As the Phoenix Tools MX Championships moved on to round 2 at Whiteway Barton in Devon, Oakleaf Kawasaki had James Dodd and Tommy Alba representing them again as both riders did with success at round 1 two weeks ago.
With Tommy looking to build on his tremendous results last time out at Landrake he was in-form from the off in qualification as he set the 5th fastest lap time overall, and was also 2nd MX2 rider, and as James continues to return to 100% fitness and gain valuable bikeand race time, a steady qualifying lap saw him in 16th overall (6th MX2), but only a second from being in the top 10.
Race 1 blasted off from the start with Tommy rounding the opening lap in 7th place and hot on the heels of the riders ahead, but James was further down the standings in 25th having been caught up in the opening turn melee. Tommy was flying and by lap 4 he had moved up into 3rd position and was really mixing it with the ‘top riders’, after holding 3rd for a few laps Tommy slipped back to 7th just after the mid race point, James was also having a good ride as he charged up the order picking up places lap by lap to sit in 11th as the race draw to a conclusion. A late charge from Tommy saw him pick up a position with a handful a laps to go and cross the finish in 6th and also as 2nd MX2 rider with James also picking up a place late on to finish 11th and 4th MX2.
Race 2 saw a better start for James as he sat 14th early on but a mistake in turn 1 from Tommy saw him further down the order and coming through the pack. James was holding his 14th as the race settled down but a mistake in a tricky rutted corner saw him go down a struggle to get restarted, eventually rejoining the race in 34th. Tommy’s charge was on and he’d soon found his way up into the top 10, the race had now spread out and picking up positions had become harder but Tommy continued to charge and by the finish he had made it up to 7th and was 3rd in MX2, James also spend the race charging after his crash but couldn’t climb any higher than 17th by the time the chequered flag came out, also finishing as 7th MX2.
A storming start from Tommy in the last race of the day saw him in the top 5 early on and a decent start from James also saw him inside the top 15. Tommy was looking good again in this encounter and soon found his way into 4th and chasing down 3rd. James lost a couple of places a few laps in and found himself lying in 15th. As the laps went by Tommy had 3rd just ahead and in his sights but couldn’t quite get close enough to put a move on to try and take the position, this carried on for the entirety of the race until halfway round the lap, when the rider in 2nd crashed out promoting Tommy up into a fine 3rd place finish and 2nd MX2 rider. James meanwhile was having a steady race and managed to gain a couple of positions as the race went on to finish 13th.
After 2 rounds Tommy now lies in 4th place in the overall standings and is the 2nd MX2 rider, but James is’nt a registered championship rider so he therefore is ineligible for point scoring finishes.
The teams next race is the British Championships on April 1st at Canada Heights in Kent, where for the 1st time this season all team 4 riders will be competing at the same event with Alex Snow in MX1, James and Jake Millward in MX2 and Tommy in MXY2.