The seventh Maxxis British Championship round was an exciting one, and by now you would have read all about that. In ‘News and Notes’, we delver deeper into some of the other things that went on at Cusses Gorse.
- Everyone was very interested to see how the track looked on Sunday, and honestly, it was good. I, like many others, was sceptical at first, but it certainly was not bad. There were not too many major changes made, but the work they did do helped a lot. The new finish double was a good inclusion, and the fact that spectators were able to walk all around the track was positive.
- I spoke to a lot of riders and team members about the track, and everyone said that Justin Barclay did a great job and that it was a lot of fun. It was also prepped to perfection. Admittedly, it was quite hard to pass, because it was so fast, but some riders were able to make it work. Reviews were quite mixed, but overall they did a good job for a first attempt. If they get another shot at it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do, they should be able to build on this.
- The common consensus was that starts were crucial, and the results proved this to be true. Ben Watson lost the front end in the first race of the day and had to start from the back, but only made it back to sixteenth – he stated that was because he found it hard to pass out there. Ben rebounded in the next two races, as he captured a fourth and a sixth. He’ll be looking to capture his maiden Maxxis British Championship win at Foxhill in September.
- In the days leading up to the event, the threat of rain looked set to turn the track into a quagmire. However, the expected downpour didn’t arrive and aside from a handful of showers in the morning, it was a sunny, warm day. The wind was the biggest factor, as a few riders were taken by it on the large jumps, but that is obviously something that cannot be controlled. Matt Moffat had a big crash, because of this; hence why his points haul was lower than usual.
- It looked like Cusses Gorse was going to be a great round for Lewis Gregory and GL12 Racing, as the two-stroke hero qualified a fine fifth in the first MX1 session, just three measly seconds down on the time that Shaun Simpson set. Unfortunately, a bit of bad luck struck Gregory soon after this, as he tweaked his knee and decided to sit out after giving it a go in moto one. Lewis later posted that “there shouldn’t be too much damage”, and mentioned to us earlier that it is feeling okay. He had some fluid on it and swelling, but has been icing it since Sunday.
- In an MX Vice exclusive interview post-race, Neville Bradshaw revealed that this is his final year as a full-time professional rider. He explained the thought process behind the decision in the interview. If you haven’t read it, you can do that here. Cusses was not great for Neville, as his bike let go in moto one, which cost him a chunk of points – he then pushed hard for a sixth and a fifth in the last two motos.
- Max Anstie had a turbulent time at Cusses Gorse, yet again, as bike problems haunted him yet again. The Bike It Cosworth Yamaha rider had an issue in qualifying, and then rode off halfway through the sighting lap before moto two, as he felt there were signs of another issue. In his nine Maxxis British Championship motos this year, he has gone 1-1-DNF-DNF-DNS-DNS-4-DNS-DNF.
- Unfortunately, this sport is cruel sometimes, as Graeme Irwin knows. The Irishman was running away from the field in the third and final MX1 encounter, when he had a hard fall with just a couple of laps remaining. Graeme finished the race in seventh, which is a testament to just how tough he is and stood on the overall podium in third. Irwin was later transported to hospital, as his condition was not improving. Reports suggest he suffered a large concussion.
- Finally, Steven Lenoir was handed a £50 fine following the third MX2 moto on Sunday, as he did not use the toilet provided in the waiting zone. It is certainly something you don’t hear at every round!
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: Elliot Spencer