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News and Notes: Preston Docks

Following months of racing and fiery action, the British motocross season is starting to wind down now; the penultimate round of the MX Nationals took place this past weekend. By now you would have seen all the results from that race, so let us take you beyond the results in this column.

  • There are various hurdles that an organiser has to overcome when starting a new series, but the MX Nationals team has encountered some unorthodox issues. Their run of bad luck continued at Preston Docks, as they had to halt racing on the Saturday, because of a lack of paramedics. It turns out that they [the medics] didn’t realise that they had to be their both days, which left the directors in a mad scramble to find substitutes; eventually they were able to get underway with practice and qualifying on the Saturday. Consequently each class had one less race than usual over the weekend.
  • Fortunately the stage was set for a fantastic day of racing on the Sunday, and the action was great. However, the directors had to overcome another issue first, as the timing loop went down just before the first MX1 race. The issue was rectified soon enough though and there were no other issues to speak of.
  • The Preston Docks facility was quite impressive in the eyes of most, as the pit lane structure was something rarely seen in British motocross. A lot of the riders commented on how fun the track was, especially on the Sunday, although some felt it was tough to pass on too. Preston Docks has certainly made a great impression and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see it host more events like this in the future.
  • In a magazine feature that we did last month, a few people stated that there wasn’t much buzz around British motocross. However, following the move that Ben Watson made on Steven Lenoir in the final MX2 moto, the interest in the series has spiked – everyone is talking about it. There are obviously hard feelings there, as Steven especially hasn’t hid his feelings on the matter – he vented on social media. The Frenchman actually stated that he couldn’t believe Watson wasn’t penalised. It was certainly an aggressive move, but I think the fact that it was quite a fast corner didn’t help matters.
  • Although his path to the victory was somewhat controversial, Ben Watson still took the overall and on the same day as his brother, Nathan! This was the second time this year that they have both won on the same weekend, which is quite incredible – very few people have achieved such a feat at a professional level. It is hardly surprising that they did this on a sandy track; their prowess in the sand cannot be called into question.
  • Lewis Trickett made an impressive return to action at Culham two weeks ago; however, Preston Docks didn’t go as well for the MBO Sport Yamaha rider. He was running top five in moto one before a small fall relegated him, but then he ran off the track later on in that moto and landed on a bank; Lewis hit his head in that incident. Trickett confirmed on social media that he felt concussed after this, so elected to call it a day. He’ll be back at Foxhill!
  • Shane Carless has had a turbulent season to say the least, as he has encountered lacklustre results and various issues. Unfortunately things didn’t get much better for him at Preston Docks, as he dislocated his shoulder in moto two. In the first race he finished seventh, which was positive when you look at his recent finishes. However, that momentum came crashing down a few laps into moto two; there is currently no timeline on his recovery. His teammate, Priit Rätsep, was again racing in Estonia and went 8-4-3 for fourth overall.
  • Most tipped Adam Sterry to win the MX2 class at Preston Docks. It is a track that he is fairly familiar with, after all. Following a dominant display in the first MX2 encounter, the Wilvo Forkrent KTM rider had a more difficult time in moto two, as he had a poor start and problem with the throttle, which hindered him. He still salvaged a third in the moto and second overall.
  • Jay Hague made his MX2 debut this past weekend, and had some respectable results. Jay had a thirteenth and a fifteenth in the two motos, battled with some regulars each time out and showed that was capable of fighting for a spot in the top ten.
  • Liam Knight took the series lead in the competitive MXY2 class this past weekend; he swept all three motos. Wildcard Conrad Mewse was hindered by bad starts, as you would expect on the 125, but still captured second overall. Former series leader Josh Gilbert was third overall, but lost fifteen points on the day – the gap is six points with one round remaining.

Words: Lewis Phillips

Image: Elliot Spencer

MX Vice Editor || 25

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