With two major races on the Summer Bank Holiday, the Pendrich KTM team found itself back in Shropshire on Sunday morning for the penultimate round of the Red Bull Pro Nationals. With rider Mark Perfect back, the team was back to full strength and champing at the bit to get started. Qualifying on the moist track on Sunday morning went off without a hitch; Mackenzie put in a lap that put him in a prime second place, with Perfect ending the qualifying session in fourteenth.
In the first race, Mackenzie was soon embroiled in a fierce three-way battle for the lead in the MX2 class, but halfway in, arm pump set in, which cost him his position as runner-up. Opting to bring the points home rather than gambling with fate, he backed off just a fraction, taking fourth at the chequered flag. In the second race, he again challenged for the lead, but was unable to just close the gap between himself and number two, Graeme Irwin. To add insult to injury, he found himself pipped to the post with the timer ticking to zero by Irwin’s team mate, ending the race in fourth for a fourth overall on the day.
For Perfect, the day was another hard lesson. Pitted against more powerful MX1 bikes, the youngster worked hard to gain traction and positions, but found himself at the short end of a losing battle. Nonetheless, Perfect scored points, which gave him a leg up on the championship ladder. In the second race, he again found himself in the rear of the pack, working hard to not make mistakes and yet scoring points. At the end of the race, he crossed the line in thirteenth place for a twelfth overall, moving him into the top twenty in the championship.
Team principal Mark Perfect delivered the verdict on the day’s proceedings: “For Bryan it’s looking good, his confidence is growing by the week. He had a great qualifying, and today’s the first time that he’s said that today’s the day that we’d get a podium. I really felt that for him, and it’s just a bit of bad luck today. We had a fork seal that burst and he got some arm pump because of that, and we just missed the podium. We just can’t seem to get on that podium, fourth just seems to be the position where we always end up, we’ll keep working hard and keep at it.
“We’re off to Langrish next and we’ll just keep pursuing the podium and we can just try and keep pushing as much as we can. With regards to Mark, I think we’ll have to make a clear decision as to what he’s going to do. He’s losing confidence by the week with the positions he’s getting, and it’s now decision time as to whether he wants to continue riding in the championship.”
Bryan Mackenzie (#121): I’ve been looking forward to today because I’ve been feeling good on the bike recently. Qualifying went ok, I was second in the MX2. In the first race I had a really good start and was going for the lead in the MX2, but then got some serious arm pump that I haven’t had for a while. Maybe it’s from the break we’ve had recently. I dropped back to fourth and my lap times suffered a bit. In the second race I got together with another guy on the first lap at the bomb hole and he bent my brake pedal completely underneath my foot, so I rode pretty much from lap one to the end struggling with my back brake. I had to consciously move my foot to brake in a different style than normal, and it really hampered me all race and I ended up fourth again in that one. It was very disappointing because I want to better but yeah, I’ll just take what we got.
Mark Perfect (#125): I enjoyed the track and didn’t feel like I was riding too bad. As it’s approaching the end of season, the riders that are turning up to race are quality championship contenders, and this means that I was left with only a few riders to race. It’s been a hard day as the track was rough, and it’s been slightly soul destroying.