Report: SJP Moto Husqvarna

The second round of the Michelin MX Nationals saw the SJP Moto Husqvarna squad travel to the Lyng circuit for the second time this season, but this time with the youth riders in attendance. Dry weather leading up to the event meant the track was watered and prepped ready for action on Saturday morning.

The weekend started with the youth pairing of Lewis Wood and James Barker competing in the combined 85cc class. In the weekend’s practice and qualifying session both riders finished seventh fastest in their respective BW85 and SW85 classes.

With strong qualifying positions both were able to challenge for good starts and gain some strong results. In the opening race of the weekend, Lewis made a strong start and pushed hard early on to take fourth place at the flag. While, in the Small Wheel class, Barker finished in a solid seventh place. The second and final race of the Saturday programme again saw Wood start well, but a couple of small mistakes saw him cross the finish line in sixth place. Teammate Barker went one better than the opening race to claim sixth.

Sunday saw the 85cc riders complete their final two races of the weekend. In the third race of the weekend Lewis Wood once again rode a great race for fourth place and even set the fastest lap of the race. On the Small Wheel machine, James Barker continued to improve by taking a hard-fought fifth place finish.

Going into the last race the team knew that Lewis Wood had a strong chance of claiming an overall podium. After a good start Wood pushed hard early on, got himself into second place and onto the overall podium in second place. For Barker the last race of the weekend was tough, as he crashed on the opening lap and had to battle to recover to eighth place and sixth place overall on the weekend.

With two rounds completed Lewis Wood now sits in third in the championship in the Big Wheel class whilst, in the Small Wheel class, James Barker now sits in sixth place.

After heading out on the track Saturday evening for a practice session, both Rob Davidson and Tom Neal were out first thing on Sunday morning for the pro practice and qualifying session. After producing some good laps, Davidson finished the session sixth fastest in the MX1 class. Neal finished fourteenth fastest in the MX2 class.

The opening Pro race of the day saw both Davidson and Neal start in the mid-pack and move forward in the opening laps. Neal was riding really well and running in sixth in the MX2 class for most of the race, until a small mistake saw him drop the bike and slip to tenth before recovering to ninth at the flag. After a bad jump out of the start, Davidson was caught up in some traffic on the opening laps and was able to pull through to tenth in MX1.

In the second race both riders were looking to prove a point and improve their results. When the gates dropped Davidson fired up the straight to the head of the field and quickly settled into fourth place, while Neal was inside the top ten of the MX2 class and pushing hard during the opening laps. As the race progressed Davidson was looking good for a strong result, but he was hit by another rider and hurt his ankle. That forced him to retire from the race and seek medical advice. Meanwhile Neal was continuing the battle hard in the MX2 class and rode well to finish eighth for seventh overall on the day.

Rob Davidson: “I had a decent start to the day at Lyng really, but I had been struggling with my set-up around this track. We worked hard as a team to make it better and we kind of found a setting, but just didn’t get much luck with the racing. In the first race I didn’t get the best start and then was in all the trouble on the first laps, which really put me down the results to end tenth in MX1. That is really not where I want to be.

“Going into the second race I wanted to get a much better start and that is what happened, then I dropped a couple of places. I was having a really good race until I suffered a collision with another rider, which forced me to DNF the race. There was nothing I could do, so I really want to work hard and get back to the results I know I can get. Big thanks to everyone for the hard work behind the scenes and making it happen week in, week out.”

Tom Neal: “A positive day for me, although qualifying in fourteenth in the MX2 class wasn’t an ideal gate pick. I had average mid-pack starts, but was able to put in good first few laps in both motos. In the first race I was running sixth in MX2 for most of the race, until a stupid mistake saw me just tuck the front on a turn and dropped me back to tenth. I then pulled back to salvage a ninth in that one.

“Then in race two I got another okay start, but had a good first few laps. That allowed me to make some passes and settle in. I lost two positions towards the middle of the race, which I wasn’t happy with, but some guys also crashed out so that put me in eighth. Finishing seventh overall on the day is a massive step forward for me though, as it is my first top ten in a professional race. It proves my speed is finally starting to show. I’ve got a few more things to work on this week, but overall I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.”

Steve Parkin (Team Owner): “It’s been a good weekend for the youth side of the team. Lewis Wood has had a great weekend, getting second overall in the 85cc Big Wheel class, and James Barker is continuing to improve with each meeting that he does. Unfortunately we have had some bad luck on the pro side, with Rob showing good pace in the races and getting a holeshot in the second race before colliding with another rider. Tom has made some more progress this weekend, finishing in the top ten overall, so that is a step in the right direction.”

Words: Press Release | Lead Image: Elliot Spencer

MX Vice Editor || 25