The weekend took the Heads and All Threads Suzuki team to Canada Heights in Swanley, Kent for round five of the Red Bull Pro Nationals (RBPN). The weekend was bathed in sunshine and the RBPN team had prepared the track to prime condition.
Irwin struggled on the concrete start for most of the weekend, but despite this he rode hard and came through the field in all three races.
An off early on in the first moto had Irwin at the back, just inside the top thirty. Riding constantly quick laps, he worked his way past the quicker MX1 machines and his MX2 rivals, and was in 19th by the half way point. He continued his push to the chequered flag and crossed the line in 14th, 5th for MX2.
A better start to the second moto and just inside the top twenty. As he picked his way through the MX2 riders he finished in 12th, and did just enough for a good 3rd in his class.
In the third moto, Irwin found himself around the the top twenty again. Still riding with great lap times, he repeated the previous two motos, and worked his way up to cross the line in 12th, 5th in MX2. Unfortunately, Irwin was tied on points with Martin Barr for third, and as Barr finished higher in the third moto, Irwin claimed the 4th spot.
The team had the Japanese factory Suzuki rider, Yoshitaka Atsuta, under the awning this weekend while he’s on holiday here in the UK, and despite still suffering a little with jet lag, he put in three solid rides.
After qualifying in 22nd, the former Japanese Champion burst out of the gate and rounded the first corner in 5th for the first moto. As the field began to settle, Atsutas jet lag began to show a little as he slowly dropped back to 8th. In the final stages, a little bar to bar action, which he came out second best, dropped him back to cross the line in 15th, 10th for MX1.
Starting just inside the top twenty for the second moto, he managed to push through the field and fought to keep his tenth place until the chequered flag, 8th in his class.
The third moto, and Atsuta battled for a top ten position for much of the race, but as the track roughened and they crossed the line, Atsuta found himself in 13th, 8th in MX1, which was just enough to take 7th overall.
This round saw the return of Luke Burton following a knee injury sustained at the Irish round of the British Championship at Desert Martin. Normally the teams MX1 rider, Burton would be riding in MX2 for this event due to lack of bike time on the RM-Z450.
The weekend started off a little slow for him, posting 27th fastest in qualifying, and despite starting well in the first moto, he crashed out and ended his race early.
The second moto went much better for the Leicester lad. He got a good start and was placed in the mid pack, just outside of the top twenty for much of the race. The track suited him well and in the late stages he made some crucial passes to cross the line in 20th, 8th in MX2.
In the third and final moto Burton made another reasonable start and was mid pack for the most part, but some blisters had developed over the weekend and towards the end of the final race he dropped to 27th and took 12th overall in MX2.
The teams next two events will be the penultimate round of the Maxxis British Masters, at Hawkstone Park, Shropshire, on the 11th of August, and the AMCA British Masters at Brookthorpe, Gloucester, on the 17th & 18th of August.