It was a tough return home for the Relentless Suzuki by TAS Team at the weekend, as riders Mel Pocock and Gordon Crockard endured a turbulent day of racing at the legendary Desertmartin Track, near Magherafelt in Northern Ireland, despite a podium finish for Pocock in the opening race.
With Pocock’s pace more and more impressive as the season has progressed, Desertmartin looked set to be a promising round for the team young gun, qualifying in third and running as high as second place in the opening race, before a heavy rain shower came and slowed progress, crossing the line in third behind Tonus.
Keen to keep his chance of an overall podium finish alive, the RM-Z250 rider gated fifth in the second race and quickly moved up to a comfortable third place before a crash forced him to recommence his attack. Riding back from sixth, Pocock looked in impressive form once again, before dropping one place in the final stages to come home in fifth. Sadly, a small fuel pipe issue in the final race of the day forced retirement, ending the chance of an overall podium, finishing eighth overall on the day.
Mel Pocock: “Well that didn’t go quite to plan if I’m honest. I felt really comfortable on the bike all day. Race one went well, although I was a little disappointed to miss out on second position in the closing stages, but the rain shower made it hard work and I just lost my rhythm a little. Race two was looking good and then I lost the front and had to start again, fighting back to fifth. Despite that I knew that if I got my head down in the last race we could still bag a podium, but sadly it wasn’t to be and I had to retire. I’m a little gutted as I’d hoped to leave here with a decent haul of points, but on the positive side I had the pace, the bike was mega and I was feeling really comfortable. Roll on the next round”.
In MX1 it was another tough day for local hero Gordon Crockard, as the Irishman struggled with his rhythm from the off. A slow start in the opening race saw the RM-Z450 rider come back to 9th at the flag, before ending the second race one place lower in tenth. Sadly in the final race of the day, Crockard retired after feeling unwell.
Gordon Crockard: “Certainly not one of my best days of racing. I just couldn’t get a decent rhythm from the moment I arrived at the track and gave myself work to do with average starts. In the final race I felt ill and had no choice but to pull in. I’m just sorry I couldn’t put on a show for the local fans, but will do my best to come back stronger on my next outing.”
Adam Lyons – Team manager: “That wasn’t what we’d hoped for, but we can take away some positives. Mel rode extremely well again and it’s all too easy to forget how young he is and the pressure he puts on himself as our sole MX2 rider. As a team we’re nothing but immensely proud and impressed of Mel and his mature attitude towards his racing. When things get tough he digs in and sticks it out. We’re just disappointed that such a small thing robbed him of an overall podium this weekend, but he’s mentally tough and won’t let this bother him.
“Gordon had a tough day, ending it by feeling quite unwell. As he admits, he just couldn’t find his rhythm and that affected him all day. He’d been out on his race bike prior to the round practising and was really happy with the set-up, but for whatever reason, this weekend just didn’t happen for him.”
MX1 Race 1: 1st Brad Anderson, 2nd Martin Barr, 3rd Kristian Whatley, 4th Alex Snow, 5th Jamie Law, 6th Nathan Parker, 7th Wayne Garrett, 8th Ross Rutherford, 9th GORDON CROCKARD (Suzuki), 10th Maarten Cremers
MX1 Race 2: 1st Brad Anderson, 2nd Martin Barr, 3rd Kristian Whatley, 4th Gert Krestinov, 5th Alex Snow, 6th Nathan Parker, 7th Jamie Law, 8th Jamie Smith, 9th Wayne Garrett, 10th GORDON CROCKARD (Suzuki)
MX1 Race 3: 1st Brad Anderson, 2nd Kristian Whatley, 3rd Martin Barr, 4th Gert Krestinov, 5th Nathan Parker, 6th Jamie Law, 7th Alex Snow, 8th Ross Rutherford, 9th Wayne Garrett, 10th Tony Craig
MX1 Overall: 1st Anderson, 2nd Barr, 3rd Whatley, 4th Snow, 5th Parker, 6th Law, 7th Krestinov, 8th Garrett, 9th Rutherford, 10th Simmons, 12th CROCKARD (SUZUKI)
MX1 Championship Standings: 1st Anderson (323), 2nd Whatley (291), 3rd Barr (247), 4th Sword (197), 5th Dougan (194), 6th Krestinov (188), 7th Church (183), 8th Snow (177), 9th Parker (168) 10th Law (150), 13th CROCKARD (112)
MX2 Race 1: 1st Jake Nicholls, 2nd Arnaud Tonus, 3rd MEL POCOCK (SUZUKI), 4th Elliott Banks Browne, 5th Neville Bradshaw, 6th Bryan Mackenzie, 7th Steven Clarke, 8th Ray Rowson, 9th Lewis Tombs, 10th Mattis Karro
MX2 Race 2: 1st Arnaud Tonus, 2nd Jake Nicholls, 3rd Bryan Mackenzie, 4th Elliott Banks Browne, 5th MEL POCOCK (SUZUKI), 6th Ray Rowson, 7th Mattis Karro, 8th Zach Osborne, 9th Stuart Edmonds, 10th James Cottrell
MX2 Race 3: 1st Arnaud Tonus, 2nd Zach Osborne, 3rd Jake Nicholls, 4th Elliott Banks Browne, 5th Steven Clarke, 6th Neville Bradshaw, 7th Mattis Karro, 8th Bryan Mackenzie, 9th Conor Walkley, 10th Stuart Edmonds
MX2 Overalll: 1st Tonus, 2nd Nicholls, 3rd Banks Browne, 4th Mackenzie, 5th Clarke, 6th Karro, 7th Rowson, 8th POCOCK (SUZUKI), 9th Osborne, 10th Bradshaw
MX2 Championship Standings: 1st Tonus (329), 2nd Osborne (300), 3rd Banks Browne (267), 4th POCOCK (214), 5th MacKenzie (181), 6th Rowson (175), 7th Karro (148), 8th Clarke (133), 9th Nicholls (123), 10th Keet (122)