After a two week break from racing Team Green Kawasaki returned to Culham, this time for round three of the Red Bull Elite Youth Cup on the fast and flowing hillside circuit next to the River Thames just outside Abingdon in Oxfordshire.
After relative success last time out at Culham for the ACU’s British Youth Nationals the lads were confident of going better this time out and getting on the podium but unfortunately it didn’t happen although not through lack of trying.
In the Rookie class Todd Kellett showed he’s on the right track as he continues to impress in his first year in the class as he really starts to get to grips with his KX250F. Todd’s starts are improving all the time, although due to his height he’s still having to use wooden blocks for both feet to touch the ground! Kellett was looking good for a solid top six or higher result over the two days of racing and if it wasn’t for a bad fourth moto that saw his have a heavy crash and then lose his goggles he would have. Disappointed he regrouped and came out in the last moto and nailed down a solid fourth giving him seventh overall on the weekend showing his fitness and corner speed for all to see.
Todd Kellett #98 – “I’m a bit gutted really, that fourth moto was a shocker and cost me a shot at the top five or even higher. I’ll just have to take the positives that I’m improving all the time and getting closer to the front in my first year in this class. My starts are getting better too and that’s a nice feeling because it’s never been my strong point. I’m really getting used to the bike now after coming off the KX85 and I love it. I’m 10th in this championship after three rounds in my first year in the Rookies so it’s not too bad, but I want to be higher up than that so I’ll just keep looking forward.”
Team Green Kawasaki big wheeled rider Billy King also sits 10th in the championship in his ultra competitive class aboard his KX85. After another tough weekend working his way through the pack from poor starts Billy is proving he’s a fighter and is never giving up but it’s becoming frustrating for him and the team to see him have to work so hard from poor starts. As frustrated as Billy and everyone is everyone will keep working hard to find a solution and give BK a better chance of pushing on into the top six and looking for podiums.
Billy King #5 – “It’s the same story every week at the moment. I’m riding really hard and giving it all I have but I’m just not getting with the other riders out of the gate. I’m doing my best to try and not get frustrated but it’s difficult at times when I look across the track and see the leaders getting away in those early laps. I just keep telling myself to keep going and so do the team so in a way I know it’s doing me good to have to work so hard and in the long term it will make me a better racer. I’m learning a lot about myself and how to deal with it so when it turns around I’m sure I’ll be really confident in my ability to make passes and race with those guys.”
Dylan Woodcock came into Culham looking to make points that he lost with mechanical issues at round one. He left Culham fourth overall on the day and fourth in the championship, just missing out on the podium but that’s been the story of Dylan’s championship in the Red Bull Elite Youth Cup. Clearly his racing skill and speed is there to win races but an inconsistency in his starts mixed with small measures of bad luck are stopping him pushing for race wins and overall victory.
Dylan Woodcock #60 – “It just ain’t going my way at the moment and I guess that happens. I feel good on the track and more often than not I’m on pace to win but I’m fluffing a few starts and then having a bit of bad luck like in the third moto. After coming through from about fifth I was making a pass for the lead around the outside of Harry Kimber and just as I was riding by him he got cross rutted and our bars tangled and we both went down. I could’ve been on for the overall win if it wasn’t for that. Then I was pushing hard in the last one to try and make up for it to try and make the podium and just lost the front end at speed. I’m still very confident though and I have some of my favourite tracks coming up so hopefully the win isn’t far away and I can then close the gap and put some pressure on the riders in front of me.”
In the 65cc class Team Green Kawasaki rider Preston Williams moved up to ninth in the championship after a pretty solid weekend of racing. Like Todd, if it wasn’t for one bad race he could’ve been even closer to knocking on the door for eight in the championship. The poor start bug seems to have inflicted Preston again after seemingly shaking it off for a month as he too made racing more hard work than it needed to be by having to come through the pack on a very fast, knarly and difficult track.
Preston Williams #100 – “I got rubbish starts again this weekend and it was hard to get through on the first few laps. I think I have to be more aggressive, well I know I have to be more aggressive because that’s what everyone on the team has told me! So I’ll be working on that now but the best way is to get good starts again so I’ll also be practicing a load of them. My laps times were pretty good once the race spread out a bit and I was still going quite quick at the end of the race but that’s no good if I’m too far behind at the start. I’ve got to get up there and get used to running with the top five, that’s my target.”
Race day team manager Jeff Perrett felt the frustration of the riders as he reflected on a very tough weekend’s racing for all involved at Culham saying “It was a pretty knarly weekend out there. It was fast, intense and very choppy. Finally we had a bit of summer weather and you could tell who takes their training seriously and who doesn’t. I was pleased to see all of our lads pushing on at the end of the races and not going in the wrong direction. On the flipside of that I would’ve liked to see them nearer the front in the first place. Having said that Todd’s starts are improving all the time and he’s showing he will be a true title contender for 2014 which is the realistic target but it’s nice to see him getting near the top three now. I feel for Billy because he’s really trying hard in a tough class, we just have to keep working to find a way to get him out of the gate and give him a chance. Dylan always shows that he has good track graft that comes naturally to him so that’s encouraging going forward in his career, all he needs at the moment is a bit of luck and I have no doubt that will come. I’m pleased that Preston is finding more speed and strength towards the end of the motos, now he needs to keep that work rate going and start finding a little more self belief coming into the weekend. He has good technique and the KX65 is going well, he just needs that next piece of the puzzle to go up to the next level and into fighting for top fives and podiums. In the grand scheme of things this is only our fifth major motocross event in our first year of bringing back Team Green Kawasaki so to have all four riders in the top 10 in their class isn’t a bad return but that’s not to say we’re content with that, our aim is to push on and always look for constant improvement.”
Team Green Kawasaki UK’s next race event is round three of the British Youth Nationals at FatCat Moto Parc, Doncaster on the 13/14th July.