The fourth round of the British Masters Motocross Championship brought with it rain and sun to the venerable Foxhill track just outside Swindon this past weekend. A technical fault on Saturday subsequently led to the failure of the timing system, and the AMCA, in charge of the event, was forced to return to the tried and trusted system of manual lap-scoring.
For Buff Honda, Sunday dawned with a qualifying session on a wet but increasingly tacky track, where team rider Lewis Rose did his best to settle into a good rhythm. A continuance of the timing troubles during practice led to the executive decision that the starting line-up would follow the championship standing, with a first-come, first-served rule implemented for the non-scored riders.
The first race didn’t start off too well for Lewis as a last-minute bike swap left him without a starting device and the last gate pick on the far outside. This led to an atrocious start in the rear of the pack, but some aggressive moves returned Lewis to the top twenty by the third lap, and top fifteen by mid-race. At the chequered flag, Lewis was mere seconds off the top ten in twelfth.
The second race once again saw Lewis in the middle of the pack, but an early crash put him back in the closing ranks. Engaging in battle with Nathan Rooks saw him worse off with another crash, but undeterred, Lewis tried his best to settle back into a rhythm and move forward, ending in twentieth and fourteenth on the day overall.
Team principal Wayne Radford declared himself happy with rider performance, but not with the day’s proceedings: “For various reasons it’s not been a good day. Lewis in particular rode very well, but the one bike had a gearbox issue when we were going down for the first race, so it’s not been a memorable day. I’m glad it happened this weekend and not next, so it’s out of the way. Onwards and upwards as they say.”
Lewis Rose: “Practice went OK; I didn’t do many fast laps because the timing had gone. In the first race I had last gate pick and was on the far outside after I had to change bikes and had no holeshot device. I had a bad start because I nearly looped it, so I was nearly last off the start. I rode pretty well after that, I thought; I came back to 12th in that one. In the second one I had a bit better start, probably mid-pack. When I crashed the first time I thought I’d recover from it, but then Nathan Rooks and I rubbed bars a couple of times and I ended up going down. I lost all my rhythm and struggled to get going again, but I finished the race, so it’s not a bad day.”