The annual British Motocross Grand Prix is always a highlight on the calendar. Whereas the event usually falls onto the Summer Bank Holiday, it was moved to the Late Spring Holiday instead, which brought with it some variety in weather conditions for some excellent racing.
This event also marks JAR Honda’s entry into the Motocross European Championship, and much to the team’s delight, team rider Lewis Tombs did not fail to impress.
Saturday morning dawned grey and cold, with the EMX250 class practice and qualifying sessions collapsed into a simple top twenty qualifying session. For Tombs, this turned out to be somewhat fortuitous; after settling into a good rhythm on the sloppy track, he qualified third in the second group of thirty-three riders, giving him a great gate pick for his first race later in the day.
The first race got off to an eventful start. Tombs found himself down in the first corner, and after remounting, managed to snatch several positions back from his rivals. In one of the back corners of the track, he went down a second time, ending the lap in dead last with a big mountain to climb. Determined to get back in the points, he pushed forward and made progress every lap to reach eighteenth with the two-lap board out and scoring his first four points of the weekend.
Sunday was a complete turnaround. With the sun shining, the second race was on the line at high noon. This time there were no crashes on the first lap; this time Tombs found himself in the top throughout, holding his own and giving nothing away. Some smart passing in the latter half of the race earned him several more positions, ending the race in fourteenth for a fourteenth place overall on the weekend.
Lewis Tombs — MX2 #66
I qualified in third, which was good. I had a good gate pick for the first race on Saturday, then had a good start and just lost the front end going in. I passed something like ten people on the first lap and then crashed again, was stone cold last and managed to get back through to eighteenth, which was alright. On Sunday I had a big crash in the warm-up, hurt my back and shoulders, and thought I was not going to ride, but I thought I’d give it a go. I got a bad start, worked my way through, was riding pretty good and managed to get fourteenth, which was pretty good. This weekend proves that I can go fast, so yeah, it was ok.
Richard Rea: Team Coordinator
It’s always good to ride in a different championship with different guys and gain more experience. So far this year the one-off fast lap is where we seemed to be lacking, but Lewis pulled it out of the bag and proved he can do it. Race times were good and Lewis was riding much better. A few crashes didn’t help the overall finish, but Lewis has made a step forward and this is what is important.