The second round of the Red Bull Pro Nationals (RBPN) brought a first to UK motocross, a full blown motocross track made on the bottomless sand on the beach of Weston-super-Mare.
A lot of speculation surrounded the run up to the event with riders and teams unsure how the track would cope with so many races and bikes churning up the course. It has to be said though, the RBPN team did a great a job, and although it became incredibly rough, the racing was hard and fast.
Unfortunately the team was missing MX1 rider, Luke Burton, as he was resting a shoulder injury sustained in the previous weekends British Championship at Milton Malsor.
All rounds of the Pro National races are mixed classes of MX1 and MX2, and the weekend started with Qualification on Saturday morning. Irwin posted a good third fastest with a time of 1:49.617 behind Neville Bradshaw and Gert Krestinov.
Irwin carried this speed through into the first race where he gated in third and as he battled for second, the leader, Shane Carless (MX1), started to edge away from the group.
As Irwin moved into second he set about catching and passing Carless for the lead at around two thirds race distance, but disaster three corners from home. Irwin changed line to defend the inside and dropped his RM-Z250 allowing Carless past and take the victory with Irwin taking second. Although Carless took the win on track, Irwin still claimed top points for the MX2 class.
In race two, Irwin didn’t make a great start and was just outside of the top ten. With the races being mixed classes it was hard to make progress battling with the MX1 riders for track position all race, but a good ride saw him come home in eleventh on track, and take fourth in MX2.
Race three started much the same as race two, with Irwin getting squeezed back going into the first corner. With the track now at the roughest it had been all weekend, little mistakes were common and costly. Irwin crossed the line in nineteenth on the track but did just enough to take seventh in MX2 and third overall.
“A disappointing day really but it’s good to be on the podium. The team’s worked really hard, it’s a shame I couldn’t take the top spot.”
“I feel good fitness wise and this is the sort of track I should excel on so it’s a bit of a bummer as Steven’s pulling away in the championship, and Nev’s up to second, so I need to get my finger out and we all need to work together and make something happen.”
The teams rookie rider, Olly Townsend improved on his previous RBPN round results, but it still wasn’t an ideal day. A DNF in race two and some mistakes in the gnarly conditions made his overall suffer, but he managed to finish four places higher than previously in twenty-ninth overall.
Round 5 of the British Championship is at Foxhill Moto Parc, Swindon on the 2nd of June.
Round 3 of the Red Bull Pro Nationals is at Culham Park, Oxfordshire on the 28th – 29th of June.