After making the two and a half hour journey from their home base in Edinburgh, Pendrich Height Services Kawasaki was looking forward to what would arguably be their home Garmin Arenacross Tour round in Newcastle. Much to everyone’s regret, it was somewhat bittersweet, as it spelled the end of the tour for the head of the squad and Dirt Bike Rider correspondent, Bryan Mackenzie.
The morning’s qualifying sessions had started well enough; Big Wheel 85 rider Lee Perfect had qualified in fourth, while Pro rider Ed Allingham also got into a bit of a groove to end 17th overall.
Mackenzie though, mounted on a bike with almost twice the usual capacity, hit the deck spectacularly on the last lap of quali and was carted off to hospital with what would turn out to be a fractured scapula, ribs and a bruised lung. Not only did that rule out any chance of Brymac making the evening’s event but it also spelled the end of the road for the popular pilot’s 2014 Garmin Arenacross adventure.
“That’s pretty much the end of my Arenacross career right there today I’d say,” commented a disappointed Bryan Mackenzie.
“I had a solid week riding too and was looking forward to this one the most with it being so close to home, but the dirt was really soft and made all the jumps really sketchy. I was one of only a few guys sending a triple out of a rhythm lane, but one lap the soft soil caught me out and I endoed the whole way over and hit the ground hard. I spent the rest of the day in the hospital with some internal bruising amongst other things.”
But the pilot remains optimistic about the rest of the season: “I’ll heal up and look towards the first round of the Maxxis British Championship now.”
Perfect adds more valuable points
The evening show saw Perfect bide his time well. Capitalising on mistakes made ahead of him whilst remaining out of trouble and staying an even course, he found himself third at the end of his exciting race. Climbing the steep ramp up to the podium for the third time in the tour allowed him to extend his lead over his nearest rival and cement his position in fourth.
“Well, the start of the day was pretty gnarly! The track was really soft and rutted. It was really hard to find a rhythm and groove,” says Lee Perfect. “I got a fairly good qualifier in fourth for the main! The main event started well, I got a good start and stayed consistent the whole race, and brought me home a comfortable third place finish.”
The team’s sole Pro rider
Allingham got off to a tough start in his first heat, undeterred though he muscled his way forward to end the race in fifth. His second heat looked to be a repeat, but he found himself pushed back to seventh, placing him in second for the LCQ. Once there, the four lap sprint did not give him enough time to get into the top two, but he nonetheless collected three precious points for the team to end the evening in 14th.
“Things started off better tonight; I had a fifth in the first heat and a seventh in the second, but to be honest, the fitness got to me, I haven’t been riding or training week to week, but it’s an improvement,” said Ed Allingham. “In the last chance I didn’t get the start I wanted, but I’m getting there week-by-week, and I’m a lot stronger. I want to thank the team for all the help they’re giving me and it’s definitely bringing me on, and for the next couple of weeks I’m moving over to Scotland and hopefully things will turn around and get better.”
Team Principal, Mark Perfect gave his view of the team’s efforts: “This weekend we tried something different and it didn’t appear for us. We tried a 450 with Bryan and in qualifying we had a disaster; he had a big crash and we ended up with Bryan in hospital, so it’s not the greatest.
“On the positive side we had Ed who did really well; he had a fifth and a seventh, but just not making the Main Event. He went into the LCQ and finished fourth, picked up some points for us, which is really good. We’re really pleased with the progress that Ed’s making. Young Lee again had a third in the Big Wheel 85s, and he raced really well; he hustled his way through, and got on the podium with a third. Overall we’re relatively happy, a bit disappointed with the Brymac situation, but I suppose that’s Arenacross and that’s motocross and that’s just the way things go.”