The first round of the Red Bull Pro Nationals kicked off this weekend in the Cornish countryside at Landrake Moto Parc.
After a dismally wet winter and start to the race season, the first round in the Red Bull series was bathed in sunshine for most of the weekend, and as a bonus, A great start for the Heads + All Threads Suzuki team with a second overall in MX2.
The Red Bull Pro Nationals series is ran as three championships in one series. The Pro Nationals, the Elite Youth Cup, and the 2-Stroke National Championship. This means, with multiple classes within each championship, and at least three races for each class (five in the Youth Cup!), many are ran jointly over the two day event. Squeezing in a huge amount of fast, action packed racing, it is great for the spectators, riders, and the sport as a whole.
During the open practices, Graeme Irwin was showing good speed and posted top five times in both sessions of the mixed groups, and was fastest in MX2. He carried this speed in to qualifying, and he was second fastest in his class, securing a fifth gate pick for the mixed racing ahead.
With the MX1 and MX2 being ran together a good start was absolutely critical, but in the first race the Irishman didn’t quite make the jump, finishing twelfth in the race, and sixth in MX2.
Race two was a different story. Irwin composed himself and got the start he needed, putting his RM-Z250 right in the mix at the front with the bigger, and quicker 450 machines of MX1. Finishing fourth in the mixed race, but more importantly, a comfortable first in the MX2 class, he put himself in a much better position going into race three.
A not so good start in the third and final race saw Irwin fifth in his group, but he worked his way through into second, securing second overall for the day and in the championship standings.
“There could be no excuses, it would be down to me, the bike and everything was 100%. You just needed a good start this weekend, especially here, it can be a little one-lined. I enjoyed it, a good weekend and a great result the team.”
In MX1, the teams RM-Z450 rider, Luke Burton, qualified just outside of the top twenty in the class after suffering with back brake issues.
Race one, and Burton was hit hard on his hand buy a rock causing him to fall to the back of the field. Despite the pain he continued to finish the race and pick up some valuable points.
Race two saw Burton, still nursing his injured hand, posting times that should have had him further up the field, but a bad start made it difficult to make much progress, and he finished the race in fifteenth for the MX1 class.
In race three, it was much the same as race two. Burton was lapping in times that should have seen him closer to, or even in the top ten, but with some rain during the race, he ran out of tear-offs and had to pit for a change of goggles. Ultimately, this cost him some places and he crossed the line in sixteenth for MX1, and finished in eighteenth overall.
“It was a difficult weekend, I couldn’t get into a flow on the track. After riding a lot of sand and getting consistent starts, hard-pack was a completely different game, and it was hard to get off the gate.”
A tough day for the teams rookie rider, Ollie Townsend. Although running within the top twenty for most of the five races and showing good speed and lap times, a few mistakes, and a DNF in race four saw him drop back down the field and final standings.
The day finished with him taking thirty-third overall.
“My speed and lap times were there, which is good. I was running fifteenth to twentieth in the races, but I made some mistakes which let me down.”
The next Maxxis British Championship round is on the 12th of May at Milton MX Park, Milton Malsor, Northamptonshire.
The Red Bull Pro Nationals second round is on the 18th-19th of May at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
All Images in this release are credited to Elliot Spencer.