Sunshine greeted the Buildbase Honda team at the historic Hawkstone Park circuit in Shropshire for the sixth round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship.
The traditionally demanding track was in superb condition as MX2 riders Aubin and Booker headed out for practice and timed training. Times at the top of the leader-board were nudged faster and faster every lap with Mel Pocock eventually leading the Superpole 12 riders for the final, one-lap decider. Aubin found the lines AND was the only racer to nail a breath-taking triple jump to blitz the opposition. Booker took eighth spot.
MX2 Moto 1 saw a titanic battle at the front of the field between Elliott Banks-Browne and Mel Pocock, while Aubin and Booker were forced to work from poor starts in mid-field. Aubin battled and was soon up to a lonely fourth place but steadily gaining on the leading trio who were now beginning to bunch up. EBB managed to pull a small gap but then disaster struck as the KTM stopped on a tight left hand bend and gifted the win to a grateful Pocock from Graeme Irwin and Aubin. Booker crossed the line in 15th place.
Moto 2 was better from the line for Aubin. Booker also snatched a great start and was pressuring the leaders in the top five until an over-excited move on the infamous Hawkstone down-hill put Booker and bike in the trees, though unhurt, he was shaken and subsequently retired. Aubin meanwhile was in third place and attacking Neville Bradshaw hard but at the front Banks-Browne made an error and went down handing Bradshaw the lead. With the win in sight, Aubin jumped past Bradshaw in and didn`t look back.
Moto 3 was MX1 and MX2 top riders combined and it was difficult to see how any MX2 bikes were going to lead the field down the 200 metre start straight and sure enough, the leading bunch were mainly MX1 bikes, headed by Honda mounted Max Anstie. At the end of the first lap Booker and Aubin were at the back of the pack after crashes and both soon retired leaving Strijbos to cruise through to win from Anstie. While just in the top ten in the race, EBB and Pocock battled once again for MX2 honours with Mel getting the better of Elliott at the flag finishing in 7th place.
Nico Aubin – “I was pleased to be on the podium again but a little bit lucky because of my last race DNF. It is good to be getting back to form and always great to win races. It is another step in the right direction and I will carry on trying hard. The bike was great this weekend and I was pleased to pass quite a few riders up the big Hawkstone hill. I haven`t raced here before but I enjoyed it and look forward to coming back”.
MAXXIS BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 6 – OVERALL RESULT
1 – MEL POCOCK – YAMAHA
2 – NICO AUBIN – HONDA
3 – NEVILLE BRADSHAW – HONDA
POSITIONS AFTER 6 ROUNDS
1 – MEL POCOCK – 343 POINTS
2 – ELLIOTT BONKS-BROWNE – 327 POINTS
3 – NEVILLE BRADSHAW – 271 POINTS
4 – STEVE LENOIR – 254 POINTS
5 – NICO AUBIN – 239 POINTS
In the MXY 85 class Josh Gilbert once again fought for top honours. The rough track was super-tough for the small bikes, but second place in qualifying gave Gilbert a fighting chance.
After a good start and a steady ride, a second place in moto 1 could not be matched in moto 2 when a mid-field start left him battling into the top ten. Seventh place at the flag and third overall were the rewards for the day.
Josh Gilbert – “I wasn`t feeling too well when I arrived at Hawkstone, I was a bit sick and hadn`t slept properly for a couple of nights. This isn`t the track to race if you`re not 100% so I was quite pleased with my day really”.
MXY 85 OVERALL RESULTS
1 – GRADIE FEATHERSTONE – KTM
2 – WILL KEOGH – KTM
3 – JOSH GILBERT – HONDA
POSITIONS AFTER 6 ROUNDS
1 – WILL KEOGH – 81 POINTS
2 – JOSH GILBERT – 75 POINTS
3 – TODD KELLETT – 75 POINTS
4 – GRADIE FEATHERSTONE – 75 POINTS
5 – JORDAN ECCLES – 68 POINTS
The Buildbase Honda team head back to Canada Heights next week for round four of the Red Bull Pro National series.