The Red Bull Pro Nationals rolled into Desertmartin for the penultimate round of the series where spectators were treated to a titanic battle in the MX2 class as the three title challengers spent all day banging bars and swapping positions while up in MX1 they got to see a home win and a champion crowned.
MX2 series leader Elliott Banks-Browne was on damage limitation after finding out he has a broken bone in his hand to go with his wrist injury but you would never have known from the way he was riding. The battle between him, Mel Pocock and Bryan MacKenzie was an epic encounter as they fought their way round the awesome Desertmartin track.
The action in the MX1 class was equally as exciting as Martin Barr took his first clean sweep of the season, taking the fight to series leader and defending champ Brad Anderson as he attempted to take the title down to the last round. With Barr having his birthday the day before he certainly gave himself the best possible present with two race wins in front of his home fans. However, Ando knew what he needed to do and two second places were enough for him to clinch the championship for a second year running.
In the first race Barr dominated with an impressive start to finish win where he pulled out a seven-second lead by the end of the first lap. Anderson had a poor start but quickly moved through the pack and up to second with Gert Krestinov keeping him company right till the end of the race. Barr in the meantime had cleared off into the distance some 13 seconds in front, unheard of this season with Anderson’s dominance.
The MX2 boys as usual were mixing it up at the front of the field and there was nothing to separate EBB, Pocock and MacKenzie all day long. EBB led the way through most of the first race with MacKenzie in second and Pocock running third. Pocock was a man on a mission and certainly impressed his team’s home fans as he fought his way past MacKenzie and Banks-Browne to take his first race win of the season.
In the second race Barr took the holeshot once again but this time he had Anderson for company and the two of them soon started to gap the rest of the field. Nathan Parker had a good start again and managed to keep it on two wheels this time with a relatively untroubled race and finished third for fourth overall on the day.
With the rain pouring down the conditions became very tricky and the majority of the riders ended up losing their goggles, turning the race into a war of attrition. In the MX2 class it was the turn of Pocock to take the lead but MacKenzie had other ideas. He took over the lead on lap five and Banks-Browne moved past Pocock on lap eight. But it was all change again by lap 10 and Pocock was back into second and setting after MacKenzie.
Pocock took the lead on lap 12 and then EBB got past MacKenzie but on the last lap Banks-Browne was having difficulties with his wrist and the conditions and slipped back down to third. With the race drawing to a close the day was wrapped up with two race wins for Relentless Suzuki by TAS rider Pocock and with MacKenzie and EBB equal on points it was MacKenzie who claimed second overall thanks to his better last race result.
Banks-Browne now sits just 24 points ahead of Pocock with Bryan MacKenzie a further 32 points back. This one is set to go down to the very last race of the season. The MX1 class is decided and it’s between Barr and Krestinov to battle it out for second place in the championship.