Luck’s a curious thing. Do you make your own? Does it even exist as anything other than an excuse for doing badly? Whatever – the fickle finger of fate is out in force at the British GP at Matterley Basin and while some riders get a very pleasing tickle from it, others get it inserted firmly – and dryly – where the sun don’t shine.

Reigning MX1 champ Tony Cairoli and former MX2 champ Christophe Pourcel both get stroked while Brit heroes Shaun Simpson and Billy MacKenzie both get poked…

A cracking opening MX1 moto sees Kawasaki dominate the early going with Steven Frossard leading Pourcel and Billy Mac on a borrowed LPE Kawasaki with bone-stock suspension. Billy slowly slips back to seventh as Pourcel gets by his fellow Frenchie with three laps to go and Cairoli gets up to third from Tanel Leok, Max Nagl and Rui Goncalves. Davide Guarneri brings it home in eighth ahead of newly-crowned British champ Brad Anderson while fellow Brits ‘Woody’ Simpson, Tom Church and Martin Barr also get into the points in a patriotic 16th, 17th and 18th freight train.


It’s in the second moto that Lady Luck comes a-calling…

With Cairoli mired deep in the pack and Pourcel pulling out after a couple of crashes, Woody looks comfortable in second behind Frossard after the Scot grabs his first holeshot of the season. Billy Mac’s also right up there but with around 15 minutes on the clock he gets the massive quad jump wrong, lands on the back of Leok and the pair go down hard. The race is red-flagged as an unconscious MacKenzie is treated by paramedics and the riders are directed back towards the waiting zone.

Pourcel meanwhile has changed back into his civvies and is about to jump into his car and head for the airport before he’s brought up to speed and races back for yet another quick change.

From the restart Cairoli yanks the holey and clears off to win from Frossard and take the overall while Pourcel comes home third for second on the day. Simpson ends the race 10th – now do you see what I mean about luck?

Between Pourcel and Simpson the top 10 is filled out by Jonathan Barragan, Nagl, Carlos Campano, battling Brad, Kevin Strijbos and Anthony Boissiere. With Barr opting not to got out for the restart after banging his wrist and TC crashing there are no other British points scorers but the day ends on a high for Ando who’s a fan-frikkin’-tastic fifth overall.

Luck doesn’t come into it in MX2 – at least not as far as the winner’s concerned. Combine the fastest bike with the fastest rider and you’re onto virtually a surefire winner – and the Red Bull Teka KTM in the hands of Ken Roczen is exactly that. Two holeshots converted into gate-to-flag wins underline his dominance.

We get a Brit on the second step of the podium thanks to Tommy Searle’s 2-2 card with Gautier Paulin’s pair of fourth-placed finishes good enough for the final step on the podium. Jeffrey Herlings’ 7-3 card nets him fourth ahead of new British champ Arnaud Tonus (9-5) and the magnificent mutton chops of Jake Nicholls who cards a cracking 8-6.

After promising a debut podium all year, Max Anstie’s hopes are crushed in Saturday’s MX2 qualifying race when he clashes with Herlings into the first turn. With a radiator hose ripped off he keeps it pinned in sixth until the engine dies on the last lap. For his efforts Max gets last gate pick and despite some hard-charging heroics he ends the day eighth overall with a 10-8 card.

Elliott Banks-Browne runs as high as ninth in the opening moto but the pain from his crocked wrist is too much and he fades to 15th at the flag before deciding to sit out the second moto. Jordan Booker, Damon Strydom, James Cottrell and Stuart Edmonds all fail to score but Lewis Tombs grabs his first GP point with 20th in race two.

For a 10-page special from Matterley Basin don’t miss the October issue of Dirt Bike Rider, on sale September 9…