Lanes Kawasaki is no stranger to Canada Heights, the track hosting the second round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship, and with all three of the team’s riders ready, sunshine and balmy temperatures signalled the start of what would turn out to be a very good day.
The qualifying sessions saw MXY2 rider James Harrison end in second, while MX1 star Marc de Reuver qualified in seventh after the super-pole, and MX2 rider Sunny Thompson in eighteenth respectively.
For Thompson, the first race got off to a nightmarish start with a crash. Starting virtually dead last, Thompson battled his way forward, taking at least one position a lap, ending the race in twenty-sixth. In the second race, Thompson got away clean and found himself in tenth a lap later. Putting in a solid performance and riding smart rewarded Thompson first with a move to ninth and finally with an eighth place on the finish line. The final race was a re-run of the first, with Thompson fighting back from the back of the pack. This time though, a rider accident forced officials to red-flag the race, ending Thompson’s bid for another top twenty position, and leaving him eighteenth on the day.
For de Reuver, the first race was a dream come true. A start in third turned into a fantastic battle with rival Stephen Sword, ending with de Reuver in the lead. With the chequered flag waving, de Reuver took his first win in the Maxxis championship. Still riding high from his first race win, de Reuver was looking forward to a repeat in his second race, but it all came to nothing. After going down in the first corner with four of his rivals, de Reuver tore up the pack, taking five, six positions a lap. His meteoric rise was cut short after race contact with another rider left his bike bent and de Reuver unable to continue. The final race saw him get off the start in eighth, and after some early race tightness, take off after the competition. Steady progress gave de Reuver enough gains to end in sixth both in the race and on the day overall.
MXY2 rider Harrison was arguably the star of the day. His first race bedevilled by several red flags, Harrison got off to a slow start but soon found himself in sixth. After reeling in fifth place, that progress was undone when the race was stopped short due to a rider incident, leaving him in sixth. His second race proved to be much improved though; displacing Chris Bayliss in the lead, Harrison kept the competition at bay throughout, eventually widening his lead to several seconds at the finish line and taking the day overall.
“I couldn’t be happier,” commented team principal Dean Lane. “It’s been a very good day all in all. Sunny didn’t get a good start in the first race, but in the second he gated a lot better, rode extremely well, and came through to eighth which I was really chuffed with. We were only expecting top fifteen results early on in the year so an eighth was amazing. He didn’t get a really good start in the last race, but he started pulling through when they red-flagged the race.
“In the MX1, the first race, well, what can I say? Marc gated around fifth or sixth, and just plugged away, ended up getting the lead and won it with a fairly comfortable lead by 2 or 3 seconds. In the second race he crashed on the start with four other riders, started coming through the pack and then had an incident on the back of the track, so he DNFed that one. In the last race Marc came through really well to a well-deserved sixth. If it wasn’t for the second race, we would’ve had a really good overall with Marc, and I’m really happy. In the MXY2, James, awesome. It’s his first race of the year. He qualified second, in the first race he didn’t get the best of starts and ended up with a sixth. In the second race he got a really good start and ended up winning it.”
Sunny Thompson, #177: “In the first race I crashed and came through, but there wasn’t enough time. In the second race I had really good start, finished eighth, which is the best result of the year. In the third race I crashed again, came back though and then they red flagged it, so I didn’t score any points in that either.”
James Harrison, #153: “My day started off well in qualifying, where I got a second. I had a good start in the first start and they red-flagged that, and then got a bad start in the actual race, where I got up to fifth. They took it back a lap, so I finished sixth in that one. In the second race I got a top five start, just managed to lead, got a bit of arm pump at the end but managed to hold on for the win.”
Marc de Reuver, #212: “This is a really nice track, I’ve never been here before. A few years ago it used to be a really important pre-season race, but I’ve never been here, so during practice I had to get to know the track a little bit. I was sixth, and then in super-pole seventh. In the first heat I had a really good start, and then suddenly I was in the lead and I won. It was a bit emotional because I never thought I would win ever again because of all my history. In the second heat I was pumped and then I crashed in the start with Simpson, Dougan, Whatley, and I don’t know who else. I got back to the front, got cleaned out and everything was bent, so I couldn’t continue. In the final heat, because I didn’t ride so much in the second, I was a bit tight, the track was a lot different, ended sixth, close to Sword for fifth, but not too bad. If you look at the other round, it’s going better and better.”