Hawkstone Park marked the start of the outdoor season for LPE Kawasaki as both Tanel Leok and Jamie Law headed to the International. Sunday morning saw the riders awake to heavy fog in the air and cold conditions.
The fog started to clear as the fence lines became packed with fans as the riders headed out onto the track ready for the MX1 qualifying. The track conditions made it difficult for both riders to get a clear lap, but as the session progressed Tanel managed to post a strong time that saw him fourth fastest and just behind the Factory Suzuki’s, and the first British Championship runner, while Jamie produced a solid lap to finish thirteenth fastest.
The opening race of the day saw Tanel make a strong start against the Factory teams and finish the opening laps in fourth place with Jamie starting well inside the top ten and looking to produce a strong result. As the race progressed Tanel came under pressure from Strijbos and slipped back to fifth place and in the process had to lose his goggles and finished in a solid fifth. Jamie continued to ride a solid race and after slipping back to eleventh mid race he was able to recover and take tenth on the final lap.
The second race of the day saw Tanel collide with another rider on the first turn and restart the race dead last, while Jamie too suffered a tough start. Both riders pushed hard and moved towards the top ten. Tanel suffered more problems his roll off’s broke when he crashed causing him to race the majority of the race with no goggles and took a rock in his eye which slowed his progress a little. As the race came to a close Jamie was up to seventh place and Tanel had broken into the top ten, but with a couple of laps remaining Jamie suffered with his goggles steaming up and lost a few places and slipped to tenth just behind Tanel in ninth place.
The two strong results by riders saw Tanel claim seventh overall and Jamie tenth overall and both into the Superfinal at the end of the day. In the Superfinal the MX2 riders are let off the line first and quickly followed by the MX1 field. At the end of the first lap Tanel had forced his way into fifteenth place with Jamie in twenty fifth place. The pair quickly set about picking off the slower riders and would charge forward to finish tenth and twelfth respectively in the race and Tanel 5th MX1 rider home and Jamie 7th MX1 rider home.”
Tanel Leok: “I’m not very happy with my riding today, speed wise I feel good but in the races I struggled a little bit with putting together a good race. Qualifying was good with fourth place and then in the first race I finished fifth. In the second race I crashed on the first corner and damaged my goggles. I struggled all day with my googles and had to finish all three races with no goggles which made it hard to push as I had sand in my eyes. Overall I’m happy with some of my riding today but I need to work on the whole race package but my speed is good and I was happy to be able to charge from behind in the second race.”
Jamie Law: “Today has been a good day for me, in the first race I didn’t get the best of starts but made a good first corner and come around just outside the top ten and finished in tenth. Then in the second race I was riding well and in seventh place but with a couple of laps to go my goggles steamed up and I couldn’t see clearly and lost a couple of places and finished tenth again. In the last race I wanted to dig in and stay strong and that’s what I did and came from the mid-twenties to finish in twelfth. Overall it’s been a good day as the bike feels good, and I feel strong so it’s been a good day to build from.”
Steve James: “Today has been a good day for both riders, the aim was to come here and test in race conditions and work out where we are at against some top opposition and we did that. We hoped for Tanel to finish in the top five and Jamie in the top ten and we achieved that. It’s been a really good test for the bikes and the riders. Both Tanel and Jamie’s starts were ok and their race pace and qualifying speed is really good at the moment with another month before the first Maxxis round, so we can continue to work hard over the weeks and use the positives from today as motivation.”