Summer Highs and Lows at Milton Park

Onwards and upwards for Ray Rowson - Image by Ray Chuss

Summer had finally arrived as the Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki team rolled in to the Northampton circuit of Milton MX Park for round 4 of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship.

The day started with practice and qualifying for both the MX1 and MX2 classes. In the MX2 class a good lap time was going to be vital on the tight and twisty Milton circuit for good results later in the day. Connor Walkley was able to produce a solid lap time which would place him in 20th position just ahead of team mate Ray Rowson in 25th. Ray suffered a problem with his bike so unfortunately didn’t manage to put in a fast lap. In the MX1 class Martin Barr was able to comfortably transfer into the Superpole session with an 8th place eventually improving his time for 7th place.

After the lunch break it was time for the first race of the day of which Ray produced a good start just outside the top 10 which would see him advance forward as the race progressed. Meanwhile Connor had to recover from a poor start to work his way into the points. Ray eventually moved forward into 9th position as the race drew to a close. Connor having made it up to 15th place at two thirds distance would slip back to 17th at the finish due to the heat.

The first MX1 race of the day saw Martin start outside the top 10 but quickly moving into 8th position. As the race went on Martin moved forward into 6th before being passed by wild card rider Josh Coppins finishing in 7th.

The second MX2 race of the day again saw ray make a good start inside the top 10 and pushing his way forward. After suffering from a bad start Connor had a lot of work to do during the early stages, after making it up to 17th Connor would lose a position in the latter stages finishing in 18th. Ray would go on to finish in 7th place and qualify for the Superfinal, whilst Connor’s two top 20 points scoring rides were just not quite enough to earn him a place in the final.

Martin’s second race of the day saw him make a better start just outside the top 5. After stringing together some strong laps early on Martin unfortunately made a small mistake and lost a few places eventually recovering for 8th position.

The final race of the day would see the top 20 MX1 and top 20 MX2 riders race head to head in one 30 minute plus 2 lap Superfinal. When the race started both riders got away inside the top 20, but struggling with the conditions Martin slipped back to 18th place. Ray was experiencing a much better time of things working his way up to as high as 14th place with 2 laps remaining before finishing 15th. Martin’s race would go from bad to worse as he struggled with the heat exhaustion and eventually retiring from the race at lap 12 for his own safety.

Connor Walkley
Today’s been a pretty poor day, I suffered so badly with starts and stuff today. I had to work so hard to recover during the races and in this heat it is so hard, towards the end of the races I couldn’t breathe or focus. I am very disappointed to miss the Superfinal and now need to focus on the coming weekends.

Ray Rowson
Today’s not been a bad day, I’ve had three solid results and we seem to be going in the right direction so hopefully it can continue now. We seem to have overcome the problems and I’ve come away fit and healthy from today.

Martin Barr
Today never went to plan and didn’t start the way I had hoped it would. In the Q1 session I was really struggling to get going and struggled to gel with the track condition. I was struggling with set up and it seemed the harder I pushed the more I struggled, so I tried to relax and ended up 8th and in superpole I jumped up to 7th. In the first race I didn’t get the best of starts after clipping Coppins back wheel. I put my head down and tried to come through the pack and eventually ended up 7th. In the second race I got a slightly better start but in the second corner I got pushed wide and lost a few places. I started coming through the pack until I went into a corner and with the deep ruts, my gear lever got knocked out of gear and I went down and ended up 8th. The final race was the combined race and I made a very poor start and had a crash. I tried to come through but was suffering from heat exhaustion and started having double vision so I pulled out before I got hurt as I was starting to make a lot of mistakes. I’m struggling with my confidence at the moment and not feeling part of the bike so hopefully things change real soon.

Steve James
I had high hopes for this weekend for all three riders but unfortunately for Connor & Martin it wasn’t to be, Ray rode very well for 7th overall though when you consider he has only been back on a bike for the last four weeks since breaking his ankle & he has been improving each week & now starting to get back to full fitness, Connor struggled again with his starts today and really needs to work on them, his lap times are good but without the starts it is so hard to come through especially on this track today Connor finished joint 20th overall in MX2 with a 17th in the first race & 18th in the second race. Martin struggled with the bike and the track all day today and never really got going, in the first race he was 7th and then 8th in second race. Unfortunately in the last race the mixed super final Martin had to retire due to heat exhaustion so he ended the day in 10th Overall in MX1 and has dropped to 9th. In the championship which isn’t good and definitely isn’t where we should be, something has to be done to sort these problems out, so we will sit down tomorrow to discuss the best way forward for both Martin and the team.

Results
MX1
1 Karro 75, 2 Simpson 64, 3 Coppins 52, 4 Sword 52, 5 Whatley 51, 6 Krestinov 40, 7 Law 33, 8 Strijbos 32, 9 Snow 27, 10 Barr 27

MX1 Maxxis after four rounds: 1 Karro 248 pts, 2 Simpson 239, 3 Strijbos 238, 4 Sword 188, 5 Krestinov 176, 6 Whatley 145, 7 de Reuver 130, 8 Law 131, 9 Barr 125, 10 Snow 119, 11 Nez Parker 102, 12 Coutts 94, 13 Jason Dougan 91, 14 Smith 86, 15 Moffat 57

MX2
1 Banks Browne 65, 2 Bradshaw 46, 3 Aubin 44, 4 MacKenzie 43, 5 Lenoir 38, 6 Irwin 35, 7 Rowson 32, 8 Pocock 31, 9 Cottrell 31, 10 Edmonds 22, 20 Walkley 7

MX2 Maxxis after four rounds: 1 Banks-Browne 235 pts, 2 Pocock 216, 3 Bradshaw 183, 4 Lenoir 175, 5 MacKenzie 173, 6 Aubin 151, 7 Irwin 146, 8 Booker 109, 9 Edmonds 96, 10 Cottrell 90, 11 Tombs 87, 12 Watson 75, 13 Zach Osborne 69, 14 Connor Walkley 67, 15 Alan Keet 66, 20 Rowson 42

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