Boost Energy KTM travelled to the Scottish Borders at the weekend for the penultimate round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship at Duns. Although much rain had fallen in the week, which prompted fears of a repeat of the 2009 championship round held there, it turned out to be perfect for the day’s racing.
The team saw its two MX1 riders Martin Barr and Nathan Parker put in two solid qualifying results with a fifth and a seventh, on which Barr was able to improve in the super-pole to go to the line in second.
The first race saw Barr off to a good start and holding his own in the top three. Battling with Kristian Whatley and Brad Anderson early on left Barr slightly worse off as he had to make do with a fourth place by the end of the race. Parker also found himself in the front of the pack, but soon suffered from his customary first-race arm pump that left him on the defensive against the likes of GP veterans Tom Church, Gordon Crockard and Gert Krestinov. A crash and a couple of big mistakes cost Parker a few places leaving him to cross the finish line in a disappointing eighth.
The second race again found Barr to be in the thick of it in the front of the pack after an excellent start. Third place appeared to be his, but with only laps to go, he was put under pressure by a recently returned Billy Mackenzie and Church, conceding his position only after a hard battle to leave him in fifth place at the flag. Parker was not able to make much progress after a modest start but with two laps to go he made a fantastic pass round the outside of Crockard at the end of the whoop section to steal eighth.
The final race saw Barr in the front yet again, but this time a small mistake put paid to his podium ambitions, dropping him back a place and putting him square in the cross-hairs of his own team mate. Parker, who had started in ninth in the final race, caught a second wind and leap-frogged stricken riders throughout the first half of the race before encountering Barr. Parker then followed up with yet another move and left Barr in sixth for the remainder of the race, taking fifth himself for his best result of the day.
With the championship decided at Duns, Barr still has his sights on second position at the final round at Hawkstone, but a third place in the championship is already guaranteed. After moving up to seventh in the championship, Parker still has a chance to progress into the top five.
Team principal Steve Turner mused: “We’ve not had the best day, but it wasn’t too bad either. Both riders basically struggled with the track; it was really gnarly out there, lines were difficult to find and every rider found it tough going. Their results are positive for the championship though. Martin secured third place in the championship which is in the bag whether he races the final round or not. That’s great for him and the team, and he still has a shot at second place. Nathan got better as the day went on; he has moved up to seventh and he’s still in for a shout for top five, so we’re all fired up for the last round.”
Martin Barr: “The day started off OK, in qualifying I was fifth, but the super-pole went better and I got a really good lap in. We changed a few things before super-pole and I ended up in second. In the first race I got a pretty good start, was going all right. I then lost my rhythm and ended up fourth in that one. The same happened again in race two, I had a good start, but with the track being so technical, it was really easy to lose your rhythm, especially when you’re trying to pass people, and I ended up fifth in that one. In the last race I had a half-decent start, felt that it was going good in the first part of the race, and then I made a silly mistake and ended up sixth eventually. Overall a really disappointing day, I really like this track and things just didn’t go my way today. You live and learn and I just want to fight forward for the next round.”
Nathan Parker: “Today wasn’t the best day; I started off reasonable with a seventh in qualifying and super-pole. It was really wet so the track got really rutted, almost like a GP track. In the first race I got an all right start, got arm pump like every weekend, rode steady, but I had a small crash which threw me off-track and I ended up eighth, which I wasn’t really happy with. In the second race I got another all right start and finished eighth. In the last race I didn’t get a very good start, and pulled through the field with people making mistakes all over the place and crashing out. I just kept picking them off and finished fifth. I finished on a high which is not a bad end to the day.”