The fourth round of the Maxxis British Championship took us to the Iconic Hawkstone Park in Shropshire. It is one of both Millward and Anderson’s favourite tracks so they went into the meeting with high hopes of top results. Things didn’t go quite to plan for many riders but by the end of the weekend Millward managed to move up a spot in the championship and Ando held on to fourth, again.
The track had been well prepared, anticipating the heavy rainfall that came on the Saturday evening. It held it well and the days racing started out with a dust free, dry track. Both classes had pretty stacked line ups so it was going to be a close call for both MX1 and MX2.
It was a tight qualification. 9 riders within 1 second of each other so it was a little but if luck of the draw. Jake got 12th gate pick for the day but felt confident for a good days racing.
Apart from the top 2 MX1’s the times of the next 10 were very similar. It was hard to get a good run and Brad ended up with 9th gate pick for the day.
Jake got a good jump out of the gate and headed up the hill in 5th place. But he couldn’t get into a rhythm and soon ended up back in 8th place. Then as everyone else started to tire Jake found his speed and tried hard to make a pass on Mickey Eccles. Once he got through he chased down Knight, Natzke and Pocock and was getting close. But Jake has left it too late and there wasn’t sufficient time to make a difference. He had come strong whilst the others tired. Jake ended Moto 1 in 8th place.
Brad got a relatively good jump but got squashed to mid pack up the start. He tried to pass three riders wide at once on the 4th corner and his bike slipped on the loose sand. His bike got run into by a good few riders and by the time he managed to get back on it he was way back in 23rd. Brad being Brad, he doesn’t give up. He pushed hard, picking them off one at a time. He got Thornhill, Edmunds and Harrison and had 7th place Husbands in site, with Davidson, Shipton and Elliot only just in front. Brad could have done with one more lap but instead he came home in a well-earned 8th place finish.
Not a great start for Jake in Moto 2. He got stuck mid pack and came round the first corner in 13th. Jake found a rhythm and picked off one at a time. He then took Knight and Gilbert in one shot and took off and seemed to be gaining on Eccles. Jake’s back was aching from a big off at Lyng last week and the tough Hawkstone track was taking it out of him. He started to tire in the last lap and both Gilbert and Knight took him back and left Jake finishing Moto 2 in 9th place.
Brad got a good jump out the gate and rounded the first bend in 3rd. Irwin was up front and away with Elliot next. Lenoir passed Brad pushing him into forth. It all then got very close. Davidson and Kullas passed Brad battling between them for the next spot. Krestinov came from nowhere and pushed Brad down to 7th. Brad started to chase and close on Davidson and Kullas. Elliot got a wheel problem and had to pull off. Brad was spent. The 1st race battle from the back had taken it out of him and he let Jamie Law past and pushed Brad down to 8th. Then Brad got it wrong down the back and went over the bars and hit hard. Points are points and Brad dusted himself down and finished the last 2 laps but was beaten, shattered and only finished Moto 2 in 14th
With a 7 – 9 Jake ended up with an 8th overall, one point behind Pocock and two points behind Knight and Eccles. It has been a messy day with unexpected results for many riders whom you would have thought would have smashed it at Hawkstone. Despite Jakes results he is still one of the fasted, most consistent riders in the MX2 class. He has just been having a bit of bad luck. He managed to move up a place in the championship to 12th, which is far from where he deserves and is expected to be. Half way through the championship with just 4 rounds to go. Jake is going to have to pull something out of the bag to finish anywhere near the top of the table.
Brad had high hopes for today and it was just not to be. His first race crash took it out of him and he put all his energy into chasing back for points. With a longer race it would have made a difference but in reality it cost him his energy for Race 2. Brad’s 2nd race crash could have been down to fatigue which is unusual for the Ando. But today was an unusual day of results for many top riders! Brad ended the day with an 8 -14 giving him a 12th overall. As Elliot also had a rough days racing, this kept Brad in 4th place in the championship but now 20 points behind 3rd place Krestinov.
Quote from Jake Millward:
Moto 1 I got a good start and rode really tense for the first half of the race. Then I seemed to get in a rhythm and ride how I know I can for the remainder of the race. Moto 2 I didn’t get as good a start and passed up to 7th. Then lost my speed a few laps to go and lost a couple of places. Few weeks off now to regroup, train and get my head back into the game and show everyone what I am about.
Quote form Brad Anderson:
I was so looking forward to Hawkstone
British as it’s one of my favourite tracks and I was hoping to change my luck.
First race I got a bad jump out the gate but made good passes around the second corner then come to the 4th corner I came off and got ran over. Got back on 2 from last, got my head down and finished 8th so close to 7th which I thought was ok considering I had been nearly last. Second race I was fired up got a better start. Then started to drop back a couple places. Then found a bit of speed catching 5th then hit the wall had no energy and went back to 8th. Then went over the handle bars finished 14th so not the best of weekends again. My luck need to change soon and get my speed back where I should be. Next week back on the 2 stroke at the EMX300 in Germany.
Quote from Team Manager, Adrian Kirk:
Well that’s the first half of the season behind us. It has been a busy few weeks both with race days and behind the scenes. It is now a good few weeks off the next major British meeting. Let’s hope that we can come back fighting and get the results we all believe both lads are capable of.
15 May 2017