The fourth round of the 2012 Maxxis British Motocross Championship will be remembered as a bittersweet day for the HM Plant KTM UK who pick up one red plate but lose another during a day of very mixed fortunes.
Clear blues skies and blazing sunshine greet racers and race fans alike at a revamped Milton Park for the fourth round of this year’s eight stop series. Having steadily improved throughout the year Elliott Banks-Browne proves just what he’s capable of with three class wins in MX2 that not only give him the overall win on the day but also the lead in the championship as previous pace setter Mel Pocock has a day to forget. Such is Elliott’s dominance he manages to turn a 15 point deficit into a 19 point lead as the championship hits its halfway mark.
By contrast the team’s MX1 rider Kevin Strijbos’ day is one to forget as bad luck and then some more bad luck means he slips from first to third in the championship chase. In race one mud and stones jam on his rear brake on meaning he has to stop and clear the debris by hand before he can charge through the pack from last to ninth. Race two sees the Belgian star take a steady third and then race three ends in a no-score as a freak technical problem forces him to retire. That zero score hands the series lead to STR KTM’s Matiss Karro and dumps Strijbos back to third although he’s still just 10 points behind the leader.
The team’s development rider James Dunn struggles to find his form at the tight and twisty Northamptonshire circuit and ends the day without points. Undoubtedly hampered by switching between two and four-stroke machinery James will be looking to make amends at the next round of the European EMX-125 series where he’s a regular visitor to the podium on his much favoured 125 SX.
After world championship rounds in France, Portugal and Belgium the Maxxis British Motocross Championship resumes with round five at Desertmartin in Northern Ireland on June 24.
Kevin Strijbos MX1 #22
“It’s been a bad day. In the first race I got a bad start but I came through quickly to fifth which was okay but then in a deep rut my rear brake pedal got jammed with mud and the rear brake stuck on and the bike stopped. I was kicking at it to try and free it off but that didn’t work so I had to stop and free it all with my hands. Because it was only the second lap everybody passed me and I ended up last so I had to charge back through the pack for ninth which was pretty good.
“In the second race I had another bad start but I was able to pull through to third quite easily and after that I just found myself cruising – I just wasn’t feeling it today so I was happy with third.
“In the third race my throttle broke and it was over. It was a bad day – I had a 31 point lead coming here but now I’m 10 points behind. It’s not a problem, I know the next two tracks in the championship quite well, I like them and I’m looking forward to going there so I can get back the red plate!”
Elliott Banks-Browne MX2 #44
“It went really well today. I’m so happy with the result, I went 1-1-1 and I’ve never done that before so I’m pumped – I’ve got the red plate too and so I couldn’t be happier. The track was so tough today, it was really hot and that last race was so gnarly with all the dust but I kept it together and managed to get the overall and the championship lead. Desertmartin is next, I like that track a lot and hopefully I can do the same there, take three wins and extend my championship lead.”
James Dunn MX2 #200
“Qualifying was okay and I got 28th in the end which wasn’t too bad. In the first race I started around 25th and struggled to make much progress. I passed a few riders and a few passed me and I ended up 25th at the finish. The second race was terrible and I DNFed so I didn’t qualify for the mixed race at the end – all in all it was just a bad weekend for me.”
Roger Magee: HM Plant KTM UK Team Manager
“I’m getting sick of these bittersweet weekends when we’re actually after sweet-sweet but you have to take the good with the bad though. It was good to see Elliott have three cracking rides in MX2 – three wins in his class and sixth overall in the joint MX1/MX2 race which showed he’s truly the fastest rider in the class. He’s now got a 19 point lead in the championship which is something we didn’t really expect to have at this point in the season. Still, we’ll take these good days because you never know what’s around the corner.
“For Kevin I’m gutted because after his podium in Brazil last week he had a freak occurrence in the first race today where a big clump of mud and a stone stuck on his rear brake so he had to get off and relieve it before coming back through the pack to ninth in these difficult hot conditions. In the second race he finished a good third and he was running third again in the last race before he had that freak incident with the throttle tube but that’s racing.
”It’s difficult for James moving through the two classes but in Portugal he’ll be back on his favourite 125 and we’ll hope for some good results there. We’ll put today down to experience.
“Okay, we’ve lost one red plate today but we’ve gained another and we’re only halfway through the season. We’ve got Desertmartin in a few weeks time and then after that is Hawkstone – they’re both sand tracks which will suit our riders and hopefully we can dominate again.”
MX1 Overall result
1 Matiss Karro (STR KTM) 75, 2 Shaun Simpson (Monster Energy Yamaha) 64, 3 Josh Coppins Fro Sysytems IDS Yamaha 52, 4 Stephen Sword (Tyco Suzuki) 52, 5 Kristian Whatley (PAR Honda) 51, 6 Gert Krestinov (MVR-D Honda) 40, 7 Jamie Law (D3 Racing KTM) 33, 8 Kevin Strijbos (HM Plant KTM UK) 32, 9 Alex Snow (Lanes Kawasaki) 27, 10 Martin Barr (LPE Kawasaki) 27
MX1 Series standings
1 Karro 248, 2 Simpson 239, 3 Strijbos 238, 4 Sword 188, 5 Krestinov 176, 6 Whatley 145, 7 Law 131, 8 de Reuver 130, 9 Martin Barr 125, 10 Snow 119
MX2 Overall result
1 Elliott Banks-Browne (HM Plant KTM UK) 65 points, 2 Neville Bradshaw (Evo-Tech Stevens Honda) 46, 3 Nicolas Aubin (Buildbase Honda) 44, 4 Bryan MacKenzie (Rockstar KTM) 43, 5 Steven Lenoir (Emberson Yamaha) 38, 6 Graeme Irwin (Emberson Yamaha) 35, 7 Ray Rowson (LPE Kawasaki) 32, 8 Mel Pocock (Monster Energy Yamaha) 31, 9 James Cottrell (DB Racing Honda) 31, 10 Stuart Edmonds (TAS Suzuki) 22
MX2 Series Standings
1 Banks-Browne 235, 2 Pocock 216, 3 Bradshaw 183, 4 Lenoir 175, 5 MacKenzie 173, 6 Aubin 151, 7 Irwin 146, 8 Jordan Booker 109, 9 Edmonds 96, 10 Cottrell 90… 29 Dunn 18