For the second round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship, supported by Pro Clean, the Apico Husqvarna squad headed to the hillside circuit of Canada Heights in Kent.
After a challenging opening round at Lyng last month both Steven Clarke and Bryan MacKenzie were looking to turn things around, while MXY2 rider Alexander Brown arrived looking to maintain his hold on the red plate.
The Canada Heights circuit was in top condition and along with a mix of dry weather and a large crowd it helped to produce a good atmosphere for the day’s racing.
The day started with qualifying sessions and in the MX2 class it was Bryan MacKenzie who topped the time sheets with team-mate Steven Clarke finishing fifth fastest after struggling to get a clear lap.
In the MXY2 class Alexander Brown also produced a solid lap time to qualify fourth fastest.
Following the lunch break it was time for the racing to begin and in the opening MX2 moto Bryan MacKenzie fired the Apico machine out of the start in second place and by the end of the second lap he had forced his way into the lead, ahead of Steven Clarke in fifth.
As the laps went by Clarke moved his way forward before taking the lead at the halfway point. Clarke would go on and claim the race win with MacKenzie finishing third after suffering from arm-pump towards the end of the moto.
Clarke claimed the holeshot at the start of the second MX2 race and took the early race lead ahead of MacKenzie.
During the opening laps Clarke started to open a comfortable lead on his Apico Husqvarna machine, comfortably controlling the race. Behind the flying Clarke, MacKenzie slipped back to third place at the finish.
Clarke’s two race wins gave him the overall victory and he now holds the red plate on a tiebreak with James Dunn going into the next round at Hawkstone Park. Second overall on the day went to MacKenzie who now sits fourth in the championship standings.
“Today has been a great day for both myself and the whole team, with fifth in qualifying I was feeling good going into the two races,” said a delighted Clarke. “Over the winter I’ve been working extra hard on my training and fitness and I feel that it is all starting to pay off now.
“The MX2 class this year is really equally matched and everyone at the front is running the same kind of pace. Today was a day of first’s for me with my first double race win at a Maxxis, my first overall podium of the season and the first time in my career I’ve held the British championship red plate. Now I’m looking forward to the next round at Hawkstone.”
MacKenzie commented: “After having such a bad day at the opening round at Lyng it was nice to be able to come out today and prove that I’m still here and still able to battle for race wins.
“Today proved that we have really competitive bikes and a good set up within the team and it was great for everyone involved for me and Steven to go 1 – 2 overall. I’ve suffered a bit with arm-pump today so once I get that sorted then there is more to give at the next round.”
In the MXY2 class young Alexander Brown once again proved that he is a great young talent for the future. In the opening race Brown started outside the top five and made his way forward and take the lead by the mid-race distance. Once in the lead Brown rode a strong race to take the victory.
The second race saw a similar story to the first for Alexander Brown as he worked his way into the lead, but this time would slip back to second place and settled for the position and with it the overall victory and an extension to his Championship lead.
“It’s been a really good day again today, in the first race I didn’t get the best start and was around eighth and I battled my way into the lead and I had a good close race with Henry,” said MXY2 flyer, Alexander Brown. “Then in the second race I got a better start and had good battle with Michael, I managed to get in the lead for a lap but Michael got me back so I decided to play it safe and settle for second in that race as it was enough for the overall and the championship lead.”
Chief technician, Stuart Summers said: “Today has been a good day for the team with all three riders on the podium. It started well with Bryan taking pole in MX2 and Steven finishing fifth after struggling to get a clear lap. Both guys lined up next to each other on the start and Bryan nearly got the holeshot and was in second with Steven in sixth. Bryan worked his way into the lead but suffered a bit of arm-pump allowing Steven to catch up and pass him for the race win, while Bryan would finish third.
“In the second race both Steven and Bryan started in first and second and Steven quickly started to pull away at the front and claim another race win. Bryan suffered again with a bit of arm-pump and slipped to third but would finish second overall behind Steven.
“In the MXY2 class Alexander had another great day taking a race win in the first moto and then second in the other moto to claim the overall and extend the points lead. We now have the points lead in both the MX2 and MXY2 championship and with Bryan moving up to fourth we look like we have really turned a corner after the problems at the opening round and look forward to Hawkstone Park next.”