Much has been said about drought in Great Britain lately, but not much of that was evident at the third round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship in Lyng this past bank holiday weekend. Instead, teams were greeted by a distinctly moist paddock and track, and the weather did not improve much over the race day either.
The team’s MX2 rider, Sunny Thompson, just missed out on a top twenty start in qualifying, while MX1 rider Marc de Reuver found himself in eleventh place after his super pole session. Youth rider James Harrison came away with a thirteenth place after an early crash left him badly winded.
For Thompson, the first two races would prove to be difficult. In the first, a mid-pack start looked to be a move up the pack, but a crash on a tricky corner dropped Thompson back to thirtieth, from which it took him the remainder of the race to recover. The second race initially improved somewhat on the first with a start just outside the top fifteen, but a second crash in the same corner as before cost Thompson his hard-earned position. Restarting practically dead last, he soldiered on for most of the race before he ultimately pulled in.
The final race was proof that with just a little luck, things could get so much better. A brilliant start in twelfth turned into a heated battle for the same spot throughout the entire race. Fending off strong competition, Thompson found himself down one spot at the end of the race, collecting more points and twenty-second place on the day.
For de Reuver, the first race got off to an inauspicious start. Although off the start in seventh, de Reuver was forced to pull into the pits after three laps to resolve a handle bar problem. Bars re-tightened, the flying Dutchman showed why his nickname was so apt. After restarting in thirty-first place, de Reuver stormed up the pack to find himself a mere seven positions down from where he’d started. Races two and three proved that the first race incident was but a glitch. Perfectly executed starts gave de Reuver the ideal chance to fight back against his world championship rivals, ending both races in third, and taking fourth overall on the day.
For Harrison, the day was all about damage control. Trying to tough out his injury sustained earlier in the day, Harrison fought back from a mid-pack start in the first race to end in fourteenth, taking on one rival each lap. A much improved start in the second race was nearly undone by a small crash halfway in that cost Harrison several positions. Nonetheless, he took home enough points for a top fifteen finish on the day.
“The day got off to a slow start for us, but it soon came round in the MX1 race where Marc pulled in and got his bars done, and then came back through to fourteenth, which was really good for where he restarted,” explains team principal Dean Lane. “The next two races – awesome. He had a third in both, and the ride was really good, he was strong the whole race and I’m really happy. It’s a shame about the first one, but it’s points on the table and it’s a long year ahead.
“I feel sorry for Sunny, because he didn’t get the starts he wanted to. He was pulling forward in the first races but came off on the same corner in each. In the last race he held on for a thirteenth, which was really good. And James hurt his sides in qualifying this morning; with bad starts and in pain he didn’t really have the weekend we wanted, but again, he got some points on the board and it’s a long season ahead still.”
Sunny Thomson (#177): In the 1st race I was doing well, pulled through to 16th, then crashed. In the second race was going well again, came through to 14th, then crashed again in the same corner. in the third race I had a good start, was riding good and finished 13th so was happy with my riding today.
James Harrison (#153): I was looking forward to a good weekend with the team and my new mechanic. I had bad stomach pain from qualifying onwards; I tried to gain as many points as possible just by keeping going, but I’m off to see the doctor first thing on Tuesday to see what’s wrong.
Marc de Reuver (#212): I rode badly in practice, at the races it’s always different from practice in the week. In the super pole I ended 11th. In the first race I got a not-so-bad start, but I jumped down the hill and my handlebars shifted. I had to pull in to straighten the bars, then came back to 14th. In the second race I was 3rd, which was good, but I was more pleased with the third race, because I was battling with Karro and Simpson who ride GPs and they ride in the front, so that was good. Fourth overall, don’t think that’s so bad, but I didn’t expect that today.