The MX1 championship may be in the bag for Kristian Whatley but the 2013 Red Bull Pro Nationals MX2 title is going all the way down to the wire this weekend at Culham Park with Steven Lenoir and Neville Bradshaw locked together in a fierce fight to the finish.
This will be the series’ second visit of the season to the awesome Oxfordshire venue but this time around promoter e22 Sports will be running it in thee reverse direction to keep things box fresh.
Frenchman Lenoir (Evotech Stevens KTM) had led the series from the very first round at Landrake back in April but, as we’ve seen so many times before, defending champion Bradshaw (Putoline Honda) just kept getting stronger and stronger as the season progressed.
At round five at Canada Heights the South African took his second overall on the bounce as Lenoir suffered a race two DNF and moved into the series lead. But his lead was to be short-lived and Lenoir hit back next time out at Hawkstone Park to claim three wins from three starts and turn an 11-point deficit into a two-point advantage with just the final round remaining.
“I had really a perfect weekend at Hawkstone and if I can do it again at Culham I will be really happy,” says Steven. “It will be tough and Neville will be hard to beat around there but I have the red plate now and I want to keep it.”
When the series visited the Oxfordshire venue for round three at the end of June it was Bradshaw who came out on top, beating Lenoir in two out of three motos. The track was also the scene of his victory less than 12 months ago when he sewed up the 2012 title so we know his form at Culham Park is good.
“My plan is to get three good starts and ride as hard as I can from when the gate drops until the chequered flag comes out in that final race,” he says. “As a racer that’s all you can do as there are a lot of variables you have no control over. I just have to make sure we have done everything we possibly can to put ourselves in the best position.”
The seventh and final round of the 2013 Red Bull Pro Nationals takes place at Culham Park on September 21-22. On-the-gate admission is just £13 for adults, £3 for children and £30 for a family of four.
Culham Park is just off the A415 east of Abingdon. Postcode OX14 3DA.
Pic © Nuno Laranjeira/e22 Sports