With the Met Office forecasting a sunny Saturday deteriorating into a soaking Sunday for the final weekend of the 2012 Red Bull Pro Nationals championship, promoter Events 22 took the bold decision to reverse the established timetable and run the pro MX1 and MX2 classes a day ahead of schedule.
The decision paid off and 4,000 spectators turned up at Culham Park near Abingdon in Oxfordshire to watch Frenchman Nicolas Aubin and South African Neville Bradshaw sew-up the MX1 and MX2 titles in near perfect conditions. Both riders had healthy leads going into round seven of the series but the championships were by no means done deals with Aubin having to fight off aggressive challenges from Martin Barr who lay second in the MX1 series and Bradshaw having to deal with the pain of a midweek shoulder dislocation.
“In the first moto I was coming back through like I normally do and then Martin Barr started to play games with me which was a bit stupid so the first moto I did some mistakes,” explained Nico. “In the second one I didn’t make the best start but I thought about the championship and just rode it out to the end to try and get this title. I don’t like to ride like that but it was more important for me to win the championship and I am really, really happy.”
“It was an unbelievable day really,” admitted Nev. “On Thursday I was wondering whether I would even be able to ride and would lose the championship because of the shoulder dislocation. After winning the title in the first race for the second I decided to go for it. It was an awesome race and I actually felt more pumped in that one than winning the championship – it was a real nice race, I got a good rhythm, really stuck to it and I’m really happy with how it turned out.”
With virtually a full-compliment of entries across all classes it was a great show of support from the riders so late in the season, especially given Sunday’s monsoon-like conditions that turned the day’s three Red Bull Elite Youth Cup blocks of racing into wars of attrition.
With the BW85cc title already decided in favour of Josh Gilbert at the previous round there were three titles up for grabs in the UK’s premier youth motocross series. In the Rookies class the championship went to 18-year-old Jake Millward with two races still to run while 12-year-old Keenan Hird was equally dominant in the SW85cc division. There was heartbreak for 65cc series leader Christopher Mills who only needed to finish his final moto to clinch the title but two laps from home his KTM seized and the crown went instead to his 11-year-old Powerband Racing team-mate Tom Grimshaw.
It was a weekend of two halves for the racers of the British 2-Stroke Championship with the Open class pilots getting three motos on a super sunny Saturday and the 125cc riders having to dig deep with a trio of mudders the following day.
With Open class Expert leader Matt Moffat still carrying an injury there was at one point a question mark over whether the defending champ would even race but ‘The Moff’ is a tough cookie and he duly showed up and did enough in the opening two motos to make it two titles on the trot.
Having won 14 out of the last 15 motos Robbie Waller has dominated the Open Juniors this season. With a 2-4 card from the opening two races he did enough to win the championship before sitting out the final moto to rest an injury.
In Sunday’s rain-lashed motos Ryan Snaith picked up the Junior 125cc title with second overall on the day good enough for the crown.
Fittingly, the 2012 series signed off in scintillating style with the very last race of the season seeing 2-Stroke 125cc Expert contenders Lewis King and Carlton Husband rolling up behind the gate tied on points. Carlton took the title, Lewis took defeat on the chin and the pair took the championship to another level.