Following on from two back to back rounds at Silverstone and Whitby the Red Bull Pro Nationals move to Howton Court, Pontrilas this weekend for round six of the championship. As Whitby proved with a healthy crowd the Red Bull Pro Nationals, which also incorporate the Fuchs-Silkolene 2 Stroke championship and Red Bull Elite Youth Cup are really capturing the imagination of the British public as well as the more hardened motocross fans and Pontrilas looks to set to be no different.
If anything round six will be better still with some World championship regulars rejoining the fray and battling it out in the combined MX1/MX2 races now that the GP’s take a break for the month. The HM Plant/Red Bull KTM UK team will be back in force with their two GP riders of Jake Nicholls and Graeme Irwin joining their youth teammates Ben and Nathan Watson to try and take the honours on the sweeping Howton Court circuit. Nicholls took the opening round MX2 victory at Foxhill, tying on points with DB Racing Honda’s Elliott Banks-Browne before setting his sights on the GP’s and he’ll be keen to re-enter the series and win again. Factory Aprillia rider Josh Coppins is also keen to race on a track he really enjoys but as of this moment in time he cannot 100% confirm his participation as he waits for the go ahead from his team. Hopefully the men from Aprillia will say ‘Yes!’
Either way the battle at the top of the MX1 class is going to rumble on. Brad Anderson (PAR Honda) extended his lead at Whitby and put an end to Ben Lamay’s (Samsung Yamaha) surge as he was closing in for the championship lead. The gap is now back out to 14 points and Anderson knows he’s in a battle with the American. James Noble (Proppa.com Honda) showed a return to form at Whitby with a race win and second overall to sit a relatively healthy 31 points ahead of last year’s champion Carl Nunn on his MVR-D Suzuki. With the likes of Stephen Sword (Buildbase CCM),Gordon Crockard (Paul Bird Kawasaki), Jason Dougan (Phoenix Tools/Bike it/Cosworth Yamaha) Nathan Parker (Proppa.com Honda) and Kert Kristinov (Maxxis/Henderson/LPE Kawasaki) all more than capable to race wins whilst dicing it with the MX2 riders it’s always exciting.
Martin Barr (PAR Honda) had his lead slashed by Elliott Banks-Browne at Whitby after a mechanical DNF and now only has a six point lead at the top. Maxxis/Henderson/LPE Kawasaki’s Kristian Whatley only sits 40 points off the lead in third, while Bryan Mackenzie (Horseman Kawasaki), who had a stinker at Whitby will be keen to go one better on his second place at Canada Heights and get back on track. Scott Elderfield is always a threat as he proved with second place overall at Whitby but is out of the championship after missing the opening three rounds. TM’s Stuart Edmonds has been on good form of late and could make his first podium.
In the Fuchs-Silkolene 2 stroke British Open class defending three time champion Mark Eastwood is doing it again and leads the way by 26 points over James Noble on his 500cc Proppa.com Honda who took the overall win at Whitby. Noble’s teammate Nathan Parker holds down third and has the speed to win. Scott Elderfield took two moto wins and really got stuck in at the last round as did Stuart Edmonds and yet again the 2 strokes produced some brilliant tight racing so expect more of the same this time out.
David Williet (Bladez Yamaha) dominated the 125cc class at Whitby and now leads the series by 20 points as he really starts to look strong and full recovered from last year’s knee injury. Fast starting James Dunn (Suzuki) offered some early resistance to Willet and will be doing his best to be stronger as the race goes on. Defending champion Jim Davies (TM) sits third in the series but only one point behind Dunn and is still in striking distance for a repeat title. Luke Remmer (Maxxis/Henderson/LPE Kawasaki) is a further 44 points back and more than capable of winning as he’s show already this year.
The racing laid on by the kids of the Red Bull Elite Youth Cup has been so intense and that’s bound to continue at Pontrilas. Sunny Thompson took the overall and the series lead in the Rookie class at Whitby on his Samsung Yamaha and took full advantage of Bradley Pocock’s (Bike it/Cosworth Yamaha) absence with a broken leg. Lewis Trickett dominated Sunday at Whitby to take second overall and in the series as Jake Shipton (Poole Yamaha) also moved past Pocock into third. Ben Howell (KTM) took another overall with a consistent performance to extend his lead in the Big Wheeled class over Ben Watson who struggled with starts at the previous round and rounded out the podium. James Harrison (Twisted 7 Honda) was the fastest man at Whitby but a rear wheel puncture cost him the shot at the overall and he sits 71 points behind Howell. In the Small Wheeled class last year’s 65cc champion Conrad Mewse (KTM) capitalised on previous series leader Oliver Osmaston’s unfortunate trampoline injury and now holds a 13 point lead over Danny Lanfear (Suzuki) who took his first ever RBEYC overall win last time out. Josh Gilbert (Albion KTM) and Todd Kellett also did enough to move past Osmaston. Keenan Hird (KTM) still has a healthy 75 point lead in the 65cc class even though he has yet to win an overall so far this year! Hird has yet to be off the podium with three seconds and a third overall last time out. Ryan Vickers (Cobra) took his first overall win at Whitby to move past Drew Warren into third in the series. Taylor Hammal (KTM) couldn’t make it a hat-trick of overalls and had to settle for second but will no doubt want to get back to winning ways at Pontrilas.
So with so many battles in so many classes the Red Bull Pro Nationals at Pontrilas this weekend aren’t to be missed, especially with the Red Bull X Fighters Jams Tour doing their freestyle demos, the Suzuki MX experience, the Jumbo TV screen showing live links and the F1 and. Of course, the regular Saturday night party!
The Howton Court circuit will be AA signposted on the A465, right on the English/Welsh border. Postcode HR2 0BG
Practice starts at 9am on both Saturday and Sunday. Elite Youth Cup and Open 2 stroke riders race on Saturday with the remaining Elite Youth Cup, 125cc 2 stroke and Pro races on Sunday.
For more information go to www.redbullpronationals.com