With the Maxxis British Motocross championship going into the closing rounds, Evotech Stevens Honda made the trek to Hawkstone Park in Shropshire in scorching sunshine. Sunday proved to be a mixed bag, one that still delivered a gem at the end of the day.
Qualifying in the morning saw senior rider Neville Bradshaw qualify in fourth, with Jordan Divall further down the field in thirty-first. In the super-pole, Bradshaw saw his hopes for an improvement disappear with a ninth place.
For Bradshaw, the day’s racing got off to a great start that soon ended with a sampling of dirt. Quick back on his feet, Bradshaw restarted still within the top fifteen, and quickly made progress to return to sixth. Stuck behind some tough competition for several laps after that, he was finally able to leapfrog into fourth place with just seconds remaining on the clock. The second race saw Bradshaw repeat the brilliant start along the sweeping Hawkstone right-hander, and he soon found himself embroiled in a battle for first with KTM rider Elliott Banks-Browne, one that lasted for the majority of the race. A mistake made by Banks-Browne allowed Bradshaw to take advantage for the lead, but he was soon in battle again, this time with Honda colleague Nicolas Aubin. Much to his dismay, Aubin was able to take the lead, with Bradshaw seconds behind across the finish line.
With a third in the bag, Bradshaw then moved on to the super-final, in which both MX1 and MX2 riders race together for another chance at more points for the championship. Here, Bradshaw found himself in the dirt again, this time with twisted bike to boot. After getting the bars and front suspension untwisted, Bradshaw took off again from the rear of the pack, re-entering the points halfway through and progressing to seventeenth at the chequered flag. With enough points collected, Bradshaw took third overall on the day.
Divall also found himself in a good position in the first few laps of his races. In the first race he completed the first lap just outside the top twenty and was well on his way to a point-scoring position when he ran into trouble. A crash cost him a fair few positions, and with minutes to go, recovered three to end in twenty-eighth. In the second, a brilliant start left Divall in eighteenth. Moving to sixteenth soon after, another stall dropped him out of the points, from which he was not able to recover, ending the race in twenty-eighth again.
Commented team principal Matt Hutchins: “We had an excellent day! With Neville, we ended up third overall and we’re up to third in the championship now. He had some really good starts and had a big crash on the start of the last race, banged his head a little bit but managed to get enough points back to get onto the podium. Jordan rode well today, he was a bit unlucky in that he was in good point scoring positions in the first and second races and a couple of crashes kept him away but I’m sure he’ll be picking up his first points soon.”
Jordan Divall (#63): Qualifying wasn’t too good, I qualified in thirty-first. In the first race I was running in twenty-first, and then had a bit of trouble and dropped to twenty-eighth. In the second race I was sixteenth for quite a long time, then my hand came off coming down the hill and I stalled it in the corner after and ended up twenty-eighth again.
Neville Bradshaw (#272): Today was an alright day. In the first moto I got a good start and crashed on the first lap, so I had to work my way from around tenth back to fourth. Then in the second race I had another really good start and was second for most of the race. Elliott and I had a really good race, then he went down and then Nicolas and I had a good race and he managed to get me just before the end. In the last race I had the biggest crash going down the start straight, and when I got up the bike was all twisted and the handlebars were bent back and I just did my best to get back into the points and scored four. With that I got onto the podium which was alright.