Interestingly, we have had quite different results at the two Maxxis British Championship rounds that have been run thus far. Obviously, Lyng is very different to Landrake, so different riders thrived on the sandy, rugged track. However, most of these guys went unnoticed, because the battle for the lead was so enthralling. But, that is why ‘Under the Radar’ is here, to give some of them a little bit of recognition.
Neville Bradshaw (MX2): Honestly, Neville Bradshaw’s ride at round one was lacklustre, which led most to question how he would perform this year. However, the Putoline Apico Honda rebounded at Lyng, as he landed on the podium in all three of the races. On the podium at the end of the day, he mentioned that he was looking forward to Foxhill, as he is stronger on hard-pack. So, for that reason, you would expect his results at the first two rounds to be flipped.
In moto two, Neville latched onto the lead pack early on and had no problems running their pace, which was impressive – he was right in the thick of that battle. In race three, he actually moved forward and got around [Mel] Pocock with ease. If he can keep this momentum going for a few weeks, he could be a contender for the win again at Foxhill; the speed is there, undoubtedly. Bradshaw is only twenty-one points down, too, so he could still mount a challenge for the championship.
Priit Rätsep (MX1): Finally, the Oakleaf Kawasaki team has something positive to shout about! Following moto one, it looked like it was going to be another disastrous weekend for them, as Priit didn’t have the speed needed to move forward on the one-lined track. However, a couple of good starts in the last two races helped his cause immensely, as he could hold his ground at the front of the pack. A fourth in moto two was undoubtedly a positive, as he did look strong up front; he had nothing for the top three, but he isn’t expected to be on the box.
It is hardly surprising that Rätsep thrived at Lyng, as he is a sand specialist. The ultimate test for him will be whether he can achieve similar results at the following rounds (Foxhill, Canada Heights), which are very hard-pack. Hopefully he will, the guys at Oakleaf Kawasaki deserve some success, after a torrid start to the season. It sounds like Priit was more relaxed going into race two and three, which must have helped – he suddenly had good starts, and didn’t look as tight on the bike.
Matt Moffat (MX1): Matt Moffat has been one of the most improved riders aboard his JAR Honda, as he has already matched his season best moto finish from last year (a seventh). Although Matt did not make the top ten in the final two motos, the speed was there, but it was very tough to pass, which hindered him (and many other riders). One of the only opportunities to pass was in the flat section that went up into the car park, but that was difficult to set up, too.
Undoubtedly, the fact that Moffat has the support of a great team behind him this year has helped him – he can focus on his racing, which is paying off. If he had scored some points in the first moto of the season, he would be comfortably inside of the top ten in points at this stage. It has been a great season for him thus far, which has gone unnoticed, by most.
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: Elliot Spencer