The Heads and All Threads Suzuki team were met with a small break in the thirty degree heat as they headed north, and to round four of the Red Bull Pro Nationals (RBPN) at Skelder Bank, Whitby, North Yorkshire.
With the teams MX1 rider, Luke Burton, still out with a knee injury, it was down to Graeme Irwin and Olly Townsend, both aboard the RM-Z250, to fly the team flag, but it wasn’t an ideal weekend for either rider.
Irwin showed great pace in free practice on Saturday and posted a decent qualifying time to put him in twelfth of the mixed groups.
A mediocre start in the first and only race on Saturday saw Irwin just inside the top twenty. He fought hard and made steady progress to climb up in the points and picked off the bulk of his MX2 rivals. He was posting times faster than any other MX2 rider, but by the time he had reached the top ten group the gap was too large and he crossed the line in eleventh, fourth within the MX2 class.
Race two, held on Sunday, went from bad to worse as Irwin made another lacklustre start, but he made quick progress and got up into fourteenth, then disaster struck as his bike cut out and failed to start due to a believed electrical problem. Team Manager, and Irwins mechanic, Neil Prince, got him moving again to salvage what points he could, but it was in vain as he was disqualified for receiving outside assistance.
Still struggling to start with the front of the group in race three, Irwin had work to do and moved into the top fifteen on track but failed to make much more progress and finished in sixth of the MX2 class to take ninth overall, just maintaining his third position in the championship ahead of Bryan Mackenzie.
The teams Rookie rider, Olly Townsend, had a tough start to the weekend with two DNF’s on Saturday.
Sunday saw him struggle to get away at the front off of the concrete start, but he put in consistent laps to finish twenty-fourth in race three and twenty-fifth in race four to take thirty-third overall for the weekend.
Round five of the Red Bull Pro Nationals is at Canada Heights, Swanley, Kent, on the third & fourth of August.
The penultimate round of the Maxxis British Championship is on the eleventh of August at Hawkstone Park, Shropshire.
Kev Reid Images