.”
Commenting on the day, Clarke, said: “Today has been a bit of a nightmare and I’m gutted at the same time. I came into today expecting to battle for the title and in the first race I got an okay start and was pushing forward when on the second lap we suffered an electrical problem on the bike, it was heartbreaking as I could see Sterry out front and I was thinking this is what the crowd wanted to see. I had to pull off and we tried to change some bits on the bike but it didn’t make any difference and we had to call it a day.
“With the championship done it left me with one thing to do, and that was to prove a point in the second race and I think I did that by putting a full stop on a statement that without a technical problem in the opening moto it would have been a much harder victory for Sterry today but you have to be in it to win it and unfortunately in that first race we weren’t, which was a shame.”
MXY2 pilot, Brown, said: “Today was good day with second fastest in qualifying and then in the first race I was in third when I twisted my knee and ankle and dropped back to 18th at the finish. In the second race I had a bad start and pushed forward to third at the finish, which was a good ride.”
Chief Technician, Stuart Summers, commented: “Today has been a tough day for us as a team. It could have been so different and we came here hoping to claim the MX2 crown with Steven and celebrate the great Bryan [MacKanzie]. Unfortunately, a technical problem in the opening race put pay to any championship hopes but that is racing. Bryan rode well today to claim third overall in his last event before retirement and it was a fitting end to his career.
“It has been a long season and I’d like to thank all the teams sponsors and supporters for their help this season and for us to claim second and third in the championship is good but we would have much rather finished 1 -2.”