After a hectic race from Shropshire on Sunday night, Pendrich KTM was set up and ready to go on bank holiday Monday for the seventh round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship. Although rain had been forecast, the weather played along for a beautiful day of racing.
Qualifying in the morning saw Bryan Mackenzie put in a good effort with a super-pole qualifying in eighth, which set the tone for the rest of the day. For Mark Perfect, the day proved to be tough early already with a qualifying position in thirty-first.
Mackenzie’s first race proved to be text-book perfect. Through the start in second, he chased after championship leader Mel Pocock for several laps before being passed by Pocock’s team mate. Keeping fellow KTM rider Elliott Banks-Browne at bay was less of a priority than attempting to reel Pocock back in, a move that nearly succeeded, much to spectator delight. The second race followed on from the great performance in the first. Third this time around, Mackenzie again attempted to put pressure on rider Zach Osborne, only to come under pressure himself. To his dismay, Banks-Browne was able to slip past, followed with just a lap to go by Pocock and Honda rider Nicolas Aubin, ending in sixth.
The final race showed that two days of hard racing is not easy on anyone. Battling with Frenchman Steven Lenoir for fifth turned out to be the story of the race, with Mackenzie and Lenoir trading places several times during the race, and Mackenzie finally coming out on top at the chequered flag, taking a fifth overall back to Scotland as reward.
For Perfect, Langrish proved to be an even tougher lesson than Hawkstone the day before. With stronger rivals knowing the track better, Perfect trailed in the back of the pack, not able to make much progress on his position. Rather than ruin the remainder of the season with an injury on this fast and technical circuit, Perfect called it a day, opting to learn from his rivals by watching from the sidelines.
Commented team principal Mark Perfect at the end of the day: “It’s been a long weekend, and the boys found it really tiring today. Bryan’s stepped up to the mark, he’s on the pace, and it was clearly evident from his riding today. We were delighted in his riding in the first, second and final moto, probably the best racing this year to be fair, not just from our riders but other riders as well. He was fast and really enjoyed the track today. It was exhausting for the riders over the two days, it was quite difficult with body soreness and all that. He’s not used to riding two days of two motos, so the result was really good. With regards to Mark, we’re going to move on and try and progress him on a different route, this doesn’t seem to be the best route for him. He’s getting demoralised on a weekly basis, finishing in the last group of riders and nobody wants to be a loser at the end of the day and we feel that it’s not in his interest to continue at this level because it’s not doing his confidence any good.”
Bryan Mackenzie (#121): I’m really happy with today; I beat all the guys I wanted to beat. As far as the championship goes, I moved up two positions that I lost at the last round. I’m happy with the races, they were good, and I really enjoyed the track. The first race was the highlight, running at the front with those guys was pretty great, but I’m feeling the effects of racing on Sunday as well, I’m just really tired. Going off those drop-offs with everything so sore was really hard-core. In the last race I had a small tip-over, but I managed to get the position back and everyone’s really happy, really stoked.
Mark Perfect (#125): Qualifying was as expected, I’d never been on the track before and a quick look on Monday morning just wasn’t enough. I set a time, but I was way off the pace. I decided from this to call it a day with the racing that day. My times and results do not reflect the effort and time I’m putting in, so hopefully I can take how I ride during practice sessions to race days sometime soon.