Hawkstone Park, Shropshire.
For the second time this year the Oakleaf Kawasaki team headed to the awesome deep sand of Hawkstone Park for round six of the Red Bull Pro Nationals.
The team were still riding the high brought in by their outstanding effort at the British GP, and despite the team missing, and sending well wishes to the injured Oakleaf Academy rider, Gradie Featherstone, there was certainly good vibes around the camp.
However, the first moto of the weekend started with disaster for Shane Carless, on the KX450F. Bryan Mackenzie went down in the first turn, leaving Carless with no where to go and the pair collided. Carless went down hard, dislocated his shoulder and required local anaesthetic to put right, obviously ending his weekend before it even began.
Alex Snow, also on the KX450F in MX1, qualified in 11th, made a great start in the first moto and was lapping in the top 5. A freak problem with his front brake pipe getting snagged on his number board meant he had to slow to free it which caused him to drop a few places. He did still manage to put down some solid laps and crossed the line in 7th on track, 5th in MX1.
Jake Millward, in MX2, didn’t quite get the jump off the gate after qualifying in 28th, and was towards the back of the field. As the riders began to settle into a rhythm Millward got his head down and picked his way through to eventually cross the line in 22nd and 11th in MX2.
Moto two was much the same for Snow, but without the problems, he gated well and was just outside the top 5. As Brad Anderson and Nez Parker battled, Snow rode solidly and picked his way through their mistakes to cross the line in 5th – 3rd in MX1.
Millward, again didn’t make the jump and found himself amongst the back markers. Putting in solid laps he worked his way up and pushed into 20th at the chequered flag, 8th MX2.
The third and final Moto and after another good start, Snow was still riding as solid as ever. Riding the now very gnarly track well, he just clicked away laps and took 5th in the race for the 3rd step of the MX1 podium.
Millward tackled the rough, deep sand well and with riders around him making mistakes, he put down some consistent laps to cross the line in 19th and took 8th overall in MX2
The young Oakleaf Academy rider, Tom Hume, aboard the KX85 in the Big Wheel class, had a fairly mixed weekend. Taking 17th and 27th in motos 1 & 2 on Saturday he seemed to suit the rougher track going into Sunday and crossed the line in 14th in moto 3. Without grading overnight by the time moto 4 came around the track was full of huge holes, but Tom managed to stay out of trouble and was in 18th at the chequered flag to take 18th overall.
The Oakleaf Kawasaki team will be heading to Culham Park, Oxfordshire for the final round of the RBPN on the 21st-22nd of September and to Farleigh Castle, Wiltshire, on the 6th of October for the last round of the British Championship.
Kev Reid Images.