The Monster Bike-It Yamaha ace clinched the EMX250 title in style in the class’ opening moto tonight in Faenza with a safe fourth place to claim the first and possibly only international MX title for Great Britain of 2012.
Needing just eight points from the moto to secure the championship over Denmark’ Stefan Olsen, Pocock put nerves to one side and nailed a great top three start, duelling with French ace Jordan Lacan – a fill-in for the injured Maxime Desprey at CLS Kawasaki – for the lead in the early stages of the race.
Mel made the pass for the lead on lap five and held it for the next six laps, but disaster almost struck when just a couple of laps later his rear-brake blew, leaving him to try and nurse the bike home with just a front-brake on the rock hard polished Italian downhills.
With Lacan right on his rear wheel the whole time, Mel wisely backed it down when the brake problem struck, letting the eventual winner through and then Benoit Paturel and local hero Samuele Bernadidin through in the final three laps, crossing the line in a safe fourth to win the championship, greeted at the line by his team and family all armed with champagne.
With the second moto going off in the morning, Pocock is still in position to take the overall and round of his title-winning season in style, but in the meantime its party-time in the Bike-It team awning.
Congratulations, Mel, an extremely well deserved title.