The seventh and penultimate round of the ACU Maxxis British Championship arrived at Duns in Scotland this weekend, with the prospect of both the MX1 and MX2 titles being decided, Brad Anderson needed to beat Gareth Swanepoel on the day to claim the MX1 title, and in MX2 Stephen Sword had to hope for his team-mate Jake Nicholls to finish a few places behind him to win the title on the fantastically prepared Johnny Douglas-Hamilton prepared circuit.
As daylight broke on the Sunday, riders, teams and spectators alike were greeted with rain and apart from a brief break at the end of practice the rain never stopped all day, which made the track treacherous, first off causing the cancellation of the opening support class race to preserve the track for the championship races, but after the first block of races was completed the decision was made that the weather was too bad and the second races were cancelled bringing a premature end to the event, conditions were so bad the not a single rider in either class took the opportunity to have a sighting lap before their race!
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Shaun Simpson returned from injury, and grabbed the MX2 holeshot; with Stephen Sword on the KTM UK machine in second place and apart from a brief moment when the two swapped places Shaun led the whole race to take the win, Sword’s main championship rival Jake Nicholls was struggling in the mud and finished down in 14th, and with the bad weather cancelling the second race those results were enough to give him Swordy the 2009 British MX2 Championship title. Third place was Martin Barr on the Relentless Suzuki after he got the better of Mel Pocock on his UTAG Yamaha.
After being presented his the Number 1 plate, Sword said ”It feels really good to win here, winning the title in Scotland where my family are from is a really special moment for me. I want to thank everyone who has helped me this year especially my family and everyone at KTM UK. It’s great win the MX2 title in what is my last year in the class because of the new age restrictions in GP’s meaning that I have to ride MX1 next year”
Another rider returning from injury was Billy MacKenzie on the CAS Honda in MX1 and just as Simpson did in MX2, he grabbed the holeshot but unfortunately for MacKenzie he crashed a few laps in and that dropped him down to second, giving the lead to Brad Anderson and he soon pulled away from MacKenzie. As the race progressed MacKenzie was begining to suffer on his return and was passed by Ray Rowson on the Buildbase CCM. Anderson had now pulled out a mighty lead and cruised to victory with his nearest title rival Gareth Swanepoel finishing 5th, and as with MX2 the cancellation of the second race meant that the championship was decided and Anderson had won his maiden British title.
On the podium Anderson said ”I’ve been trying so hard and to get to this level to win it’s just amazing. I just wanted to make sure I stayed on the bike and didn’t do anything stupid in that race, then do it again in race 2, but it was cancelled! Thanks to everyone thats supported me through the year,. I’m now looking to getting picked for the Des Nations team, to finish off a fantastic year!”
Images and words by Ade Threasher