The penultimate round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship, powered by Skye Energy Drink headed to the sandy venue of Preston Docks in Lancashire. With the circuit being new to the calendar for this year both riders were keen to see how the track would develop during the day.
Morning practice and qualifying started the day off well for the team with Steven Clarke producing a solid lap time to secure sixth fastest, while Matt Burrows would finish 26th fastest due to the lap times being very close around him.
Following the lunch break it was time for the opening race of the day and when the gate dropped Clarke fired around the first corner in second place and quickly chased after MX2 series leader Max Anstie. By the end of the opening lap Clarke had slipped back to third place where he would remain for the whole race ahead of Bryan Mackenzie. Meanwhile Burrows started just outside the points and soon moved inside the top 20 to finish 19th.
Clarke made another good start in race two and at the end of the first lap he was just outside the top five with Burrows in 12th. As the race progressed Burrows moved up into ninth place.
The final race was to be the toughest of the day for both riders as the track became very technical. Clarke started in sixth place with Burrows suffering a crash on the opening lap and had to battle back towards the front. Unfortunately Clarke would crash mid-race and drop outside the top 10 to finish in 12th place with Burrows recovering to finish 19th.
Clarke finished the day in sixth overall and remains sixth in the championship standings with one round remaining. For Burrows the overall results don’t do justice to his strong riding this weekend and saw him finish 22nd overall and 24th in the championship.
“Qualifying went well this morning with one of my best results of the year in sixth fastest,” Steven Clarke said. “Then in the first race I got a mega jump and almost got the holeshot ahead of Anstie, but him and Sterry got by me and I rode a steady race for third. I wasn’t happy with my riding at the end of the first race as I got a bit of arm pump.
“The second race my start and opening laps weren’t great but I got it together mid-race and finished fifth. Then in the last race it was just a bad race, I couldn’t get into my rhythm and then had a small crash in the middle of the race and twisted the bars a bit and just rode it home for 12th. Overall it’s been a good day and we now have one round left at FatCat and I hope to finish on a high there.”
“Today the results don’t show the true picture of what happened,” said Matt Burrows. “As there are a lot of positives to be taken from the day. I unfortunately crashed out of the second race while in ninth and then had a crash in the last race but still finished 19th for some points. Overall the results on paper don’t show the full story and I’ll work on the positives and look forward to a good weekend at FatCat.”
Team Manager, Richard Clarke commented: “Today has been a positive day on a very tough and demanding track, but also a fair race track. Both riders dug in deep and produced some good results during the day.
“Steven had a good qualifying in sixth which is one of his best of the year and then took a well-deserved third in the first race. Then in the second race he took a fifth place finish and unfortunately a small crash in a corner during the last race saw him drop to 12th, but still secured sixth overall and more solid points in the championship.
“Looking back if we hadn’t missed the Canada Heights round in MX2 we may well be higher in the championship and pushing for the top three. Matt today has ridden really hard from some mid-pack starts and scored more points for the championship, it’s just a shame about the crash in the second race.