With torrential rains terrorising much of East Anglia, it was a big relief for Evotech Stevens Honda to pull into a moist but firm paddock without any assistance at the third round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship at Lyng in Norfolk this past bank holiday weekend.
The round saw the return of MX2 class rider Jordan Divall, who made a good attempt at qualifying in thirty-first while veteran Neville Bradshaw qualified in seventh in his super pole session. In the MXY2 class, Joe Bamfield put in a good starting effort in twelfth.
For Divall, the day was beset by problems. A start just upside the top twenty quickly turned sour as his goggles fouled, forcing the rider to pull in for a quick replacement and losing ten places in the process. Nevertheless, he soon was back out in the thick of it, working his way forward to finish in thirty-second. The second race ended after the first lap after a close call with another rider left him with bent bars and an unrideable bike. The final race also did not go to plan. A start in twenty-seventh was followed by a crash that once again required Divall to return to the pit lane and retire from the race for a disappointing end to the weekend.
For Bradshaw, racing got off to a solid start with the first lap completed in sixth place. He then set his sights on the next rival, forcing his way up to a fifth place and finish. The second race looked to end even better. After a start in fifth, Bradshaw took ruthless advantage of a rival’s mistake, moving to fourth, and then to third. Disaster struck in the final lap, leaving Bradshaw stranded at the side of the track with a bike with an electrical problem and a disappointing twenty-seventh place. The final race saw Bradshaw take to the start in new gear. Quickly moving up from tenth to eighth and then to seventh, Bradshaw found himself in battle with fellow Honda rider Nathan Watson, a battle he had to concede with a few laps to go, ending the race and the day overall in seventh place.
Fortune struck another cruel blow in the afternoon. Bamfield completed his first race of the day in tenth after a start just outside the top twenty, making rapid progress up the pack by leapfrogging rivals to the tune of two a lap, but the second race of the day saw him taken away to hospital with a broken collarbone after but one lap, ending the day in sixteenth.
Team principal Matt Hutchins explains: “The luck certainly wasn’t on our side today with Joe getting injured and Jordan having a day to forget. Neville also had a difficult day but he’s still 3rd in the championship and we’ll take the positive from that. We’re all looking forward to the next round at Milton Park and it’s Nev’s home race, which will give everyone in the team a boost.”
Neville Bradshaw (#272): It’s been a disappointing day. In the first race I didn’t get a good start, but I had good pace and moved up to 6th. I got a better start in the second race, and I’d just moved into 3rd when the bike developed a problem with half a lap to go. In race 3 I tweaked my thumb half way through so had to ride around for 7th. My speed was good in the first two races, but it was definitely a day to forget.
Jordan Divall (#63): It’s just been a bad weekend really. In the first race I had a bad start, then the goggles broke and I had to pull in. I went back out but got stuck in the back. In the second race I got taken out in the first lap and had to pull in with bent bars; in the third race the goggles broke again, then I had a big crash and pulled in again because I thought the bars were bent again.
Joe Bamfield (#54): My qualifying wasn’t good; I ended up twelfth. In the first race I had a bad start in twenty-ninth, but worked my way forward to eleventh without goggles on. The second race I had a better start, but I crashed in the first lap and broke my collarbone. I will be back as soon as it doesn’t hurt too much. Next time I will win.