Hitachi REVO Husqvarna’s Jake Nicholls came within a whisker of taking his second MX1 overall win in a row on Sunday when he finished a close second at round five of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean at Leuchars in Scotland.

In the opening moto Jake claimed a gate-to-flag win on his FC 450, resisting race-long pressure from Tommy Searle to record a commanding victory. Race two saw him battling for the lead before a crash forced him to settle for third place in the moto and second overall on the day.

“I’m pretty pleased,” said Nicholls. “I won the first one but had a crash in race two midway through. In the opener I took a bit of a risk and went right on the outside against the grass, managed to get good drive and got the holeshot and then just went for it. I had pressure the whole race from Tommy Searle but just kept trucking. On the last lap I got a bit held up with lappers so it got a little close but it was still mega. I was gifted the win a little bit at Desertmartin so this one felt so much better.

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“Tommy nicked my start gate for the second one but I came out about fourth, passed Graeme Irwin and then stuck with Shaun Simpson for half the race. I’d probably have made a move but then Tommy crashed and got in between us which kind of messed me up because I went to put a pass on him and he started going quick again. I also had a small issue with the clutch – in a turn I went to pull the clutch in so I could pivot out of the berm but there was nothing there and I went over it and tipped over. I lost probably 10 seconds so my chance of the win was gone.”

In MX2 James Dunn was back in action after missing the previous round but the 21-year-old was clearly out of sorts and after finishing 19th in the opening moto he pulled out of race two after 11 laps. The team’s second FC 250 rider Oli Benton crashed twice in the first moto and came home 27th and then just missed out on the points in race two with a 21st-placed finish.

“Today didn’t go well at all,” said a disappointed Dunn. “I didn’t feel too bad in qualifying – I wasn’t too far off – but I had bad starts in both motos and wasn’t feeling very good at all. I’m not sure what the problem is and it’s a shame after my results at Matterley Basin that I can’t seem to put in a good performance. I have been ill recently and I think maybe it’s taking me a little bit longer than I thought to get over that. I want to put in podium results so I’m just going to keep trying and hopefully get there.”

After the final moto Oli Benton said: “I struggled a bit in race one. I was riding good but I didn’t have a great start and then mid-race when I was catching up with a pack that were in the points I crashed and then had another big one on the last lap. Race two was much better and I was probably running around 15th but I got a bit tired. I’m disappointed to miss the points but overall I’m happy with everything.”

“Jake rode well and led the first race from start to finish, resisting pressure from Tommy [Searle] the whole time,” commented team principal, Roger Magee. “In the second race he had that small crash but recovered well. He’s growing in confidence every race and knows he can do it against Tommy and Shaun Simpson. The championship isn’t over yet and the next round’s at a local track for him, so hopefully he can do something similar.”

REVO’s Mark Yates said: “I’m very pleased for Jake. He rode brilliantly. He looks at home on the bike and looked really, really good. His first moto was excellent and while I know he was a little bit disappointed with the second race he still got second overall.

“James is struggling at the moment. He’s had a couple of knocks to the head recently and he had blood tests that showed signs of glandular fever but he’s just not himself. I feel for him because we all know what he’s capable of.”

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