Strong start for the team and the red plate for EBB
Having just returned from Qatar and Thailand, the HM Plant KTM UK team travel to FatCat Motoparc near Doncaster for the opening round of the 2013 Maxxis British Motocross Championship. Unfortunately, the British weather is not very kind around this time of year, and as much as Sunday appears to improve, the weather returns with a vengeance for an icy surprise later in the afternoon.
With the weather as it is, the ACU has instituted a wet weather schedule, which in turn does away with super-pole and the combined super-final, which is customary when the MXY2 or veteran classes race as well. The end result is very tough MX2 races instead.
Star of the team is current MX2 champion Elliott Banks-Browne, and as much as things have not gone quite to plan in the first two rounds of the world championship, Elliott makes up for it here in spades. After qualifying in fourth, he storms to the lead in the first race, keeping at bay fellow KTM riders Steven Lenoir and Martin Barr to the end of the race. In the second, he loses his goggles in the first lap, racing the remainder of the race through a haze of tears, sand and mud. Although he is not able to get close to the race leader Mel Pocock, he knows that a second in the race is sufficient to clinch the deal for the overall, which he does too, with a ten point margin.
Then there is the elder of the two Watson brothers, Nathan Watson. After qualifying in sixth, he gets off the gate in the top ten. After a small hiccup, he recovers his places and starts making things more difficult for some of the more seasoned riders. He is close to reeling in Graeme Irwin but his time runs out and he has to settle for seventh. In the second race, he takes a little while to get settled in and swiftly recovers the positions he’s lost from his start in seventh. He finishes in fifth and ties for a fourth overall.
The younger of the two Watsons, Ben, also makes a great first impression for the season. Qualifying in eighteenth, he improves his position in the first race with a fantastic twelfth place, having fought back from a horrendous start in the low twenties. His second start improves and he looks like he will be back in the top fifteen, but with fine sand and water being the enemy of goggles, he has to switch sets, setting him back ten places, which he recovers by the end of the race. He salvages a point for an eighteenth place overall.
The rookie upgrading to the MX2 class is James Dunn. Qualifying three places up from Ben, he pulls a good start out of the bag in his first race and keeps a solid, steady rhythm going. This consistency gets him into the top ten, a great result, which he tries to improve on in the second race. The weather though has other plans and it is tough going. Unable to make much headway, James finishes with Ben pipping him to the post for that one vital point. Although he is outside the points in the race, his first result still earns him a top fifteen place overall on the day.
The team next travels to Canada Heights in Kent for the second round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship this coming weekend.
Elliott Banks-Browne MX2 #1
“Happy with today, in the first race I felt good, felt comfortable, wasn’t trying too hard or anything and managed to win quite easily. In the second race, I didn’t get such a good start, got filled in on the first lap, just had to take my goggles off because I just couldn’t see where I was going. It was just a big blur after that, but I’m really happy that I had a 1-2 today and happy to come away with the championship lead.”
James Dunn MX2 #20
“I had an OK qualifying, I was fifteenth which was not bad. In the first race I ended up tenth, which was quite good; I had a solid race. Then we had a lot of rain throughout the day, which made that last race very wet, and a bit messy, but I struggled on until the end, and thought I might just get into the top twenty or so, but ended up twenty-first. Hopefully we’ll have a bit more sunshine at Canada Heights!”
Ben Watson MX2 #919
“It wasn’t too bad, I had a better first race than the second, in the first I just had a really bad start and had to pull through. I got up to twelfth, so that was good. Then, in the second race, I had a better start, but my goggles broke straight away and then had to pull in and get some new goggles. I was probably around twenty-fifth when I went back out but got back to twentieth, so it’s not been bad, it’s better than what I’ve ever done in the MX2.”
Nathan Watson MX2 #991
“It was an alright day, to be fair. Conditions were completely different to what I was expecting, We obviously had a lot of rain and the track was just heavy going and sloppy, but I ended up fourth overall, which is pretty consistent with the start of the season, so yeah, I’m pretty happy with it.”
Roger Magee: HM Plant KTM UK Team Manager
“A good start to the 2013 British championship with Elliott on the top of the podium, but all four riders rode quite well. In the first race we had all riders in the top twelve, and the performance of the two Watson boys shows that they will be in there in the future. James is learning the streets still in the British and world championship MX2 this year, and he’s suffering from a bit of the flu today, but he had two good, solid results, with the second race being a bit of a lottery with the weather conditions deteriorating. But all four riders made it home, and we’re well up there in the championship for KTM. For the second round at Canada Heights, we hope that the weather picks up this week.”
2013 Maxxis British Motocross Championship:
Round 1 – FatCat Motoparc, Doncaster
MX2 Overall result
1 Elliott Banks-Browne (HM Plant KTM UK) 70, 2 Steven Lenoir (Evotech Stevens KTM) 60, 3 Graeme Irwin (Heads + All Threads Suzuki) 52, 4 Nathan Watson (HM Plant KTM UK) 45, 5 Neville Bradshaw (Putoline Honda) 45, 6 James Cottrell (Putoline Honda) 40, 7 Arminas Jasikonis (Route77energy Honda) 38, 8 Mel Pocock (Monster Energy Yamaha) 37, 9 Adam Sterry (STR KTM) 36, 10 Martin Barr (VMX KTM) 30, 15 James Dunn (HM Plant KTM UK) 15, 18 Ben Watson (HM Plant KTM UK) 14
Picture By Elliot Spencer