Morning qualifying and Superpole saw Matiss Karro and Adam Sterry head out onto the track and quickly settle into a good pace, finishing the timed session in 1st and 6th places respectively. In Superpole Karro improved his time by a further second to take pole with Sterry in 7th place.
In MX1 qualifying, Jake Nicholls produced a number of consistently quick lap times to finish third fastest and advance into Superpole where he improved his time by over a second to finish 4th.
MX2 race 1:
The opening race of the season saw Karro fire his Wilvo Forkrent KTM bike into the lead in the first turn. From that point Karro was unstoppable as he ticked off fast lap after fast lap to open a sizeable lead over the rest of the field. Teammate Sterry started inside the top 10 and pushed forward into 8th before a small mistake which dropped him down two places, leaving him in 10th place at the flag.
MX2 race 2:
Similar to the first race, Karro took the lead in the opening corners with Sterry inside the top 10. Once out in front, Karro consistently nailed a number of fast laps which resulted in a 20 second lead over the rest of the field. He was able to then settle into his stride to take another race win.
The second race saw Sterry continually push forward fighting midfield gaining him 5th place by mid way through the race. With such a tough field he continually pushed and battled home for an 8th place finish.
MX2 race 3:
With two race wins already in the bag, Karro went to the line looking to make it three in a row. When the gate dropped Karro didn’t quite manage to get the holeshot and had to work hard on the opening lap to close up behind early race leaders Pocock and MacKenzie, while Sterry was just a few places behind in 6th.
Once behind MacKenzie, Karro quickly made his move into the lead and pulled away, looking like the third race win was on the cards. Unfortunately the race was to pan out slightly differently with Karro crashing and remounting in 5th place. Karro stormed back through to 2nd place, but as he went for an ambitious pass for the lead with only one and a half laps to go, he crashed again. After remounting in 7th place he didn’t quite have the time to improve his position.
Sterry went on to ride his best race of the day in race three, managing to focus in and close on the leaders as the race drew in and pushing eventual overall winner Pocock, right to the line to finish in a superb 4th place.
Karro finished round one on equal points with Pocock, but leaving him in second overall on the last race count back rule. Sterry finished a solid 7th overall, just three points away from 4th.
MX1 race 1:
After watching MX2 teammate Karro take the opening race win, Nicholls stole the holeshot and stormed into the early race lead. As the race progressed Nicholls was pushed hard by reigning champion Whatley as the pair pulled away from Simpson in third. Towards the end of the race Nicholls developed a small gap and took advantage by taking the first MX1 race win of the year.
MX1 race 2:
In the second race, Nicholls gated well behind Simpson but made a small mistake over the finish line table-top and ran off the track and rejoined in 5th place. The following laps saw Nicholls settle back into the race and consistently pick riders off to take third position behind Anderson. The pair battled hard for the last few laps before Nicholls was able to make a move to finish in second.
MX1 race 3:
The last race saw Nicholls round the first turn in second place just behind Simpson, with Whatley in third. The three quickly pulled away from the rest of the field and battled hard for the lead. At the halfway point Whatley moved into second and while trying to regain the position Nicholls had to settle for third place rather than take a risk and jeopardising the race result.
Nicholl’s 1-2-3 scorecard gave him second overall on the day, just three points behind Simpson as the series goes to Nicholls home round at Lyng, Norfolk on April 6th.
Commenting on the strong opening round, Team Owner and Manager Steve Turner said: “We have had a fantastic start to our British Championship assault today. It’s a real shame that Matiss had a crash in the last race as it cost him the overall. His natural racing instinct really showed and he had the speed all day long and completely dominated proceedings until the third race. I know he is disappointed about the overall result but he will be stronger for it.
“Today was Jake’s first real chance to ride at high intensity and he didn’t disappoint taking a win as well as a second and third, it was a really good start to his campaign. He’s a tough cookie and battled through the first two GP’s despite suffering a broken bone in his back and I know he came into this round feeling a lot better. Although still unsure of his race pace, he showed he is close to 100% again and I know he is happy to come away just three points off the lead.
“Adam also rode well at this round and got consistently stronger as the day progressed to take 4th in the last race. There was the opportunity to take 4th overall but his second race performance didn’t quite go to plan. He’s still young and continually developing, and we are supporting him in driving forward and building up his confidence to make the passes. We are looking forward to round two where we are hoping to build on the success of today.”
Commenting on the day, Jake Nicholls said: “Coming into today I was unsure of what to expect after the tough start to the season at the first two GP’s, but I got a holeshot in the first race and suddenly it all turned around. I felt I rode strong in the first race and dealt with the pressure well and it was mega to start the season with a race win. The second and third race also went well and I learnt a lot, Shaun got me on the start both times but I had the pace of both him and Whatley. In the last race I settled for third after making a few mistakes and I wanted to come away safe rather than crash. I’ve finished second overall today and now I can build on that as I get stronger before the next round at Lyng.”
Matiss Karro added: “I ruined the whole weekend with that last race, I was fastest all day and won the first two races and surprised myself a little with how well I was riding. After the first two races everyone was congratulating me but I was like, there is one more race to go and I need to focus on doing the same again. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be. I should be happy with second overall at the opening round of a long season but I wanted to win, but there is always next time.”
Commenting on the day Adam Sterry added: “Qualifying went well and then in Superpole I got 7th which was good as the start here is pretty fair. In the first race I rode tight and made a few mistakes, but then in the second I rode better at the beginning before dropping a couple of places on the last lap. Then the last race was definitely my best race as I got fourth and was under four seconds from the race winner at the flag. That result has now given me a lot of confidence going to the next round.”
Picture: Jonathan McCready