MX Nationals Round 5 – Hawkstone Park – 9 August 2015
With Josh Spinks carrying a knee injury, Verde Sports Racing went to Hawkstone Park with just one rider this last weekend, to fight to retain Jake Millwards 2nd spot in the MX Nationals Championship. Jake has held a comfortable 2nd place since the first round and entered this fifth round 66 points behind leader Steven Lenoir. With just 2 rounds to go, other contenders were fighting hard to contest Jakes 2nd place reign. Rob Davidson, Liam Knight and Nathan Dixon were 20, 21 & 24 points behind respectively. So not mistakes were to be made at this iconic, challenging sand track.
There were 33 riders out in qualifying, 13 MX1 and 20 MX2. Although the classes would be scored separately in the race, obtaining a good gate pick is always hard for the MX2 riders, when the fastest 40 go out together. With no GP’s on, Wild Card Adam Sterry was here to race and came home 1st MX2 in qualifying. Jake put in some solid laps and some quick times. 7 MX2 riders had less than a second between all their lap times and Jake was amongst this coming in with the 6th fastest MX2 lap time and 13th gate pick out of all the MX1 and MX2 riders. The track felt good and he couldn’t wait to race.
Not a bad start for Jake, coming round the first bend in 13th, but actually 5th MX2. Lenoir was out front, closely followed by Sterry in 2nd. Trickett held 3rd place for ¾ of the race until he made a mistake allowing Knight and Millward to go through. Jake lost his front brake which made it hard to make his pass on Knight. Try as he would on many an occasion, he just couldn’t find a way through. So Jake finished 12th overall, 4th MX2 and comfortably holding on to his 2nd place position in the Championship.
Jake got a terrible start coming round the first bend at around 16th. The track was now pretty rough and gnarly, the ruts were deep and it was getting very dusty. A few riders went down and Jake pushed past a few others, soon moving into 11th place amongst the MX1 and MX2’s. But Knight was there again and did another good job of holding Jake off. Jake didn’t want to make a mistake and risk his Championship position so towards the end of the race he eased off and settled for 5th place MX2, giving him a 5th overall MX2 for the day and 10th out of all the MX1’s and MX2’s put together. Not too bad really.
Jake retained his championship 2nd place MX2 position with still 17 points clear of Knight, who is now sitting in 3rd place. With just one round to go, Jake isn’t able to catch first place, Steven Lenior who is now 82 points clear up front. Josh on the other hand lost his 5th place due to missing this round because of injury and now sits in 7th, 8 points behind Brad Anderson and 14 points behind Alex Snow. Canada Heights in 6 weeks time, where both Verde riders will be riding hard to retain their positions and for Josh hopefully to gain a few places back up the Championship table.
Quote from Jake Millward:
Enjoyed riding today. It was very one liney and I found it hard to make the passes that I wanted. Pleased to have held on to my second place position in the Championship. Can’t wait for the last round at Canada Heights.
Quote from Josh Spinks:
Gutted to see my 5th place in the championship slip away from the sidelines! On the plus my knee is feeling a lot better already.
Quote from Team Manager, Adrian Kirk:
Not ideal to only have one rider fit to ride this weekend but injuries happen. Pleased that Jake retained his championship position but with a bit more aggression he may well have been able to get a podium today.
11 August 2015