The second round of the ACU Maxxis British championship at Canada Heights was another belter. Just like round #1 at FatCat the track was drenched in beautiful sunshine as we continue to get this amazing weather so early in the year. As good as the opening round was though, this round was better. It had more incident and as always the bumper crowd at Canada Heights were certainly entertained with some brilliant racing right throughout the pack – no question, the classes are much tighter this year and even the regular front runners are having to work extremely hard to cut through the pack.
One rider who has been working hard but maybe not reaping the rewards of that is Elliott Banks-Browne on his HM Plant KTM – until yesterday at least. EBB finally took his first overall British championship win and he deserves too. After his performances last year it was always only going to be a matter of time for EBB to bag an illustrious British championship win and well done that man. Second on the box went to Neville Bradshaw on the Evo-Tech Honda. It was another solid performance for Nevstar and he’s right there in the mix for this championship that’s for sure. As is our new series leader Mel Pocock on the Monster Energy/Cosworth/ Bike it Yamaha. Mel is now finding a true level of consistency and now with both of his teammates out for a while he’s flying the flag for the team. With Zach Osborne going out leading up to the event after a nasty training crash, everyone had Arnaud Tonus as a shoe in for the three race wins this weekend and to run away with the championship but the Swiss rider scrubbed a jump a little too hard trying to pass early race one leader, Samsung Yamaha’s Graeme Irwin and lost the front end on take off and whiped out Irwin in mid flight over the finish jump, trust us, it was messy! (it was caught by MX Vice’s Ade Threasher and we’ll post that up soon, so you can see for yourself). It resulted in a suspected dislocated shoulder and broken wrist for Tonus, just a week before the first World GP too, and Irwin was knocked out and had a severe concussion. Not good at all. So now with the dominant force of Tonus and Osborne dropping points and maybe up against it to be fit for the next round at Lyng on the 6th May this MX2 title is going to get even more interesting.
After the first round you couldn’t be blamed for thinking that HM Plant’s Kevin Strijbos would walk all over this series in the MX1 class but this week he didn’t even make the podium! It was fellow KTM rider Matiss Karro on his STR KTM that took the overall with a race win in moto two and popular overall win. Popular because it’s almost impossible not to like Karro, he’s always smiling and he’s always giving it everything he has and leaving it on the track and it was another typical performance by him at the weekend. The points were so tight in this class on the day but Karro took it on a tie break with Tyco Suzuki’s Stephen Sword. Swordy was looking good and you can tell in his body language he’s getting in the groove with the bike and his new team each time he heads out on the track. Shaun Simpson looked good too, taking the final moto win but a poor second moto after a first turn crash and then crashing into the fence on the new step up jump cost him the overall. Strijbos brought it home in fourth to keep hold of the red plate. The first moto win went to Lanes Kawasaki and the lanky and lovable Marc DeReuver, much to the delight of the team but more so himself as he fist pumped over the finish line, but it all turned sour in moto two when he went down on the first corner and got taken out mid race by another rider as he tried to charge through.
The young guns of the MXY2 class certainly held up their end of the bargain of making it an entertaining day. After a couple of false starts and an unfortunate red flag it was eventually James Harrison on his Lanes Kawasaki who took the overall with some confident and composed riding. Robert Davidson bagged second on one of his first major outings on a 250F and Dan Thornhill rounded out the box just pipping Chris Bayliss in the tie breaker.
|6||212||Marc De Reuver||40||25||—||15|
|1||44||Elliott Banks Browne||66||16||25||25|