Travelling from one side of the country to the other, that’s what Pendrich Kawasaki did this past weekend to travel to Canada Heights for the fifth round of the Red Bull Pro Nationals.
For the two Pro riders Bryan Mackenzie and Ross Rutherford, qualifying on Saturday afternoon went relatively well. Mackenzie put in the third-fastest time in the MX2 class, while Rutherford put in a top ten MX1 time.
Mackenzie continued his winning streak on the weekend by starting the first race off in third, working his way to the front of the MX2 pack, and finishing in the lead. On Sunday afternoon, the first Pro race looked to be another corker, but after two laps, everything went downhill, literally. After restarting in virtually last, Mackenzie worked his way back to ninth in the class by race’s end. The final race of the weekend was arguably the best. After another fantastic start, Mackenzie found himself part of the front of the pack. In the class lead from start to finish, he kept pace with the larger capacity bikes in the front, earning himself his second win and a second overall on the weekend.
Rutherford’s first race of the weekend was a consistent run in eleventh from start to finish, albeit punctuated by skirmishes throughout. Just like Mackenzie, Rutherford did not have the best second race. After a start in thirteenth, a long and hard up-hill battle followed. At the finish line though, it all turned out to be for just one position, with Rutherford moving up one place to twelfth. The final race of the weekend again was a consistent race for an eleventh place at the end of the race. All three races tallied up to a tenth place overall on the weekend.
Commented team principal Mark Perfect: “From Bryan’s point of view it’s been unlucky again, everything’s there, the bike’s there, the fitness, the speed, we’ve proven that through qualifying, through winning two races, we just need a string of good luck to take us onto the top step, that’s what we’re striving for. I’ve no doubt in my mind that we’ll make that on a regular basis, if we can get that string of luck. As for Ross, again we had consistent riding right through the weekend in the top ten.”
Ross Rutherford (#295): The weekend started off well in practice and qualifying. In qualifying my times were pretty good, we weren’t far away. On Saturday I got involved in a little crash in the first lap and got going and then had another little problem with myself, but it was ok, I finished eleventh. On Sunday morning I had a really good feeling with the track, so I was going to have a good day, and then just struggled with arm pump. I don’t know if it was myself or my setup that I’d picked for the bike; it’s a pretty tricky track to get the right setup with loads of different soil. I’m looking forward to Hawkstone next weekend now.
Bryan Mackenzie (#121): I had a pretty good weekend, except for the second race. The curse of the two good, one bad race is still after me. I had two good wins, and I’m pretty happy with them, and the second race was really disappointing, was going good and then had the front end cut off me by someone else. It was really frustrating, I bent the bike up pretty good, and I was far back once I got going back to ninth. I’m happy to be on the podium after two wins and a ninth, but I’m still disappointed, it’s time to string three good races together and get on the top step again.