There’s a track on the Welsh border that once featured prominently on the annual motocross calendar and quietly slipped away for a few years – Pontrilas. For the MX Nationals though, Pontrilas was a natural choice for one of its rounds, and this weekend, Pendrich Height Services Kawasaki made the journey down the M6 and the M5 to partake in the fourth round of that particular championship.
Rain earlier in the week had been plentiful, but the forecasts for the weekend were favourable. The reality on Saturday though was somewhat different. Deep slippery clay made conditions challenging enough that racing was delayed and parts of the track cut out. The team, down by one rider, saw Pro MX2 rider Bryan Mackenzie go out first for his qualifying session in which he garnered the coveted pole position. Under 16 rider Lee Perfect was sent out subsequently, and collected a tenth place.
Bryan’s race later on Saturday got off to the best start anyone could have imagined. With Bryan into the lead early and running away with it, it was fantastic, until a mechanical fault let him (and the team) down, that is. Sunday dawned to sunshine over a lovely tacky track, so Bryan tried to undo the damage done the day before. He quickly got into second and hoped to take over the lead, but became the prey instead and had to concede his place to two rivals to end in fourth. The final race of the weekend was a consistent run in third with the low sun making things more complicated towards the end, giving Bryan eighth overall on the weekend.
Lee’s first race on Saturday afternoon, also didn’t quite go to plan. Off the start like a rocket and in fourth after the first lap, he made several mistakes during the race that cost him enough places to drop out of the top fifteen, much to his annoyance. The first race on Sunday improved with a consistent race that ended two places up in fifth, while the second race then saw Lee holeshot and lead the race for a lap before having the lead snatched away. Despite that, Lee finished fourth, one of his best results yet. The final race of the weekend finished with Lee in sixth after a start a position down, scoring Lee a solid seventh place on the weekend.
Bryan Mackenzie: It started off really wet yesterday; in practice the track was literally inside out, I got a good lap in qualifying, qualified first, which gave me good gates all weekend. I had good starts, I was making the most of it in the first race and I was leading it, but then unfortunately the bike broke, so we DNFed that. That was a shame, because we were shaping up to take over the lead of the championship by leading that race. On Sunday I got a little bit of arm pump whilst in second and dropped back to fourth, and in the last race I gated outside the top five, but I pushed through to third on the first lap or two and hung out there for the rest of the race. I couldn’t do much about the guys in the front but I had a great battle with Neville and that’s all I need to do now, just try and keep beating Neville as often as possible for the championship. Giving a load of points away on Saturday was a bit of a bummer though.
Lee Perfect: We started the weekend off pretty wet and I qualified tenth. I went into the first race, had a few crashes, just stupid mistakes, and ended down in sixteenth. We only have one race on theSaturday, so we came into Sunday with a better attitude, got a good start in the first race and was up there, just battled through the pack a bit, got myself into fifth and just stayed there. In the second race I got a good start, led the race for a couple of laps and then started making a couple of mistakes and ended up back in fourth and finished off there. In the final race I just had an OK start and just stayed in the position I was in, which was sixth and it gave me seventh overall.
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