Round two of the Red Bull Pro Nationals broke all series attendance records with 10,000 spectators flocking to the beach front at Weston-super-Mare over the weekend of May 18-19.
It was the first time ever championship motocross had been staged on a UK beach and the ground-breaking event was a resounding success, drawing in a large number of local residents and getting the full support of the North Somerset Council.
“What an incredible weekend – not just for us as a team of event organisers but for the sport of motocross,” says Matt Bates, MD of promoter e22 Sports. “I don’t mind admitting to losing one or two nights of sleep over this one but thankfully the gamble paid-off and we can rest on a Monday thanking god for amazing weather, the riders for their loyalty and North Somerset Council and their residents for investing so much in to the event.
“I’m also really pleased to be able to announce that after such a resounding success we are able to announce the series will be returning to Weston’s beach front in 2014 and, who knows, we may even try to secure some more venues within walking distance of the town centre for the future!”
Pre-race hype centred around a trio of French beach race aces – Milko Potisek, Jean-Claude Mousse and Adrien Van Beveren – but over the weekend it was series leader Kristian Whatley who came out on top running 7-1-4 in class to win from Van Beveren and Oakleaf Kawasaki’s Shane Carless.
“The weekend’s been good,” grins the MBO Sport Yamaha rider, “especially the second race where I got a decent start, stayed pretty careful for the first few laps and then worked my way through and ended up getting Brad Anderson on the last lap for the win. I’ve still got the championship lead but it’s only the second round so I’m not pushing too hard yet.”
In MX2 Frenchman Steven Lenoir stays at the top of the MX2 points standings after coming home first from South African Neville Bradshaw and Heads and All Threads Suzuki’s Graeme Irwin.
“I had to fight in the final race,” admits Lenoir. “I got a really bad start but I just did my best for 25 minutes and two laps. I had no goggles at the end and it was really tough but I found some good lines and brought it home. I want to say thanks to everyone behind this win because a lot of hard work went into it.”
In the Red Bull Elite Youth Cup James Harrison extended his advantage at the top of the Rookies while North Easterner Jay Hague continued to dominate the Big Wheel 85cc division with three wins from four starts. The Small Wheel 85cc class saw 12-year-old Charlie Cole come out on top and 10-year-old Rossi Beard raced to victory in the 65s.
Saturday’s 250cc 2-Stroke racing saw Josh Waterman race to a pair of Expert wins to close down series leader Robert Hamilton while Chris Povey extended his lead in the Juniors. The following day former GP racer Lewis Gregory extended his unbeaten run to six races in the 125cc Expert 2-Stroke class as Scooter Webster took the Junior win.
Away from the track series promoter e22 Sports ensured the event lived up to its MX festival billing with a packed programme of attractions including Freestyle Motocross, BMX shows with Kye Forte, Motorcycle Trials demos with Dougie Lampkin and performances from streetbike stuntman Mattie Griffin. The icing on the cake was provided by the Red Bull Matadors who flew in for a lunchtime aerobatic show on the Sunday.
The series now moves to Culham Park, Oxfordshire, for round three on June 29-30.