Rain, sleet and snow almost ruined the eagerly awaited first round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship which was held at FatCat Motoparc near Doncaster but a revised schedule saw four championship motos leave the line.
In MX1 all eyes were on wildcard Tommy Searle as he made a rare visit to the UK. Unfazed by the icy temperatures the CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki rider was in league of his own showing incredible speed in the deep sand to take two wins. In the second MX1 race when conditions were at their worst Searle lapped up to fifth place such was his dominance.
“The main reason for doing this event was to get some sand-racing practice in before the next GP,” says Tommy. “Also I don’t get to race much at home here in England so it was nice to be with all the fans and it’s been a great day, even with the condition of the track it’s been great fun.”
It’s highly unlikely that Tommy will be back in Maxxis action this year so for the real series contenders it was important to get a podium place and set the tone for the series.
Finishing behind Tommy on the podium was Team STR KTM’s Jonathan Barragan. Second in race one after battling through from a poor start Barragan got away much better second time out and held the runner-up spot until Tanel Leok came barrelling past. A small crash allowed MBO Yamaha’s Kristian Whatley to close the gap but the Spaniard was able to fight off his challenge to hold third at the end.
“I enjoyed racing in my first British Championship race and especially with so many strong riders in the field,” says Barragan. “The track was good in the first race but the rain made it hard in the second. It was good practice for me and the team and I am happy with second overall.”
Whatley took the final podium spot with a third and a fourth. “I enjoyed racing the Yamaha back in 2011 and it’s great to be back on one again,” says K-What. “We put a different, softer shock on the bike this week and the difference is amazing around here. It’s my first race of the year and I just concentrated on the starts and trying to ride more relaxed and it’s good to get the first championship round out of the way”
Brad Anderson’s opening moto ended in disaster on lap one when a collision ripped the oil cooler from his Maxxis Kawasaki by LPE machine. The start of race two was much cleaner – at least figuratively speaking – and Anderson would eventually finish in a well-deserved sixth place after struggling with his shoulder. That was enough to give him 14th place overall.
“Coming into the British Championship I had been really looking forward to it,” says Brad. “But unfortunately I hurt my shoulder two weeks ago and could do with a few more weeks rest. Going into qualifying I wasn’t sure how my shoulder would be as it was the first time back on the bike and I took some pain killers and braced my shoulder and finished in 16th and struggled a little. Then in the first race I felt more up for it and I’d taken some more pain killers and then after a mid-pack start another rider hit me on the first lap and damaged the oil cooler ending my race, all the hard work with my shoulder and then to suffer such bad luck was gutting. Then in the second race I got a really bad start and worked my way up to sixth and I was really happy with that considering the weather and my shoulder.”
Defending MX2 champ Elliott Banks-Browne got off to an almost perfect start to the series, recording a 1-2. Last year’s nemesis and wildcard entry at FatCat, Mel Pocock might have run him close if his machine had lasted the distance in the first race. Pocock came back from that disappointment to take the win in the second race but was out of the running for the podium.
Evotech Stevens KTM’s Steven Lenoir was clearly pleased with a 2-4 result and a second overall. “It’s been good today,” claims the Frenchman. “I’m very pleased to start with a podium. I qualified second, and in the first race fought for the lead all race long, and got second. Race two was unreal. I lost my goggles after the second lap, and then I was trying not to crash. I was fourth and second on the day, and I’m really pleased. My thanks to the entire team for everything, the bike was amazing.”
The new Heads and All Threads Suzuki Team had a mixed day with their bright spot coming from Graeme Irwin. In race one he dropped it in the second lap and had to gather himself – the Irishman picked his way through the field and finished the race in sixth position.
Race two went much better and he was holding second place until EBB managed to make a pass stick. Irwin rode intelligently and finished quite comfortably in third place gabbing third overall.
Round two was due to take place this weekend at Canada Heights but thanks to the British weather it’s been cancelled. The next round (three sort of) will be Lyng, Norfolk on April 7.
MX1 Rd 1 Fatcat Results – Maxxis British Motocross Championship 2013
MX1 Race 1
MX1 Race 2
MX2 Rd 1 Maxxis British Motocross Championship 2013
MX2 Race 1
|1||1||Elliott Banks Browne|
MX2 Race 2
|2||1||Elliott Banks Browne|
|1||1||Elliott Banks Browne||70||37||33|
2013 Maxxis British Motocross Championship – Fat Cats results
2013 Maxxis British Motocross Championship calendar dates and venues