Mel Pocock raced to his first Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship podium since 2014 at round two of the series held at Cadders Hill, Lyng, on Sunday.
Looking controlled and confident on the REVO Husqvarna UK FC250, Mel backed up a third in qualification with two typically gutsy rides in the points-paying races on the demanding Norfolk circuit. Despite racing his spare bike in the first moto Mel gated well, quickly worked his way through to fourth and held the position to the end. In race two he avoided a first-turn pile-up that claimed his teammate, Jamie Carpenter, made a succession of strong passes and at half-distance moved into third to secure third on the podium.
Rookie pro Jamie got off to a promising start, when he posted his best-ever qualifying position in eleventh, but it was tough going for the Dorset rider, who turned eighteen the day before. An early fall saw him playing catch-up in the opener but he battled his way back into the points, before front fork damage sustained in the crash forced him to slow.
His second race ended in the first corner, when he got his leg trapped in his back wheel. He’s been treated for burns caused by his silencer but will have to wait until mid-week before specialists can determine the extent of a knee injury.
Mark Yates (Team Principal): “A fantastic performance by Mel to get his first British Championship podium since 2014. We’re really pleased and his confidence is growing every week. To be honest my expectation for today was a podium. I don’t mean for that to sound big-headed, but that’s what we knew Mel was capable of and that’s what we got. A podium’s good for Mel and good for the team. It will definitely be good for his confidence going to Trentino next week for the first European 250cc round.
“We were really pleased with Jamie this morning. He was lying tenth in qualification, but got knocked back to eleventh on the last lap, which was still very good. He was unfortunate in the first race to crash and damage his front fork and in the second race he got a great start but went down in the first turn. His leg was trapped between the wheel and the underside of the rear fender, so he’s burned himself on the exhaust and may have damaged a knee ligament."
Mel Pocock: “I’m so happy to be back on the podium. It’s brilliant. I was third in qualifying so that gave me a good gate pick and I think the ACU made the right choice in not letting us prep the concrete start, which made it even and fair.
“The first race we had a technical problem just before the start, so I had to ride my spare bike, but I still did well. I fought hard, found myself in a big gap, had a steady fourth and a pretty simple race. For the second moto I was back on my race bike. I didn’t get a great start and, unfortunately, Jamie went down, which created a big mess so I managed to sneak through past a lot of riders.
“That’s probably the hardest I’ve ridden to date and I managed to push up to third to secure third overall. I’m honestly so happy. I can’t thank Sam and Mark Yates and the REVO Husqvarna team enough for all their hard work."
Jamie Carpenter: “We made a few changes during the week and I went out and had, by far, my best qualification so far this year. I crashed early in the first race and came through really well, but around halfway my holeshot device locked on because of the crash so I ended up dropping back.
“I had a really good start in the second and thought I was going to have a great race and then I somehow got my leg stuck in the back wheel around the first turn. It wasn’t the end to the day I was hoping for but I was really happy with my riding and even when I was coming through in the first race my lap times were really good.
“I haven’t been able to get my knee checked out yet – I’ve got an appointment on Wednesday with a specialist – but I’ve had the burn on my calf sorted out. They reckon three weeks hopefully for that to be healed, but my knee’s quite swollen so I need to get that down."
Words: Press Release | Lead Image: ConwayMX