With recent bad weather around the UK leaving many Motocross facilities waterlogged, Round 5 of the Red Bull Pro Nationals which was scheduled to be held at Whitby had to be changed due to a flooded infrastructure, which meant a return to Canada Heights in Kent for the Oakleaf Kawasaki Team, ironically Canada Heights was the venue of Round 3 just a few weeks ago, which saw the Youth’s compete on the Saturday but all of Sunday’s racing cancelled after heavy overnight rain.
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With Jake Millward looking to defend his Championship leaders Red Plate, and Tommy Alba continuing his return to racing after illness, all Oakleaf’s attention was on the Rookie class on Saturday. Qualifying started brilliantly for both Oakleaf riders as Jake set the fastest lap time, a massive 1.8 seconds faster than 2nd place with Tommy in 3rd 1.9 seconds behind Jake.
The afternoons racing was to turn into a mixed bag of results for both Oakleaf riders. Race 1 saw Jake hit the front early on a go on to take a convincing win, whilst Tommy battled away and came home in 3rd. Race 2 saw Jake looking for a repeat of the opening moto but it wasn’t to be as he went down hard on the opening lap , remounting at the back he bravely battled back to take 20th at the finish and gain a few precious points. Tommy was having another good ride and despite having to nurse his bike to the finish after suffering some minor mechanical problems, he took 3rd again.
Saturday’s final race saw Jake suffering from the effects of his earlier crash but he still rode well and managed to take a 4th but for Tommy it wasn’t as good a race as his previous 2 as his bike problems continued and he came through from last off the start to take 10th place at the finish.
Sunday’s opening race saw both Oakleaf riders suffer small crashes and mistakes, which left Jake to come through and finish in 5th, but a late spill from Tommy saw him drop out of the top 10, and he went on to cross the finish in 15th.
The 5th and final Rookie race of the weekend saw Jake and Tommy initially get great starts but crashes saw Jake in dead last and Tommy 15th after a lap, Jake as in race 2 battled on and came through to take 16th and some more valuable points at the finish, and Tommy battled away to claim 5th.
Jake’s weekend saw him only manage 7th overall for the weekend, and although he has seen his points lead slashed at the top of the standings he still retains the Championship lead by 8 points. Tommy finish 1 place above Jake overall to take 6th and he now lies in 12th in the championship despite missing over half of this seasons races.
Alex’s race day started well as he set the 7th fastest lap in Pro MX1 practice, he then backed this up by improving in Qualifying to set the 5th fastest lap.
In between Qualifying and Race 1 the heavens opened and a deluge of rain fell for around half an hour leaving many sections of track under water, making conditions for the opening moto quite treacherous.
As the riders exited the 1st turn in race 1, only the leader was identifiable as everyone else was covered it mud!, but Alex had got a great start and settled into 3rd place, and with the rider’s battling against track conditions just as much as other riders, Alex rode a steady and composed race to claim a fine 3rd place and a long anticipated place on the Pro podium for Oakleaf!.
Another good start from Alex in race 2 saw him well up again and some afternoon sunshine had seen the track dry out considerably since race 1, but this time out he was struggling to settle into his rhythm and a small mistake saw Alex drop back a couple of places and he went on to take 6th in Pro MX1.
Alex’s results for the day saw him go agonisingly close to taking a place on the overall podium as he ended the day tied 4th overall with 35 points just 1 point behind 3rd, he now lies in 5th in the championship with 2 rounds remaining and he remains the top Kawasaki rider in the standings.