After a long winter of preparation Phoenix Tools Apico Kawasaki’s Carlton Husband, Gert Krestinov and Ciara Robertson were all ready to go as the 2019 season started with the opening round of the Michelin MX Nationals at Sherwood.
Husband and Krestinov went out on track for a shakedown session, but with the forecast showing rain, the organisers moved the schedule forward and at 8am both returned to the track for Qualifying where Krestinov was fourth fastest in MX1 and Husband finished 10th fastest after being hindered with a bike problem.
Despite almost missing the event due to dislocating his shoulder while training during the week, Husband proved he was comfortable of the Kawasaki 250. In the opening race he recovered from being hit by another and charged from dead last to finish fourth in MX2. The second race was held in heavy rain and with the track speed lower, Husband started mid-pack and picked riders of to take another fourth-place finish for third overall on the day.
“So the weekend for me went pretty good considering in the week I had a rather bad crash and damaged my shoulder and AC joint,” said Husband.
“We almost never rode with wanting to be healed up for the Maxxis but so glad we did ride.
“Qualifying was not great as the first fast lap I did a stone hit the oil cooler pipe and I had to miss a lot of my session so ended up 10th.
“Race one was a bit of a nightmare as I got hit by another rider who was out of control in the first turn so started dead last and worked my way up to fourth in MX2.
“Race two the heavens opened which made me happy as I knew it would slow the track down and help a little with my shoulder. I started around the middle of the pack and just picked people of finishing in fourth again.
“Overall, I’m so happy with the weekend and looking forward to getting my shoulder fixed up ready for round one of the Maxxis next weekend. Big thanks to everyone at the Phoenix Tools Apico Kawasaki.”
Krestinov also rode a solid day in both races. In the opening moto Krestinov started around the mid-pack and was outside the top 10 on the opening laps and after a taking a few laps to make progress he soon moved forward and claimed fourth at the finish. Weather conditions worsened for the second moto and as the gate dropped Krestinov started his fight to work his way into a podium spot. After losing his goggles the Estonian rider took the decision to defend his points to take fourth overall.
“It was an okay start to the season, of course I wanted to end up on the podium and I feel I had the potential but my first laps were too slow,” said Krestinov.
“Second race I had to throw my goggles off and it was really hard to see, so I couldn’t attack and just finished were I was,” the 28-year-old added. “It’s a long season ahead and I think I’ll be a lot better when the year progresses.”
Also competing at the event was the team’s female rider Ciara Robertson in the MXY2 class. Ciara rode consistently across the weekend in the highly competitive Youth class as she claimed 20, 20, 20 and 17th for 21st overall.
Team owner Barry Moore: “The first round of the Michelin MX Nationals turned out a lot better than we expected for Carlton Husband. He showed a lot of character and to finish on the podium was great for him and the team.
“Gert rode two consistent races to end up fourth overall. Gert rode well in the races just needed a bit more aggression on the first laps.
“Ciara rode steady all weekend on a tough track and is adapting to the Kawasaki with much more to come.”
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