After a surprise entry, John Banks Honda-supported Lewis Tombs joined the world’s finest riders and several domestic championship rivals in the thirteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship at Matterley Basin near Winchester this past weekend. Scorching summer temperatures blessed the round and made things just a bit harder for the riders.
In the world championship, qualifying sessions and a race on Saturday determine the start sequence on race day on Sunday. In the free and pre-qualifying practice sessions, Tombs improved in positions, and he went to the start line for his qualifying race on Saturday afternoon in twenty-fifth. Around the sweeping start corner in mid-pack, Tombs soon found himself briefly touching fifteenth before he was progressively forced back by his more experienced world championship rivals to end in twenty-first.
In race one on race day, Tombs again found himself on the outside of the sweeping start. In danger of getting tangled in the green track netting, he made some unconventional moves early on that earned him a position inside the top twenty. Throughout the race, Tombs remained consistent without any mistakes, keeping his rivals within sight. Unfortunately, much to his chagrin, he was left without any points as he was unable to close the gap between himself and twentieth position in time.
For the second race, Tombs vowed to do better. Around the first corner in eighteenth, Tombs again remained consistent in the first half of the race. A crash mid-way dropped him back out of the top twenty, but he soon picked up the thread again, working his way forward and picking off another two rivals with the big finish line counter ticking down to zero. Unable to make more progress, Tombs held his position, defending it with clever lines and finishing the race in twentieth. One point in the second race gave Tombs a twenty-fourth overall on the day.
Commented Tombs at the end: “Overall the British GP was an amazing experience; it was great to have so much support from the crowd, which I didn’t expect at all and I am thankful for it. In the first race when the blue flags started coming out I panicked and unfortunately Justs got through, and in the second race I tried to stay with Elliott after he passed me, and then I just tried to stay safe and bring it home. I am really pleased to come away with a point again; the two races were tough due to the length but I’m just glad I finished both motos and had fun, hopefully it’s something to keep building from. A big thanks to everyone who helped me, I couldn’t do it without them.”