Mike Kras took a double win as he got his defence of the ACU British Two-stroke Championship off to a flying start at a rough, tough Culham Moto Park on Sunday.
The dynamic Dutchman carried his form from the previous weekend’s EMX300 round in Spain to the Oxfordshire circuit and despite having never ridden there before was unbeatable.
After taking an early lead in the opening moto, he laid down a series of fast laps to stretch his advantage to almost 11 seconds. In race two he dominated, leading every lap as he recorded a comfortable eight-second win.
By contrast, his team-mate James Dunn had a much tougher time and struggled to a lowly 18th in the opening race.
A crash on the first lap of race two appeared to galvanise James and he picked up the pace, coming through from almost last to fourth and setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.
“Mike is solid this year. He’s the one to beat if anyone wants to win anything – the pressure is on me to get him to the races and keep a bike underneath him,” explains Team Principal, Bob Buchanan.
“Jimmy D is an enigma. If you can keep him in the zone you could rule the world but he has days when he just isn’t there and he had one of those at Culham.
“It’s frustrating for everyone but you live off the special days when he is breathtaking.”
“I’m especially happy because to say the least it’s a track I don’t like,” Kras admits. “I just hate the hard bumps in the ruts – it’s bad for my back. I hope we go to sand tracks now.
“I just had to ride steady and concentrate on the lines I rode. I think Ashley Wilde rode really good today. He could follow me for a little bit but as soon as I had a gap I could loosen up a bit.
“It’s been a good day and if all season is like this then I couldn’t be more happy. Of course it’s going to be harder and I’m going to lose some of the races maybe but it is a good start. I want to get as many points and to be there in the championship fight and to make it a double title.”
“A very frustrating day for me,” said Dunn. “I felt good in the morning and was actually feeling confident in the tricky conditions but I had a terrible start in the first race and really struggled to find any feel at all. I was not myself.
“I had to reset mentally for the second race – I had a much better start but dropped it on the first lap and went back to pretty much last. I really got my head down and came back to fourth with fastest lap of the race.
“Overall I’m looking at the positives from the day and I’m happy that we turned it around for race two.”