Progressive Day at FatCat
FatCat Moto Parc near Doncaster was to be the scene for the opening round of the 2012 Maxxis ACU British Championship. The tough and demanding sand circuit was to mark a tough beginning for the Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki team as they looked to hit the ground running in both classes.
Sunday morning saw the sun come out and the crowds packed the fence line as both Ray and Connor went out onto the track for the morning qualifying session. Ray had been suffering with a virus all week leading up to the event and struggled during the qualifying and came away with 25th place. For Connor it was a case of struggling to find a clear lap that restricted him to just 24th place. Next it was Martin’s turn to head out on track and as the timed board went out his quickly set a solid time, which he was able to improve later on and advance into Super pole. With one clear lap Martin made the most of the free space and posted the sixth fastest time and shaving nearly two seconds off his previous best.
After the lunch break it was time for the first of the three MX2 races. When the gate dropped for the first race of the season, both riders got boxed in on the first turn and were buried deep in the pack. As the race progressed Connor was able to quickly move up into the points and would eventually finish in 15th place. For Ray his day was to end after just 9 laps, as the sickness took its toll and left him with no energy to continue.
The first MX1 race of day would see drama on the start with Martin and former team mate Nathan Parker coming together just out of the gate, leaving Martin almost dead last. With just the 20 minutes plus two, Barr dug deep to pick riders off all race long to finish in a highly credited 7th place.
With Rowson sitting out the rest of the day due to illness, it was down to Connor to defend the team’s honour in the MX2 class. But another bad start would leave him with yet more work to do on a now very demanding circuit. Connor again produced some good laps early in the race and managed to bring home another solid 16th place.
The Second MX1 race of the day saw Martin get a much better start and finish the opening lap inside the top 5. The second race was to be a race long battle with Shaun Simpson as Martin pushed harder and harder to close the gap down. When the flag was waved it was to be a 5th place finish and another step in the right direction.
The Final MX2 race of the day saw another troubled start for Walkley who was 28th at the end of the opening lap. As the race went on Connor moved into 19th place but the demands of the days races and tough conditions had taken its toll and 19th was to be as high as Connor would climb. Connor three point scoring rides give him a well deserved 17th overall on the day.
The final race of the day was to be the best of them all, with Martin making a storming start and quickly jumped into fourth place and set about catching the leading trio whilst battling closely with Dorron Coutts. Martin advanced up to third place after Marc De Reuver went missing from the race and was also closing on Karro in second at the end. The final race third position gave Martin and great 5th overall after a tough start to the day and now leaves him in a good position to challenge for the title.
Connor Walkley MX2-15-16-19-17th Overall
Today I’m disappointed with myself mainly and my results, I had a few little problems with set up and myself at times. But I scored points in all three races and now I can move on to the next round. I’ve got a couple of weeks to working on some different areas and be ready for round 2 and achieve the goals I’ve set myself and prove a few people wrong.
Ray Rowson MX2-DNF-DNS-DNS
Today has been a bad day, I’ve been ill in bed all week but wanted to try and rider. After the first race I felt faint and with no energy, so as a team we cool it a day.
Martin Barr MX1-7-5-3-5th Overall
The day started off not to bad where I was 8th in qualifying and then in Super pole I managed to jump up to 6th. In the first race I got a terrible start going around the first corner nearly in last place. I put my head down and managed to climb back up to 7th by the end of the race. The second race I got a better start and had a good battle with Simpson for most of the race to finish 5th. Race 3 was to be my best start of the day running 4th and then on lap 3 I made the pass on Coutts for 3rd and that’s where I ended up at the finish. Even though I had a few issues with bike today I still managed to get better as day went on and ended up 5th overall so a decent solid start to the season
Steve James-Team Manager
MX2 hasn’t been the best of starts for us today, poor ray has been sick all week and struggled in qualifying and posted a 25th placed time. Then in the first race he was struggling and as a team we had already made the decision that if he was out of the points we would pull him in and call it a day on the grounds of Ray’s safety. Connor qualified in 24th and he also posted a 15-16-19 scorecard for 17th overall. We had hoped for a top 15 for Connor today so it’s not a total disaster and we are only two places away from where we wanted to be. In the MX1 class Martin qualified in 6th in Super pole which was a good start to the day, but in the first race another rider clipped his front wheel coming out of the gate and he almost went down. So he had to start from the back and worked hard to eventually finish in 7th. The second race he had a 5th and then the final race he had a great third place so the day got better with each race. Martin ended the day 5th overall which is good as or aim today was to come away in the top 5 to put us in a good position to fight for the title. Finally I’d like to thank everyone for the big effort they have put in leading up to today with the Riders and Mechanics for all the testing and preparation prior to the race and all the team helpers with setting up the new awning at the weekend plus my wife and Debbie Blyth for keeping all the team staff, Sponsors, invited guests family and friends fed and watered all day in hospitality, thank you to you all.
MX1: 1st Strijbos. 2nd Krestinov, 3rd Karro, 4th Simpson, 5th Barr, 6th Dougan, 7th Stephen Sword, 8th Law, 9th Coutts, 10th Parker.
MX2: 1st Osborne, 2nd Mel Pocock, 3rd Irwin, 4th Tonus, 5th Bradshaw, 6th Lenoir, 7th Booker, 8th Banks-Browne, 9th Stuart Edmonds, 10th MacKenzie, 11th Cottrell, 12th Aubin, 13th Watson, 14th Tombs, 15th Brad Pocock, 16th Carless, 17th Walkley, 18th Thompson, 19th Hawkins, 20th Keet