The first round of the 2015 UK Arenacross indoor series on Saturday, January 3 took the Heads & All Threads Suzuki team to the centre of Manchester where Harri Kullas made a strong start to the tour with a Heat win and a fourth place finish in the Main.
Despite a short time in the country, and an even shorter time on the RM-Z450, Kullas showed good speed in both qualifying sessions with second and third respectively.
In the first of the two Heat races, Kullas secured an important holeshot. He rode conservatively for the early laps, but with second and third place clearing the finish line triple, they closed the gap and passed Kullas, demoting him to third at the end of the eight laps.
Kullas took the holeshot again in the second heat, but this time he made the most of it. While the rest of the field jostled for position, Kullas rode his own race out in front for the full 10 laps to take the win, a position in the head-to-heads and the Main event.
A disastrous head-to-head battle ensued for Kullas. He was forced wide by his rival and crashed hard off the track, scuppering any chance of winning the one and a half lap battle.
Going into the Main, Kullas couldn’t make the hat-trick of holeshots and gated in seventh. Settling into his stride for the first few laps, he picked off riders struggling with the now very rutted track. He rode composed, looked the fastest in the closing stages and advanced to cross the line in fourth.
“I’ve only had one day on the bike, but was already really happy with it,” said Harri Kullas. “We tried a few set-ups and we found a pretty good one, which is the main thing.
“The heat races went well. I got two holeshots and finished third and first, so I’m really happy with that.
“I didn’t get a good start in the Main event, and was a bit slow in the first two laps, but then made some passes and a few guys crashed, so I finished in fourth. I think that’s pretty okay for the first round.
“I’m just really happy to be part of the team, and happy I made the decision to come to England. I’m looking forward to the season and hope we can work forward every weekend.”
Team Manage, Neil Prince commented: “For me, a superb result really. Harri only rode the bike once before here but you can see what he’s capable of.
It took him two laps in the main to get back into a rhythm after his head-to-head crash, but you could see he was probably one of the strongest riders on the track, he was nice and tidy, so a big thumbs up from me.”
The next two rounds of the Arenacross series will be the exciting doubleheader at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on January 16 and 17.