A stone’s throw away from the M1 motorway lies Milton Park, the home for the fourth round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship. For Evotech Stevens Honda’s Neville Bradshaw, this is quite literally the closest race to home, since he is a citizen of Northampton, a short stroll away.
With Saturday’s scorching weather but a precursor of what was to await riders on Sunday, the morning’s qualifying got off to a good start with Bradshaw qualifying in fifth after the super-pole. Jordan Divall, the team’s junior MX2 member, found himself in thirty-first.
Although off to a blinding start in the first race, Bradshaw hit the deck a lap later, restarting in thirteenth. Working hard on the increasingly rutty track, he was able to make good progress before the halfway mark. After putting pressure on rival Edmonds for several laps, he was able to continue his journey up the pack, closing in on, and passing two more rivals to end the race in fifth. The second race saw Bradshaw playing it smart, taking care not to repeat the mistake made in the previous race and challenging fellow Honda rider Aubin time and time again for his position. Although the challenges did not succeed, Bradshaw crossed the line in third, putting him in prime position for the super-final at the end of the day.
In the super-final, a mixed-class race composed of the top twenty finishers of each class, Bradshaw got off to a crowded mid-pack start. With dust and the blazing sun making conditions very difficult, he had to choose his moments to pass carefully, ascending the pack position by position to end the race in eleventh overall, and fourth in the MX2 class. With sufficient points collected, he found himself with a well-deserved podium spot in second overall on the day.
For Divall on the other hand, the day was one best forgotten. A start in the back of the pack improved with gains in every lap, but halfway in, struggling with the heat, Divall found himself making mistakes, costing him valuable positions. The decision to pull in was not taken lightly, but he felt it was best to regroup and try again in the second race. The second race started off better than the first, but a small crash dropped Divall by several positions. With gritted teeth, he pulled through, keeping his position throughout the race to end in a disappointing thirty-first place.
Team principal Matt Hutchins was thrilled with the team’s podium at the end of the day: “Today’s been a fantastic day for us, Neville was second overall, which gives us some good points in the championship, so everyone’s really pleased,” he stated. “Jordan struggled a bit again today though, so there are a few things we need to go and work on for the next round.”
Neville Bradshaw (#272): The qualifying was alright, I was fourth in the first session and fifth in super-pole In the first race I was third in the first two laps and then I went down, went back to thirteenth, and managed to come back to fifth again, which was a pretty good ride. In the next race had a much better start in third and stayed there, had a good battle with Aubin the whole moto and stayed in third, in the last race I am not sure where I finished but I was third or fourth in the MX2 class for a second overall for the day. As a whole, the day was good, I made up some points in the championship, pulled away from the people around me, and second overall is a podium for the team which is always good. Now I just have to crack on and am looking forward to the Red Bull next weekend and try to get the red plate in that.
Jordan Divall (#63): I struggled a lot this weekend. I was thirty-first in qualifying. I’ve been really struggling with my starts also; in the first race I didn’t get a good start and worked my way through the pack, then my fitness started to come in and I started to drop back and felt real dangerous. I decided to pull in before I hurt myself. In the second race, I got a good jump, but got crowded out in the first corner. The same thing happened again; I started to come through, then hit the wall again. I definitely know what to work on this week and start to knuckle down.