Round four of the Arenacross UK tour took place at the Liverpool Echo Arena yesterday and it was a triumphant one for Buildbase Honda’s Elliott Banks-Browne, who rode a spectacular Main Event race aboard the Honda CRF450 to take his first victory of the 2014 series.
Banks-Browne was on top form throughout the day, placing second and first in his two Heat races and winning both of the special Head-to-Head events to secure four bonus championship points. Come the Main Event, Banks-Browne lined up with confidence and launched his Honda machine out of the gate and into the lead alongside championship leader Fabien Izoird. A thrilling race-long battle saw the two riders in a full-contact fight to the finish, with Banks-Browne victorious come the flag after Izoird made a mistake and fell, dropping to 10th.
Dave Thorpe Off-Road Centre riders Luke Arbon and Angelo Pellegrini both put in strong performances, sailing through the Heats to the Main Event and battling mid-pack to finish in fifth and sixth respectively. The day was less successful for Buildbase Honda’s Brad Anderson, who was forced into the Last Chance Qualifier. He was looking good to secure one of the final two spots in the Main Event but was passed at the last minute and lost out on a place. The day’s results see Banks-Browne move up to sixth in the standings with Anderson in ninth, Pellegrini in 10th and Arbon in 12th.
Meanwhile, Todd Kellet continued his dominance in the Youth Rookie class aboard his Honda machine, topping the timesheets in qualifying and taking the race win to make it four out of four. He heads up the standings with a 19-point lead over fellow Honda rider Joe Clayton.
The Garmin Arenacross UK tour moves on to Newcastle’s Metro Centre Arena this coming Sunday (February 9) for round five. But not before a week of intense testing in Scotland for the Buidlbase Honda team.
The current Maxxis MX2 champion, Elliott Banks-Browne said: “Today has been awesome for me with celebrating my birthday and taking maximum points, it’s great for me and the team.
“I won a heat which gave me confidence and then I got some good starts in the Head-to-Heads and won that. Then in the Main I gated well after working hard on my start with Ryan my mechanic. I had a good battle with Izoird and we were both pushing hard and it showed on the track. Unfortunately he went down which was a shame, but it was great to get the overall win. Now I head to Scotland for a busy few days getting the suspension dialled in ready for the outdoor season and hopefully we can continue this form next weekend in Newcastle.”
“The track was pretty good tonight, but I didn’t get the starts in the heats and had to go the LCQ,” says Brad Anderson. “Again the LCQ was stacked with top riders and I made a good start and was in second until the last turn when I made a mistake and Jamie Law got passed me for the transfer. It was a shame to miss the Main but I’m healthy and looking forward to heading to Newcastle for my hometown event.”
“This weekend was good for me, the track was good although it had a few rocks in it which made it technical,” said Luke Arbon (Dave Thorpe Off-Road Centre). “I managed to qualify in sixth which gave me good gate picks all night long. In the Main I started well but was a bit reserved in the opening laps which left me in fifth at the finish. Making the Main event this week was a step in the right direction and now I look to next weekend to improve and hopefully get on that podium.”
“The day ended better than it started,” says Angelo Pellegrini (Dave Thorpe Off-Road Centre). “As I was a bit slow in practice, but got some good results in the heats. Then in the Main Event I messed up the start and had to battle from he back to finish in sixth. Next weekend I plan to improve on my starts and work to getting up the front.”
Team Manager, Dave Thorpe commented: “This weekend was great for the team, although we have started to focus on the outdoors, we are still committed to doing well in the series and that showed tonight.”
“Elliott rode mega tonight to get the win and the team have worked really hard on the bike all week. It was a shame that Brad missed the Main after losing out on the last corner of the LCQ or we would have had all four riders in the Main Event. We now go from here to Scotland for a busy testing program before returning for Newcastle, so everything is starting to take shape for the season ahead.”