REVO Husqvarna UK kicked off its Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship campaign at a wet and wild Culham Moto Park on Sunday where Mel Pocock and Jamie Carpenter showed great pace that wasn’t, unfortunately, reflected in their overall results.
Racing a pair of FC 250s, Mel and Jamie faced a tough opening round after heavy overnight rain left the mostly natural Oxfordshire circuit – that snakes up, down and around an imposing bank on the side of the River Thames – in an extremely challenging condition.
Mel qualified seventh in MX2 with his 17-year-old teammate Jamie, who was making his professional debut after winning last year’s MXY2 title, posting the 26th best time.
After mistiming the start, Mel was forced to fight his way through the pack in the opening moto. Following a succession of strong passes he advanced from outside the top 10 to fourth at the flag. Jamie’s race ended after less than a lap when a technical problem forced him out.
A start straight crash left Mel dead last in race two but he got his head down, refused to give up and forced his way up to 10th to end the day in fifth overall after losing fourth on a tie-break. Jamie started outside the top 20 but underlined his undoubted promise with a race-long charge that netted him 14th at the line.
Team Principal Mark Yates commenting on the weekend, said: “Mel’s lap times were good, it’s just unfortunate that he crashed at the start of the second race but getting tangled is just one of those things that happen in motocross and I couldn’t have asked for more from him than coming back to 10th.
“It was Jamie’s first round so it was natural he was suffering from the jitters and then we had a bit of a technical issue in the first race and he DNF’d.
“In the second he came through well from the mid-20s to 14th which was a great boost for him on his pro debut.
“Ben [Watson] was in a little bit of a different league today but take him out of it and Mel’s there or thereabouts. I’m happy where we are – it’s not been easy for the team but there are plenty of positives to be drawn from the day.”
“I had a bad start in the first race,” said Pocock. “The startgate twitched – I spoke to a few riders who all said the same – and I hesitated but came through to fourth which I was happy with. I was putting in some respectable times in the later part of the race. It was a full-on mud race which we anticipated and the bike was completely perfect.
“In the second race 20 feet up the start straight I got sandwiched in and taken down so I was dead last. I managed to fight my way back up to 10th which everyone’s happy with other than me – I genuinely believe I could have had a podium today. So I’m a bit gutted but the bike and the team performed perfectly.
“It’s not so bad but it could have been a lot better.”
“Today’s turned out all right in the end and I’m really happy,” said Jamie Carpenter, “but unfortunately the bike broke in the first race on the first lap so I didn’t really see where I was at.
“In the second race I didn’t have the best first few laps but I came through at the end to finish 14th and score some solid points. It’s a lot different to MXY2 – the first three laps are just mental and everyone’s flat-out.”