Round 4 of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship headed to Milton MX Park near Northampton on Sunday. The day started with clear blue skies both turning to rain later in the day.
Sunday started with the qualification sessions for all three classes and in MX2, after finishing a disappointing seventh in the initial MX2 Q1 session, Neville Bradshaw put in a sizzling Q2 lap to take the pole position on his Putoline Honda, ahead of the season sensation, Nathan Watson who demoted his team leader and red plate holder, Elliott Banks-Browne into third. Steven Clarke, taking a wildcard option to ride the third HM Plant KTM UK machine finished third in Q1, but was unable to up the pace as the track dried for Q2 and dropped to tenth.
In the MX1 class Buildbase Honda rider, Nicolas Aubin dominated the MX1 class by nearly three seconds ahead of Team STR KTM’s Jonathan Barragan in the initial session with Tanel Leok on the Route 77 Honda in third and whilst the Frenchman repeated the performance in the Q2 session, Leok outshone Barragan for second. Jamie Law on the Dyer and Butler KTM took advantage of the drying track to jump from Q1 8th to a Q2 fourth.
The final qualifying session was for the MXY2 group and Championship contender, Robert Davidson took pole position in the MXY2 class. He headed Rob Muscat by just over half a second with Todd Kellett less than one tenth adrift.
After the lunch break it was time for the first MX2 race of the day and Elliott Banks Browne took a start to finish win. For half of the twenty minute moto it was Neville Bradshaw who held second but he faded in the closing stages which allowed Steven Clarke on the second HM Plant KTM into second whilst Graeme Irwin finished strong demoting Steven Lenoir to fourth with Bradshaw eventually regaining his composure to finish fifth.
In the opening MX1 moto, Nico Aubin could not repeat his qualifying dominance and although he made a mid-race challenge for the lead, it was Tanel Leok who eventually took the win by five seconds. Jonathan Barragan rode a lonely race in third, whilst Kristian Whatley had a race long battle with ex world champion Steve Ramon. In a dramatic last lap, Shane Carless on the Oakleaf Kawasaki edged former Champion, Brad Anderson out of sixth position.
The first MXY2 race of the day saw a race long battle for the race win with John Adamson taking the early race lead before being passed by Mathew Callaghan. Adamson regained the lead and took the race win over Josh Gilbert and Mathew Callaghan who dropped to third place. Fourth and fifth places went to Robert Davidson and Tom Neal.
Elliott Banks-Browne dominated the second MX2 race, finishing five seconds clear of Steven Lenoir as slight drizzle started to fall. Bryan MacKenzie made a better start this time to just finish ahead of Neville Bradshaw who cannot seem to find his early morning qualifying pace. Adam Sterry took fifth ahead of Steven Clarke who recovered from a first corner crash to finish 6th.
In the second MX1 moto, Tanel Leok set a pace in light rain to take another win, but battles behind him raged as Jonathan Barragon slipped off twice but still recovered to fend off a late challenge from Kristian Whatley, whilst Shane Carless put in his best performance of the season to finish fourth – the first of a trio of Kawasaki’s of Brad Anderson and Gert Krestinov on the Apico ANSA Racing Kawasaki.
The second and final MXY2 race of the day saw Robert Davidson take the race win and with it the overall victory and Championship lead. Second place went to Glenn McCormick and Ben Putnam in third. Fourth and fifth went to John Adamson and Brad Todd. The overall was Robert Davidson ahead of John Adamson in second and Glenn McCormick in third.
The third and final MX2 race saw Steven Lenoir took the victory ahead of Elliott Banks-Browne in second and Neville Bradshaw in third place. Fourth and fifth places went to Steven Clarke and Bryan MacKenzie. With two wins and a second, Elliott Banks- Browne leads the MX2 class by 40 points over Steven Lenoir who got stronger as the day progressed whilst local rider, Neville Bradshaw just missed out on the podium but moved up to third in the standings.
The final MX1 race of the day saw Tanel Leok suffer a technical failure on the Route 77 Energy Honda in the closing stages. It was Nicolas Aubin who took full advantage and took the race win. Second place went to Jonathan Barragan ahead Kristian Whatley in third. Fourth and fifth places went to Shane Carless and Scott Elderfield. Jonathan Barragan the Spanish rider went 3-2-2 after Leok appeared to be heading for a straight three wins until the misfortune happened with just two laps remaining. Kristian Whatley stood on the second step of the podium with 4-3-3 moto finishes, whilst the Oakleaf Kawasaki Team were delighted with Shane Carless 6th backed up by two strong fourth places to take the lower step on the podium. Tanel Leok still holds the red plate at the season mid-point as championship leader, but Whatley is just eighteen points adrift with Barragan and Nicolas Aubin still in the title hunt.
The next round of the championship will be at the famous Foxhill circuit, near Swindon on Sunday 2nd June.