With pro racing in the UK cut back to just the four-round Michelin MX Nationals, it’s no surprise that moto-hungry Brits went looking further afield for a fix of bar-banging action at the end of the season and John Adamson (Gabriel Motocross KTM) is no exception.
The 24-year-old sand-loving Scot contested the final three rounds of the EMXOpen championship – all held in the space of eight days at the Pietramurata circuit in northern Italy – and showed great speed, even if the results didn’t always go his way.
Having missed the first three rounds in Latvia, the title was never within reach but John opened up his account with a solid sixth in the opening moto before a broken wheel put him out of race two.
Running 6-7 next time out earned him sixth overall and he looked certain to sign off in style at the final round after racing to third in the opening moto but a crash in the closing stages of race two – while he was again running third – dumped him off the podium.
“Simon [Gabriel] is always keen on us going away and he likes the big events so he offered me the chance,” said John. “You should never say no to an opportunity like that so we headed over there to see how we’d measure up against some top-class riders.
“I was happy with the results and on Saturday I was really happy with my speed but I didn’t get the result in the second race after crashing but it was still an amazing experience.”
On the domestic front, John ground out eighth overall in the Pro MX1 class of the MX Nationals with his series bookended by vastly contrasting fortunes, beginning with injury and ending on the podium with third overall at FatCat behind Martin Barr and Tommy Searle.
“At the first round at Hawkstone I had good speed but I crashed in the first race and ruptured a kidney. I didn’t know at the time – I just knew it was sore – so I went out in the second race and I think I got 11th but my side was absolutely killing me.
“So I didn’t really get a chance to show my speed in the sand there. Landrake and Cusses Gorse were next but they are hard-pack – which isn’t my favourite surface – so it was nice to get back to the deep sand at FatCat at the end of the year and finish on a high.
“It was the only national championship running so all the fast guys were there except Shaun Simpson. Obviously, I’d been practising in sand and seen some of my competitors practising so I knew that I had good speed and it was nice to pull two good races together and show everyone that we have been working hard. It was a brilliant way to end the series.”
At the start of the year John moved to Portsmouth to be near his team – something he laughs about now given the pandemic waiting in the wings – and when riding was put on hold he was put to good use.
“They’ve got a workshop for the team and I help out in there. I was a bike mechanic before I moved down there and I just started doing bits and pieces and I’ve ended up working in the workshop when I’m not riding a bike.
“I’ve got a ride with the same team for next year and in Britain we’ll be doing the MX2 championship and hopefully some EMXOpen stuff, maybe on a 350.”