This weekend saw the SJP Moto Husqvarna squad travel to the sand circuit of Preston Docks for the first round of the Michelin MX Nationals. Following the cancellation of the season opener, Preston Docks would facilitate for the first time this season with both the youth and pro riders competing together at the same event.
The Saturday morning presented a very wet and heavy track, following the downpour Friday evening. However, the track did manage to dry out ahead of Sunday’s races. Big Wheel 85cc rider Lewis Wood, and Small Wheel 85cc riders Charlie Heyman and James Barker, all took to the track on the Saturday.
In the opening race Charlie Heyman produced a stunning start, pilfering the holeshot in the combined class and maintaining the lead for the initial few corners on his SW85 machine! This set the tone for Charlie’s weekend; he dominated the Small Wheel class, claiming four class wins and the overall, whilst simultaneously hanging it out with the Big Wheel riders.
In the Big Wheel class Lewis Wood produced a string of solid results to secure a 3-6-3-3 scorecard, gifting him fourth overall on the weekend. James Barker on the second Small Wheel machine suffered some mixed results, finishing the weekend in eighth overall.
Sunday witnessed the pro classes joining in on the action, but, it was to be a challenging day for Rob Davidson, Tom Neal and Dexter Douglas. In their qualifying sessions, all three riders struggled to pull a strong lap together.
In the opening pro’s race Rob Davidson started in seventh, but after colliding with another rider mid-race (damaging the front brake), he slipped back down the order to finish eleventh in MX1. In the MX2 class Dexter Douglas produced a good ride to finish tenth in the class, with teammate Tom Neal in twelfth after recovering from two crashes during the race.
The second moto saw Rob Davidson suffer a bad start, salvaging thirteenth place for thirteenth overall on the day. In the MX2 class Dexter Douglas struggled to progress from a bad start. He could only get up to nineteenth for twelfth overall. Unfortunately Tom Neal suffered more bad luck, crashing out of the moto after sustaining an injury to his elbow in a crash.
The pro riders will now regroup in time for the second round of Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship, to be held at Lyng in Norfolk this coming weekend.
Rob Davidson: “The first round of the MX National wasn't the best start for me, but could have been worse! I struggled all day with my riding and didn't really get to grips with the track, although I always struggle here… so it was nothing new and some work has to be done this week before next week’s British championship. I’m really looking forward to heading to Lyng and love the track, so feel it's going to be a good week and strong weekend coming up. Thanks to everyone for the help and we will be back up in the mix. Cheers!"
Dexter Douglas: “Qualifying went okay, I put a decent lap in and ended up seventeenth out of the MX2 riders. In the first race I got a horrendous start but managed to work my way up to seventh, before dropping back to tenth, which was still an awesome result! Then in the second race I got another bad start and just was really tired, and could hardly hold on. But, I finished nineteenth so it was a good day overall."
Tom Neal: "Rough day, didn't really get a clear lap in qualifying. I tried to time it to be the first on a fast lap, but ended up in loads of traffic and qualified fourteenth in MX2. In the first race I got a mid-pack start, but then a rider fell in front of me on the second corner, taking me down and leaving me dead last. I then crashed again on lap 2 and was panicking a bit, before starting to come back through and ended up twelfth in MX2.
"But with the limited line choice I was struggling to pass riders and progress further. In the second race I got a much better start and was running seventh in MX2 on the first lap, then on the second lap I came together with a rider and fell onto my arm when it was locked out, so hurt the elbow joint. I don't know much about the damage as of yet, but plan a week of physio ahead of next weekend."
Leighton Haigh (Team Manager): “This weekend has been a mixed bag for us as a team. On one side the youth riders have done great, whereas on the pro side it has been a tough and challenging weekend. Charlie dominated the Small Wheel 85’s and was mixing it at the front of the Big Wheels, while Lewis Wood had three thirds for fourth overall. James had some good rides for eighth overall. In the pros Dexter’s opening race result was one of the highlights of the weekend, as Tom crashed on his elbow and Rob struggled all weekend. But, all three will bounce back next weekend at Lyng!"
Words: Press Release | Lead Image: Elliot Spencer