After the cancellation of the second round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship, iFly Lanes Kawasaki dove back into racing at Lyng in Norfolk this past weekend at the third round. With the weather much more agreeable to racing, it promised to be a good day for the team.With the MX2 class out first, the team’s two riders Lewis Trickett and James Harrison qualified in eighteenth and twenty-sixth respectively, while MX1 man Alfie Smith, nursing a shoulder injury, missed the super-pole session by a fraction of a second. MXY2 rider Ben Putnam found himself in sixth at the end of the final qualifying session of the day.
For Putnam, the day could barely have gone any better. In his first race, after a great start in fifth, he soon found himself running in a distant second behind Brad Todd. Unable to catch the leader, he reduced the distance between himself and the number 714 in front to under twenty seconds. In the second race, he did even better. Keeping tabs on Todd, he battled with Jack Kelly for second throughout, emerging as the runner-up of the race and taking second overall on the day.
For Trickett, the MX2 class was a mixed bag of tricks. Although the first race was a very solid run in thirteenth, the second race took a disastrous turn as his silencer failed after a crash in fifteenth, and he had to pull out to avoid disqualification. With the third race off to a less-than-stellar start, Trickett worked his way forward to fourteenth, where he ran into intense opposition and was not able to make much more progress. Two top fifteen results gave him reason to smile at the end of the day though as they collectively put him in fifteenth place on the day.
Harrison also showed improvements after having been thrown in the deep end in the beginning of the season. Suffering from a cold, he nonetheless fought his way forward to twenty-second in the first race with points but seconds in front of him. In the second race, he was again consistent. A start in twenty-seventh improved by four places throughout the race with a twenty-third as the end-result. In the final race, a small mistake undid his progress throughout the day, leaving him to battle forward yet again and ending twenty-third a second time and points within grasping distance.
After injuring his shoulder in the week, Smith tried to do the best he could under the circumstances. The first race proved to be his best; a start in mid-pack improved to a top ten place before pain set in and forced him back to his starting point. In the second race, a big crash in the first lap left him in the back of the pack, but undeterred, Smith tried to make the best of it by leapfrogging to twenty-ninth before running into tough opposition. With his shoulder progressively weakening, Smith felt it best to not pose a danger to himself and others and pulled in, taking a twentieth on the day with a wry smile and a philosophical shrug of the shoulders. He will seek medical advice during the week to ascertain the extent of his injury.
Commented team manager Graham Harrison: “Overall the day’s been good with Ben giving us a podium in the MXY2 class. James is showing some good progress, and it’s a shame he wasn’t feeling too well or we probably would have seen more points from him. Lewis didn’t have the best of luck after his crash in the second race, but there we are. He was consistent in the other races and top ten should not be too far away. For Alfie, it’s been a tough day too, but his first race shows he has the speed for a top ten. His shoulder injury is a concern, he did very well to brave it out and attempt to ride, and with a few weeks off before our next race, we’ll be seeking medical advice immediately and then evaluate the options available.”
Alfie Smith (#17): In qualifying I just missed out on super-pole which was quite good. The first race wasn’t too bad, had a good start, started pulling through and got up to tenth. Last week I dislocated my shoulder so I was struggling a little with injury and started fading towards to end and finished fourteenth. In the second race went out, had another crash on the first lap, got run over by a few people, when the shoulder really started aching and had no strength in it, and it felt dangerous on the track to be honest. I got into a few shapes and decided to pull in for safety sake. I didn’t go out for the last race for the same reason.
Lewis Trickett (#214): First race was really good. I had an average start, just kept coming through, felt really strong until the end and was really enjoying myself, and pulled off a thirteenth which I was happy with. In the second race, I was going really good again in fifteenth, when the silencer snapped. So loads of noise and a DNF which sucked. In the last race had a bit of a bad start and just kept pushing through and managed a thirteenth again, so it was a good day, I’m happy.
James Harrison (#153): Today’s not been too bad, I felt really ill all weekend, and I’m just happy to have finished all the races.
Ben Putnam (#11): Today was good, I’m pretty happy. I had a good qualifying, surprised myself a little bit, it was handy to have a good starting gate. I got a few good starts, obviously fitness helps a little bit, and I rode pretty strong. I think I was sixth and worked my way to second, and some crashes helped a bit, and in the second race got another good start and a good battle with Jack Kelly and kept second on the last couple of laps.