The Oakleaf Kawasaki Team returned to Maxxis British Championship action this past weekend with a full line up at Round 4 of the 2012 season, held at the Milton Park MX Facility on the outskirts of Northampton.
Alex Snow was the team’s representative in the highly competitive MX1 class and his day started well as he set the 10th fastest lap time of the qualifying session, giving him a chance to improve on that as he had made it through into the Top 12 shootout, and he did just that as he made great gains to take 6th place in the 1 lap shootout.
The high of qualifying soon slipped away though as Alex took a tumble on the opening lap of Race 1 and found himself down in 18th place. He soon started to pick up place’s and had got himself up into 15th before another fall on lap 5 relegated him into 25th. A few fast laps followed and Alex got himself back into 20th but there was now a big gap to close up to 19th place, as the race began to draw to a close Alex caught the pack ahead and made 3 places on one lap, leaving him in 17th with 2 laps to go, another pass with a lap to go pushed Alex up into 16th and that would be where he would finish.
A better start in race 2 saw Alex in 10th place early on, he lost a position on lap 3 but soon regained it just 2 laps later on. The track had now seemed to have developed 1 racing line and things were very much follow the leader as positional changes were at a premium throughout the standings, this saw Alex hold on to 10th place until the very last lap, where he slipped one to cross the finish in 11th.
A change to the normal race format saw the usual 3rd race for each class become a MX1/MX2 combined race with the top 20 overall on the day from each class all racing together, this encounter saw Alex get his best start of the day as he came through lap1 in 6th, he lost a position on lap 2 but then a crash on lap 3 saw him slip to 12th, after taking a few laps to regain his rhythm he started to put the pressure on the riders ahead and make passes, and by the time the race reached halfway Alex had put himself in 9th place. As with race 2 though the race had become a case of follow the leader and Alex held 9th all the way to the finish.
Results on the day saw Alex claim 27 points giving him 9th overall, and he has now moved up into the top 10 in the championship, lying in 10th place.
The MX2 class saw Oakleaf’s Jake Millward and James Dodd in action, with Jake qualifying in 18th, and James a bit further back in 30th.
Race 1 saw James get a decent start and he was just inside the top 20, but it was a different story for Jake as a crash on the opening lap saw him come round in dead last. James was having a decent race and was battling to keep hold of his place in the top 20, after staying there for the majority of the race he slipped out of the top 20 and down to 23rd with 3 laps to go, James did battle back and gain a place with 2 laps to go but he couldn’t find a way back into the top 20 and points as he crossed the finish in 22nd. Jake also was having a decent ride after his early crash and after taking a couple of laps to catch the pack, he started to pick up places at a good rate but by the time the finish flag was raised he had only managed to make it up to 26th.
Race 2 saw both Oakleaf riders inside the top 20 with Jake 17th and James 20th after a lap. Jake was flying and just a few laps further in he had advanced up into 12th place. After holding 12th for 3 laps, Jake lost a couple of places as the race went past its halfway stage and then he lost one further place with only 2 laps to go, but still crossed the finish line for a creditable 15th. James wasn’t having as good a ride as in the previous race and a crash on lap 3 saw him drop from 20th to 27th, he battled on and started to put a few passes on the riders ahead of him to edge closer towards the top 20 but in was an unsuccessful battle as 24th was the best he could get by the time the race reached its conclusion.
Despite Jake picking up 6 points for his 15th in race 2, it wasn’t enough to put him in the top 20 overall on the day so he missed out on taking part in the Combined class 3rd race, his points now leave him in 30th in the championship and with James missing out on scoring points again this weekend he has still to score in this years championship.
Following on from a difficult and disappointing day at the previous MXY2 round, Tommy Alba was looking to pull back some points despite being recently being diagnosed with Glandular fever. Qualifying saw Tommy start his day well with the 6th fastest lap time and he carried this into race 1 as a great start saw him in 2nd place after a lap. He lost a place on lap 3 but 2 laps later Tommy got back past and up into 2nd, the leader had pulled a small gap out at the front . Tommy stayed in touch with the leader but couldn’t get close enough to make a pass and eventually crossed the finish 3 seconds down on the winner in 2nd place.
Race 2 saw Tommy pull the holeshot and lead from the off, he had soon pulled out a good lead and settled into a comfortable rhythm to take an unchallenged perfect race win by just under 10 seconds over second place.
Tommy’s 2nd and 1st gave him and the Oakleaf Team their first ever British Championship overall victory, and he now lies in 4th in the championship on 93 points, 32 behind the leader.
Rider comments :-
Alex Snow ‘ Today started pretty good, I got 6th in the Shootout so I was happy with that and I felt my speed was good. In the 1st race I got a reasonable start and then I went down, got ran over, got up and then went down again. I actually crashed 3 times in that race and it was just really an absolute nightmare, it couldn’t have gone much worse but I still ended up 16th and got a few points. Race 2 went better and was pretty decent, I went down again though and ended up 11th then in the last race I got a good start and despite making a mistake and stalling the bike I still ended up 9th and had my best result of the day. Even though I think on paper it looks like its been a bad day, I’ve actually moved up in the championship. I was happy with my riding but not happy with the results, the track really wasn’t brilliant so we’ll just move on to the next one now.’
Jake Millward :- ‘ Today has been alright, the first race wasn’t very good to be honest, I fell off and couldn’t get the bike started so I was quite a way back, but I managed to come through pretty good but I fell off again on the last lap. In the second race I got a good start, felt really comfortable on the bike, I got as high as 12th then ended up 15th. Today’s had its up’s and down’s but overall it’s not been to bad.’
James Dodd :- ‘Qualifying went OK but I felt I should have done abit better really, in the first race I got a good start as was inside the top 20 but then I started to suffer from arm pumped and dropped back ending up just outside of the points. Second race I crashed and was way back but came through ok and ended up 24th, it wasn’t too bad but I’m disappointed to not get any points again.’
Tommy Alba :- ‘Today went really good! I haven’t been feeling well but I came here and qualified 6th, I would have liked better but I wasn’t feeling good, I felt dizzy and sick, but then in race 1 I led into the first turn but ended up 3rd on the 1st lap. The three of us at the front were having a good battle until Matt Bayliss crashed leaving me to take 2nd. Then in the 2nd race I got an awesome start, took the lead, pulled out a gap but after a few laps with the way I’ve been feeling I got really tired and hung in there to take a really good win.