Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki – Red Bull Pro Nationals report

Sunday saw the Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki squad head to their home round of the Red Bull Pro Nationals at Fat Cat Motoparc. Going into the second round the team had seen a number of changes with Ray Rowson moving up onto the 450 in the MX1 class and Connor Walkley becoming the only MX2 rider. During the Saturday night heavy rain fell on the sandy circuit and continued all the way through Sundays racing.

The day started with both riders heading out onto the track during the free practice to become accustomed to the track and the ever changing conditions. After a steady free practice session both riders prepared themselves for the qualification session later in the morning. During the qualification session both riders were able to improve their times to finish 7th in MX1 and 16th in MX2.

After the lunch break it was time for the first race of the day with the riders taking to a now very wet circuit, with the track conditions being very challenging a good start would be vital. When the gate dropped neither rider made the best jump but quickly moved forward in the first few corners. Unfortunately on the opening lap Ray suffered a crash and would rejoin the race at the back of the field minus his goggles, meanwhile Connor was making good progress in the MX2 class making his way into the top 10. Ray was quickly recovering after his early race crash and had made his way up to 6th place in MX1 while dodging the roost of fellow riders, the roost would finally catch Ray out when he suffered a stone in the eye and had to retire from the race. Connor would go on the finish the race well in a strong 8th place in MX2.

After re grouping from the first race both riders went out looking for better results in the second race. Both riders suffered from poor starts and would have to work hard to progress around the challenging circuit. Having passed the majority of the MX2 field Ray then set about closing the gap on the front running MX1 riders. Connor spent most of the race struggling to find his rhythm and progress forward. Ray would eventually make it into the top 10 overall in the race and a great 7th place in MX1 following the early race problems, while Connor would finish in 13th place in MX2
The team will now spend the next three weeks preparing for the next round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship at Desertmartin.

Connor Walkley
Today was about crazy as we woke up to the track that had been completely soaked due to overnight rain. Qualifying was really bad for me, but I had a really good first race of the day finishing 8th in MX2 and it gave me a good boost going into the second race. The second race was unreal with how wet the track was and I managed to finish 13th in MX2 and score some more points so it’s been an ok day.

Ray Rowson
The first race wasn’t going to bad until I got a stone in the eye and couldn’t see so I had to retire. The second race I had a 7th place in MX1, it wasn’t the best of weekends but it could have been worse. We got some points and just need to spend some more time on the new bike.

Steve James
It’s been a tough and hectic week this week coming into this round after having to let Martin Barr go and release him from his duties, it was a hard decision but one that had to be made at the time. Ray has been drafted into MX1 moving up from MX2 for the rest of the season and only had a few days to prepare on the bigger bike. In the first race Ray had to retire due to being hit in the eye with a stone and not being able to see. Then in the second race he scored a solid 7th place in MX1 and showed good pace and with three weeks now until the next race at Desertmartin it will give him a proper chance to get used to the bike. Ray scored 10th overall with one result which is good considering. Connor rode well to finish 9th overall after not scoring at the opening round due to a heavy crash. It been a really tough weekend and the rain hasn’t stopped all day with the awning being flooded from the overnight rain. We now look forward to the three week break and plan to come back stronger.

MX Vice Editor || 25

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