The opening round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship, supported by Pro Clean, at the sandy Culham circuit was to be Apico Husqvarna’s first event in the MX1 class following much success in the MX2 class.
The track was in good condition in the lead up to the event but overnight rain, followed by light rain in the morning made the conditions much heavier.
In the qualifying session, it was vital to get a lap in early. Kristian Whatley finished fifth fastest with Jamie Law in seventh and Matt Burrows in 18th.
After the lunch break, it was time for the opening race and when the gate dropped Jamie Law fired into the first corner in the lead with Whatley just behind.
Law held the lead for the opening laps and looked strong as the pack chased him down. As the race progressed Whatley and Law battle inside the top five with Whatley taking fifth at the flag while Law slipped to ninth after getting a stone lodged in his back brake. Matt Burrows had to overcome a bad start and riding without goggles as he claimed 15th place.
All three were looking to go for improved results in the second race but both Whatley and Law got boxed in on the start and had to work hard during the opening laps.
As the race progressed all three were inside the top 15 and looking to push forward with Law and Whatley battling together in ninth and 10th respectively at the flag, while Burrows secured another 15th place finish after recovering from an early crash.
Whatley’s 5-10 scorecard gave him seventh overall with Law one place back and Burrows in 14th.
“The day started well with fifth in qualifying and I was happy with that,” said Whately. “In the first race I got a good jump out of the gate but I think I shut off a bit too early. Then in the first few laps I wanted to settle into the race as everyone was going a bit crazy so I went back a bit and then came good at the end to take fifth.
“In the second race, I had a bad start and clipped another rider and was in seventh at one point. I kept making mistakes and slipping back but came home 10th. I need to work on my suspension set up as I was struggling a bit in the second race and we have a couple of weeks to sort it all out.”
Jamie Law commented: “It’s been a steady weekend for me, I got the holeshot in the first race and then got a stone in the rear brake pedal and struggled to keep the pace and finished in ninth, which was annoying as I felt I was much stronger.
“In the second race, I got a bad start and then tipped over and had to battle back and was riding well. I’ve finished eighth overall which is a start but not where I want to be.”
Commenting on his 14th overall Matt Burrows admitted he made an error in judgement at the start of the day. “I started with 18th in qualifying and I messed up a bit by waiting and the track was getting worse.”
And he had a rough start to his opening moto as #11 explains. “I got water behind the tear offs on the start and had to toss them on the opening lap! I battled for 15th at the finish. In the second race, I got a better start and went down and came back to 15th again and was riding much better in the second race.”
Team manager, Sean Burrows, summing up the day: “Today has been a good solid day for the team. All three riders got some solid points and are around where we hoped they would be.
“The riders might want to be higher up, but with the conditions, it could’ve been much worse so to come away with a solid start to the season is good for us. We will build on it for the next round at Lyng.”