Route77 MVRD Honda took home a pair of solid finishes at the opening round of the Michelin MX Nationals at Preston Docks on Sunday (March 22), with rider Erki Kahro finishing just off the MX2 podium and 2014 British MXY2 Champion Josh Gilbert recording a top 10 in class in his first Pro MX2 race.
The pair had something of a mountain to climb after qualifying, but climb it they did. In race one, Erki overcame the mid-field problem of being stuck behind fallen riders to finish a respectable fifth in the MX2 class in only his second competitive outing on the Honda CRF250R. Josh, in his first year in the Pro MX2 class, suffered a stall at the start but nevertheless clawed his way back to 11th in the MX2 class.
As the day went on, the track got rougher and the sun got lower, making race two a tricky affair. Erki looked to continue his momentum from race one and got off to a good gate jump, only to again suffer as he got stuck behind a crashed rider in turn one.
Demoted to almost the back of the field, with only three riders behind him by the time the crash was cleared, he showed his grit and pace again to fight his way back to fourth in class after a blistering ride, taking home fifth place overall, just four points from a podium finish.
“I didn’t feel as good today as last week but I’m happy to have a strong start to this Championship,” said Erki Kahro, adding: “I’ve only raced this CRF twice and already feel good on it.”
Josh had a difficult start, having an outside gate pick once more, but nevertheless kept his head down and his race clean to take 10th and finish his first Pro MX2 National round in 10th overall.
“This is my first year in the adults and the longer races are a lot harder,” said Josh Gilbert. “I will keep improving but overall I’m happy.”
Mark Chamberlain, Team manager commented: “We have had a good solid start to the season, especially when you look at the injuries to Matiss Karro and Natalie Kane. It’s good we have riders in the top five and 10 and now we look to get them higher up in the next round of the Maxxis and the Michelin MX Nationals.”
The second round of the Michelin MX Nationals will be held at Foxhill, Swindon on April 11-12.