Heads & All Threads Suzuki made the trip to Landrake in Cornwall this past weekend for the first round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship to be greeted with sunshine and a perfectly groomed track. Sunday morning dawned with sunshine too, much to everyone’s delight.
MX2 qualifying promptly hit the track at 9am, and after the session was over, the team’s two MX2 riders, Luke Burton and Ryo Sato, ended in 24th and 37th respectively. In the MX1 class, lone rider Graeme Irwin put a cat amongst the pigeons by qualifying second and bettering that result with a pole position in the Superpole.
For Burton, the day was marred by crashes. Although not off to the best of starts in any of the three races, his progress up the pack in the first two was very promising, but he went down mid-race in the first, and early in the second race, which cost him solid top 15 positions. The final race left him languishing in the back of the pack and he went home with only two points at the end of the day.
“Mixed emotions this weekend; I feel my speed is ok, putting in the laps, I feel I was very inconsistent, which I need to work on,” said Luke Burton.
“My biggest problem was getting out of the gate, I was at the back all three starts, it’s difficult to come through and when everyone is going the same speed as yourself and you’re fractions quicker than them, it’s difficult to make up that little bit to get there in front of them. The track is pretty much one-lined as well. A bunch of crashes over the weekend as well, two in the first moto and one each in the others.”
Sato proved this weekend that he was adapting rapidly to conditions in the UK. He got off to a good start in all three races, but like Burton, hit the ground too often and had to play catch-up on the tight track. The final standings simply do not reflect his determined race ethic and the team hopes that at the next round, the young Japanese rider will earn his first set of points in Britain.
“The races were difficult. The track was not very wide like in Japan, but I tried my best,” Ryo Sato. “The third race was fun and I was keeping up with the pace.”
Irwin also had somewhat of a mixed result. Riding on a high after his stunner of a fast lap in the Superpole, he was eager to mix it up with the boys up front, but it was not quite to be. After a strong top 10 start in the first race, Irwin hit the ground hard and had to start again from the back. Good progress throughout earned him a 19th place.
Graeme Irwin said: “The weekend started off really good, qualifying was second, in Superpole grabbed first. In the first race, in the first lap, I just came out of a corner and made a silly mistake and came off the back. I put my foot down and I don’t know what I’ve done to my heel, but it’s pretty tender and it kind-of put a damper on the rest of the day.
“I managed to get back to 19th to get a couple of points, then I was 11th in the second race and eighth in the third, it’s damage limitation but it’s not how I wanted to start, especially the start of the day. The latter two races were continuous improvements as well. In the middle race, a top 15 start ended just outside the top 10, while the last race saw Irwin run consistently in sixth for a finish in eighth, and a top 10 overall.
“The weekend went well, we were a bit unlucky with Graeme,” said Neil Prince – Team Manager. “The first crash cost us dearly, but hopefully that’s all the bad luck out of the way now. With the MX2 guys, Luke is going well, that’s where he’s at, Ryo was battling for 26th in the last race, but the next gaggle of guys in front were those in the points, so that’s an improvement. With a good start, he can battle, he just needs to get that good start. He has the speed, he has everything, he just needs that little bit of luck. So we’re happy.”
The team next travels to Lyng in Norfolk for the second round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship.