The Skelder Bank track outside the famous sea-side town of Whitby has been on and off the general motocross calendar for years. This year it returned to the Red Bull Pro Nationals, and after a scorching week, the gorgeous location overlooking the town had everyone excited. For the team though, the weekend proved to be a mix of sweet and sour.
Qualifying on Saturday morning got underway with a distinct chill in the air as sea mist had moved in at record speed and reduced visibility from several miles to just a few hundred yards in less than an hour before leaving behind a wet and slippery track.
Team rider Lewis Tombs put in a good qualifying time that left him eighth-fastest in the class and with an excellent gate pick for what was to happen later in the afternoon.
In the first race of the weekend, Tombs proved that he was definitely a force to be reckoned with by leading the MX2 class for the first half of the race before an exhaust system problem left him down on power. Although Tombs roared across the finish line in fourth, a one-minute noise penalty was imposed and he finished the race tenth.
Much to his disappointment, Tombs was not able to repeat the performance the next day, ending his second race in seventh after a start in fourth, and his final race of the day in the same place he had set off in, in ninth. Albeit with a seventh overall on the weekend, the point has been made.
Lewis Tombs – MX2:
“Saturday was good. I nearly grabbed the holeshot of the first race and was leading the MX2 up over halfway which I was very pleased with. I had really good speed in the first race, and after Neville passed me, the header pipe cracked and I just lost all power and managed to finish in fourth. I got a minute penalty for noise once we got noise tested, which dragged me down to tenth, but I was pleased with my speed though, because I kept up with Neville and the top guys for ages. Sunday, first race was alright, I had a decent start, but had a small slip off and struggled to get going again to finish seventh. In the last race I just struggled and I think we got a ninth, so it wasn’t a great weekend.”
Richard Rea – Team Coordinator:
“We have a lot of positives this weekend! Lewis’ speed was really good and podiums were on the cards. He led race one for a while until we got an exhaust problem, which cost him power. Lewis was given a one-minute penalty because of noise pollution; I feel sorry for him as this spoiled the chances of a podium.
“His starts were better; we just need to work a little on his race craft when under pressure and chasing the riders in front. The speed is there; when we iron out these issues, I think we can bridge the gap to the guys at the front.”