Although Scotland is more than used to freezing cold conditions in winter, the wet and miserable weather that awaited riders and spectators alike at the first round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship this past weekend was very unlike the weather up north. With riders Bryan Mackenzie and Ross Rutherford in tow, the Pendrich Kawasaki team made their way down to Yorkshire to Britain’s sand box, hoping to start off the season with great results.
For Mackenzie, things didn’t go quite to plan. Although qualifying in seventh, the day’s racing went from bad to worse for the MX2 rider. In the first race, the increasingly bumpy track caused his existing injury to put him off his game after battling his way to sixth place. The end result was a disappointing thirteenth, but this would be the best result he’d manage all day. Things really took a turn for the worse in the second race when Mackenzie was caught in the middle of a start straight pile-up, costing him gloves, goggles and his brake. Determined to try and salvage points, he went back out, gritting his teeth against the sand paper in his eyes and the pain in his knee, slowly moving up the pack and finishing the race in sixteenth. A thirteenth place overall on the day was the final result.
For Rutherford, the day ended very well after a good start in qualifying. After ending the session in fifteenth, he got off the start of the first race in mid-pack, picked his way through his rivals throughout the race and finished in thirteenth. With the weather having improved slightly, Rutherford then took advantage of the conditions with an improved start and a solid ride, rapidly moving into eighth and defending the position for much of the race. The two-lap board out, he had to concede one place, but ended ninth for a ninth overall on the day.
Commented team principal Mark Perfect: “Overall I’m quite pumped with the performances, apart from Bryan, but we knew he was going into the first round of the Maxxis with a knee injury and we thought he was going to be ok. He obviously had a bit of pain during the day which basically reflected in the results. His riding in the last few weeks has been phenomenal, so I’m not concerned in any way. We just need to get the knee sorted and then get him back on pace. Ross rode awesome both races; the last one particularly in those conditions was great, I thought he’d done exceptionally well.”
Bryan Mackenzie (#121): It’s been a terrible start to the Maxxis for me. I injured myself last week and haven’t been able to do much all week. I sort of died a death in the first race; I had a good start but I tweaked the knee and thought it was totally over for me. I just kept going and dropped back to thirteenth which was the best I could do. The second race was unreal. In the first turn, there was so much water in the air that even if you had clear goggles, you wouldn’t have been able to see anything. I ran into the back of someone and went down, a couple of guys parked in the back of my bike and that ripped my back brake calliper clean off. I started dead last, had to take my gloves off, goggles off and with no back brake, it was a hard race in really bad conditions, but I got back to sixteenth. Terrible weekend, but considering my knee, it’s not the end of the world, so we’ll start again next weekend.
Ross Rutherford (#295): Today went well, I qualified pretty well. I wanted to be in the top fifteen and that’s where I ended up. In the first race I rode well, struggled with some arm pump but finished thirteenth which I was happy with. In the second race I got a bad start in the mud and just kept trucking on and got back to ninth, so I was really happy, it was a great day. Thank you to Pendrich and everybody for helping me out, I really appreciate it.