The Heads & All Threads Suzuki team of Erik Willems in MX1 and Jordan Eccles and Ray Rowson in MX2 headed to the final round of the British championship at the prestigious track of Foxhill on Sunday. A good crowd of spectators turned out to see both British titles go down to the wire.
The first race of the day saw youngster Jordan Eccles get a top 20 start with Ray Rowson a few places behind. Jordan was making good progress and looked comfortable but by lap five was dizzy with a headache forcing him to pull out of the race. Meanwhile, Ray really pushed on from 25th to 21st by the chequered flag.
This was the first British race for Belgian Erik who had ridden the RM-Z450 once in the week and was happy with the power and set up. The power proved a little too much off the start with the front wheel in the air resulting in a mid-pack start. Erik managed to keep up with the notoriously fast Brits and brought the bike home in 17th, which is a respectable result on a new bike and new track.
Unfortunately, Jordan was advised to go straight to the hospital to have a scan as the ACU doctor could see there was some pressure building behind Jordan’s eyes. The hospital confirmed he had a concussion, which had been sustained a couple of weeks previous. Jordan now needs to rest up. This just left Ray to represent the team in race two, after a mid-pack start Ray battled his way up to just outside the top 10.
Erik intended to improve on his first MX1 moto and got out of the gate well – around mid-pack at the first corner. He was pushing on but unfortunately stalled the bike which dropped him down the order. Once he got himself back into a rhythm he passed a couple of riders to finish in 18th.
“Well, what an end to 2016,” exclaimed Jordan. “First moto was running a good solid pace and then I completely blacked out, got serious blurred vision so had to pull in! I went to the medical unit and was told I had to go straight to the hospital for a CT scan on my brain.
“After sitting in A&E for fours hours I was told I have post concussion from Hawkstone two weeks ago, which I had no idea about, and also a large build up of fluid on my brain.
“Plenty of rest time now ready for a solid winter for 2017.”
“For me this race was a bonus and an amazing experience,” said Erik. “All the crew were just amazing and the bike more than that. I had great fun! Unfortunately, I didn’t do my best day of racing maybe a little bit stressed and had some arm pump in the first moto and then stalled in the second.
“Thanks to the Heads & All Threads Suzuki Team for the instructive weekend.”
Team Manager, Neil Prince, commented: “Jordan qualified [his] normal position and in the first race pulled in after 15 minutes. And due to a medical problem, later diagnosed in hospital, could not continue. He needs to rest now and we wish him all the best in recovery.
“Erik was invited over for this event and showed good progress in both races, just missing 2/3 seconds per lap, I think being only 18 gives him plenty of time to find those seconds, he is talented and professional and I will be interested to see his progress.
Ray stepped into ride the MX2 bike and showed okay speed in the first race but a mistake cost him a few positions. [He] got a good start in the second race only to be pushed into the mud in the first corner and fought through to a well deserved 12th position.
“A big thank you to our riders, mechanics, sponsors and supporters for being part of the team, which would not run without you! And congratulations to Adam Sterry and Tommy Searle on winning the individual championships.”