Sunday April 1st saw round two of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship roll into the Canada Heights Circuit in Kent, hosted by the Sidcup and District Motorcycle Club. With hot weather leading up to the event the club had made a few changes to the track to try and promote more excitement. Race day was greeted with an early morning chill which soon lifted as the MX2 riders made their way out onto the track for practice and Qualifying.
Returning to action following a short layoff due to a virus was Ray Rowson who was looking to restart his championship. Also in the MX2 class was Connor Walkley who looked more at home on the Canada Heights circuit as he posted a strong 19th fastest time, ahead of Rowson in 27th. In the MX1 class Martin Barr struggled a little bit during the Timed Qualifying session to get a clear lap and could only manage 10th place, but in the Superpole made the most of the clear track to post the 4th fastest time.
After the lunch break it was time for the first MX2 race of the day and as the gate dropped it was Ray that got the better start of the two rounding the first lap in 11th place, while Connor had a lot of work to do back in 27th. As the race progressed Ray maintained his 11th place to score solid points in his return to racing. Meanwhile Connor was riding great and picking off riders each lap and was soon within the points, Connor’s progress didn’t stop there as he would eventually finish in 12th place.
Next up was the first MX1 race of the day and Martin was hoping to continue on from his 5th place finish at the previous round with a good result. When the gate dropped Martin made a strong start but on the opening lap he made a mistake in a deep rut and crossed the line in 32nd place at the end of the lap. Martin quickly moved his way forward and was in 13th place when another small crash set him back further and Martin would eventually regroup for 14th place at the flag.
The second MX2 race of the day would see Ray make a better start than in race one and battle for a top 10 position. Deep in the field Connor was racing his way forward towards the top 15. The race took a whole different shape on lap 5 when Ray suffered a crash on one of the downhill doubles which resulted in a broken lower right leg. As the race finished Connor would go onto collect another 12th place finish.
The second MX1 race of the day saw Martin make a stronger start inside the top 6 as he battled with Alex Snow and Nez Parker to make his way up into 4th place. The battle with Parker meant that Martin lost time on Stephen Sword in third and ran out of time to mount a battle for 3rd.
With Ray on the way to the Hospital all eyes were on Connor to produce a strong result for the team. For the first time this season Connor made a top 6 start and was battling with the likes of Mel Pocock on the opening laps for 5th place. Connor quickly settled into a rhythm and battled hard with French star Nico Aubin but conceded the position on lap 4. The race was Red Flagged following a crash and the result was decided on the lap previous giving
Connor a well deserved and career best finish of 7th in the Maxxis Championship, the result also gave Connor 7th overall on the day and moved him up to 12th in the standings.
With the team on a high following Connor’s result in was time for the final MX1 race of the day and Martin shot out of the gate and into a top 5 position on the opening lap. With a strong result insight, Martin’s hopes were knocked when a small mistake dropped him two places in the space of one lap. The mistake disrupted his rhythm and lead to him slipping to 9th before a late race charge saw him recover to 8th place.
The team now heads to Holland for the opening round of the MX1 World Championship with Martin competing.
Connor Walkley MX2 12th-12th-7th (7th Overall)
Today has been a really good day for me, in the first two races I didn’t get very good starts but worked my way up and scored two 12th places, which was good. Then in the last race I scored my best ever result in a Maxxis MX2 race with a 7th place. I got a really good start in that race and it made the difference, so I’m going to go home and practice my starts and continue to put the hard work in to continue this into the next round.
Martin Barr MX1 14th-4th-8th (7th Overall)
It’s not been a good day today, I qualified in 10th and then improved to 4th in Superpole. The First race I made a good start but got caught up on the opening lap and was almost last and then crashed again for 14th. The second race I started in 7th and got up to 4th for the best result of the day. Then in the last race I got a really good start but I made a mistake and lost the tow from the leaders and it messed me up for a few laps and a couple of riders got past me and I finished in 8th. It’s been a hard day for everyone today and there have been a lot of crashes, so I am happy to be in one piece as I didn’t get on with the track today.
Steve James Team Manager
It’s been an eventful day today with a number of injuries and crashes on a technical track.
Ray returned today from a virus that has kept him off the bike for a couple of weeks, he finished qualifying in 27th and Connor in 19th. The first race Ray finished 11th and Connor in 12th they both came from poor starts & had to battle through traffic on a track that wasn’t
easy to pass on, Then in the second race Ray got a good start and was running 7th when a mechanical part failed causing the engine to seize on the take off of the downhill double and crashed ending with a possible broken lower leg/ankle. This crash wasn’t Ray’s fault it was one of those freak things that can and does happen, I’d like to wish Ray a speedy recovery
and wish him well as the poor lad just doesn’t have any luck at all. Connor finished in 12th again after another storming ride from 37th on the first lap. Before the last race I told Connor that he had the pace to run in the top 8 if he could just get out of the gate and go with the
front pack. In the 3rd and final race that’s just what he did, he rounded the first corner in 6th place and rode smart to finished in 7th place earning himself 7th overall on the day and moved him up to 12th place in the championship. In MX1 Martin was 10th in Qualifying Q1 and then progressed to 4th in Superpole which was much better. In the first race he got a good start but got cross rutted in the wooded section of the track and it cost him dearly and lost a lot of time, after working hard to come from near last he got up to 13th and could see the top ten in front
of him but he made a mistake at the bottom of the stair case costing him a lot of places and he had to do it all again to get back to14th by the finish. The second race was a lot better he rode good finishing in 4th more where he should be. The last race Martin made a strong start and went for a pass into 5th and got cross rutted and lost a few places and rhythm which caused him to struggle for the rest of the race, he finished in 8th place for 7th overall. It’s not the best position to be in when we are trying to win a championship; we need to be top 5 at least! It’s a small set back and we have slipped to 6th in the standings but the main thing is Martin came away today with no injuries and he will be back with a bang at the next round a lot stronger and looking for a win.
1 Matiss Karro (STR KTM) 8-1-3
2 Stephen Sword (Tyco Suzuki) 2-3-5
3 Shaun Simpson (Monster Bike It Yamaha) 3-9-1
4 Kevin Strijbos (HM Plant KTM) 9-2-2
5 Kristian Whatley (Par Honda) 4-7-7
6 Marc de Reuver (Lanes Kawasaki) 1-dnf-6
7 Dorron Coutts (Par Honda) 11-6-9
8 Martin Barr (Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki) 14-4-8 9 Gert Krestinov (Route77energy MVR-D Honda) 5-dnf-4 10 Alex Snow (Oakleaf Kawasaki) 10-8-11
MX1 Championship: 1 Strijbos 131 pts, 2 Karro 115, 3 Simpson 113, 4 Sword 101, 5 Krerstinov 92, 6 Barr 88, 7 De Reuver 70, 8 Coutts 69, 9 Whatley 67, 10 Dougan 64,
1 Elliott Banks Browne (HM Plant KTM) 5-1-1
2 Nev Bradshaw (Evotech Stevens Honda) 3-4-2
3 Mel Pocock (Monster Bike It Yamaha) 4-2-3
4 Nico Aubin (Buildbase Honda) 1-3-6
5 Bryan MacKenzie (Rockstar KTM) 6-5-5
6 Steven Lenoir (Samsung Yamaha) 2-27-4
7 Connor Walkley (Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki) 12-12-7
8 Jordan Booker (Buildbase Honda) 7-16-9
9 Stuart Edmonds (Tyco Suzuki) 18-6-12
10 Shane Carless (Rockstar KTM) 8-125-13
21 Ray Rowson (Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki) 11-dnf-dns
MX2 Championship: 1 Mel Pocock 118 pts, 2 Bradshaw 108, 3 Banks-Browne 104, 4 Aubin 83, 5 Lenoir 81, 6 MacKenzie 76, 7 Booker 71, 8 Zach Osborne 69, 9 Stuart Edmonds 63 10 Graeme Irwin 51, 11 Arnaud Tonus 50, 12 Walkley 44, 13 Cottrell 41, 14 Carless 40, 15 Tombs 39, 27 Rowson 10