After a long break between rounds, the Heads & All Threads Suzuki team headed to the prestigious natural sand track that is Hawkstone Park, Shropshire, for round seven of the Maxxis ACU British Championship.
In MX2, Graeme Irwin initially qualified well, and sat in 5th going into the superpole event, but a mistake at the start of his flying lap ruined any chances of improving, and he was relegated to 12th.
An average start to race one and Irwin was in 11th on the first lap. He made steady progress and climbed into 8th by the halfway point, and went on to cross the line in 6th.
A disaster in the second race as a tangle in the first corner dragged Irwin down which twisted his bars and damaged his front number board. He was well down the field when he had straightened everything, and despite being without goggles, he made good progress into the top 15. Then the damaged number board worked loose and Irwin had to slow to remove it. He finally crossed the line 16th.
In the third and final race, Irwin made a mistake in the early stages and dropped from 9th to 11th, but his fitness shone as the track became rough and sketchy, and he pulled his way back to cross the line in 7th. Just enough to take 8th overall.
“I had a steady enough first race and was fourteen seconds off the lead, but was taken out in the first corner of the second and my number plate jammed up so I had to rip it off, that pretty much ruined that race.
I was going well in the last, but I just tipped over in a corner and had to climb back up to seventh.
I just need to pull finger out, and go a bit faster.”
The teams MX1 riders, Luke Burton, and Japanese guest rider, Yoshi Atsuta, had a mixed day, with one of Lukes best results of the year and arguably one of Yoshis worst.
Yoshi had been suffering with a cold, and it showed on the track, it wasn’t the Yoshi we all know, and he made small mistakes in all three races. He fell at the start of the first race and as he started to make progress he suffered a puncture which resulted in a DNF.
A better start to race two saw him in sixteenth, but a couple of small crashes dropped him to 22nd at the half way point. He regrouped, focussed and managed to get back and finish in 17th.
Race three was much the same as the first, a fall at the start had Yoshi at the back of the field, but as he started to make good progress the race was red flagged while he sat in 21st. With the race being past the half way point, it wasn’t restarted and the results stood, with Yoshi taking 26th overall.
Despite the first race not going to plan, Luke had good weekend all in all. An off at the start of the first race had him in 31st but he steadily climbed his way back up and finished in 24th.
A better start to the second and was in 20th. Jostling for position for much of the latter stages, he got the better of his rivals and maintained his 20th place until the chequered flag.
Luke had his best result of the season in the final race. He didn’t get a great start and was down in 24th but as the track became rougher and mistakes were rife, Luke ploughed on and at the half way point, when the race was red flagged, Luke was in 16th to take 24th overall.
The final round of the British Championship is at Farleigh Castle, Wiltshire on the 6th of October.
The penultimate round of the Red Bull Pro Nationals is on the 31st of August to the 1st of September, back at Hawkstone Park, Shropshire.