Jake Nicholls continued at Lyng where he left off at the previous round of the 2017 Maxxis British Motocross Championship for the Hitachi KTM UK team, with an overall victory and the MX1 red plate.
Jake Nicholls put in his best time on lap one of MX1 Qualifying at the old-school motocross track at Cadders Hill in Norfolk and the sub 2:03 flyer was enough to beat the rest of the field.
Nicholls took that speed into the opening moto, taking the holeshot and holding off Frenchman Steven Lenoir and Irishman Graeme Irwin. The chasing pack held their order on the one-line track until just a couple of laps to the chequers when Irwin found a way past Lenoir but Nicholls held on for victory.
Gert Krestinov got the holeshot in moto two but Nicholls held on to the leading pack to bring home third at the chequers to secure his second British Motocross Championship overall for the ’17 series.
Nicholls now holds a 13 point margin at the top of the MX1 British Motocross Championship standings after two rounds of the eight-round series.
“The second place in race two wasn’t what I wanted from today, the way I rode was a bit disappointing – I was just struggling,” Jake Nicholls explained. “I had damaged my hand last week at the GP in Mexico and it was very hard just to hold on to the bars today – added to that I think I am still suffering a bit of jet lag as I have been tired all week. [I] didn’t sleep very well at all last night. I think my head is still in a different time zone over the Atlantic.
“We did struggle a bit with set-up as at the GPs on the man-made tracks they seem to go from a big jump into a tight turn and the dirt is really grippy – you can really stiffen the suspension up to take full advantage of those conditions, but come here on the great ‘old-school’ track it really needed to be softened up. So with a stiff bike and with my hand hurting it was an uphill battle and made it hard for ourselves.
“I was lucky to even finish the first race. I went into turn two and with the bike laid over, I caught the radiator on a small post, which gave the bike a small leak that got worse as the race went on. Luckily [I] didn’t run out of coolant.
“But I can’t complain, as I came away with the overall win and have extended my lead in the championship race, and that’s what we came here for. It just wasn’t the performance I was looking for.”
Ben Watson retains MX2 red plate
Although Ben Watson couldn’t match his teammate’s one lap Qualifying smackdown he was still able to put over a second on his nearest rival to take pole.
Watson held the lead going into turn one in the opening race of the day with Martin Barr, Lewis Tombs and Harri Kullas in pursuit. But a crash at around half race distance let Kullas through for victory but Watson held on for second place.
It was deja vu in moto two – Watson grabbed the holey and Kullas couldn’t match his speed but a mistake from Watson just a few laps from home let Kullas through to snatch victory and the overall.
Watson’s Hitachi KTM UK MX2 teammate Josiah Natzke didn’t get to grips with the sand circuit, taking nine points in moto one and failing to finish moto two.
Watson keeps hold of the red plate with a nine-point lead over Kullas as the British motocross series heads to round three at Canada Heights in Kent on April 30.
“The day’s racing didn’t really go the way I would have wanted,” said Ben Watson. “After getting two holeshots I would have expected to go on to two wins, but I have just been making too many silly mistakes and it’s costing [me].
“I went through the fence at the work area in the first race and fell off in the second race while in the lead with two laps to go. I know I was quicker than Harri [Kullas] because even after crashing I managed to chase him down and cross the finish line in his wheel tracks.
“It’s annoying and frustrating to make those silly mistakes but it’s got me fired up for the next round now.
“I will put all this behind me and focus on the next round.”
Ben’s Hitachi KTM teammate, Josiah Natzke struggled with the track and only managed to score nine points in race one and failed to finish the second race.
Hitachi KTM UK now gets back on the road for the MXGP of Trentino at Pietramurata in Italy this weekend (April 16).