Michelin MX Nationals - Round 4 - Weston Super Mare - 30th May 2015
Round 4 of the MX Nationals Championship was held on the beach at Weston Super Mare last weekend and ran alongside the Pro Nationals Festival. The Pro-Racing took place on the Saturday and it was a gloriously sunny day with packed crowds, plenty of entertainment and a great line-up of Pro riders, some just turning up as Wild cards for the event!
It was a challenging track which got extremely rough especially in the 'whoop' section parallel to the promenade. There were bikes being thrown about everywhere, making it difficult for even the most experience Pro's to hang on.
25 minutes of practice out on Track 1. Each time they went round the circuit the track changed. It was deep, soft sand - very rutted, rugged and rough!
MX2 - Jake likes the sand but was still sore from his 'big off' at the GP last weekend. His wrist injury was making it hard to hold tight over the 'whoops' but he managed and gave it his best. With no back break, he fought through and managed to finish in 6th place for the MX2 - but still ended up in the 21st gate pick due to the stacked MX1 class sharing the start gate.
MX1 - Josh really doesn't like the sand so Weston was never going to be his favourite track to ride. The competition was strong with seasoned sand riders like Leok, Anderson, Law and Houghton adding to the already strong MX1 class as wild cards for this event. Josh pushed hard and unfavourable ground, held tight and finished in 11th place for MX1 with 14th gate pick.
The track was really cut up by now, especially over the 'whoops' section. It was going to be a tough 25 minutes + 2 lap race.
MX2: Jake came out of the gate mid-pack and soon found himself to be the leading MX2 rider. He is naturally a rough rider and took to the ruts like a duck to water! Jake handled the 'whoops' well and managed to hold off series leader Lenoir throughout the majority of the race until the last two laps - where he managed to make the pass. Eccles then followed with making a move on Jake. It was neck and neck for the last two laps but it was Eccles who got the better and managed to nose over the finish line just ahead, leaving Jake to come home in 3th position for MX2.
MX1 - Josh got out of the gate mid-pack too and held on to the top 15 for the first half of the race - but he really didn't enjoy or take well to this deep rutted, sandy track. The 'whoops' threw him all over and his arms pumped up big style. Nevertheless, he held on tight, fought to the end and finished in 14th place for MX1.
The track was now horrendously deep and cross rutted, leaving it demanding and unpredictable. Although the start had been graded, the 'whoops' had been left as created over a full day's racing - It was going to be tough!
MX2 - Jake got out of the gate mid-pack again but then collided with another rider on the 2nd bend, leaving him right at the back of the pack making it hard work to get back into the race. Unphased, he charged on picking rider after rider off over the 'whoops' and coming into bends. With the roughness of the track (and too much time and distance lost at the beginning of the race), Jake couldn't quite catch Knight, Husbands and Dunn leaving him to come home in 9th place for MX2 in the race, and in 5th place overall for the weekend.
MX1 - Josh got out of the gate mid-pack again also and stayed steady. He really hadn't taken to this rough, deep, soft sand but put in a couple of consistent laps over the 'whoops' early on. Then it didn't quite go to plan. The 'whoops' kept getting the better of him and kept spitting him off into the sand but he held in tight, finished the race and came home in a respectable 14th place for MX1, as well as finishing in 14th place for MX1 overall for the weekend.
Neither rider had the best weekend's riding. The track had deeper ruts than either of them had eber tackled before but this was the case for many of the other championship contenders! Most of the weekend's winners were seasoned sand riders who were riding on a day licence so we were pleased both Jake and Josh managed to secure their championship positions (with Jake still 2nd in the MX2, 18 points ahead of Eccles and Josh still 5th for the MX1, 15 points ahead of Thornhill). The iconic Hawkstone Park will be the next track to tackle for the championship, but not until Auguest, so we have two months to prepare.
Quote from Jake Millward:
I was still aching all over from the GP crash last weekend - my wrist made it difficult to ride and my back really hurt after each race. I am pleased with the results considering all that and chuffed that I am still sitting in 2nd place for the Championship.
Quote for Josh Spinks:
Didn't really like today and I certainly didn't ride my best. Disappointed to only get 14th place but it was my first ever beach race! Pleased that I am still sitting in 5th place for the Championship. Need to get a lot of time on the bike to prepare for the next round at Hawkstone.
Quote from Team Manager, Adrian Kirk:
Not the best results as we have achieved better at other rounds but we knew that this might be the case before we started out the weekend; especially with Jake's injuries and Josh being predominantly a hard pack rider. Generally pleased that they both fought hard and finished both races. This meant they both scored valuable points and kept their individual positions within the Championship.
05 June 2015