Good racing weather greeted the Moggstar KTM team on Sunday morning at Whiteway Barton in Devon. The hard-pack track, notorious for being slick in the dry and the wet, was watered and in good condition. The team was represented by Jim Murro, the Ratsep brothers Kristjan and Priit, Gavin Foulston and Tom Watts.
The morning qualifier started at 10:15 with Jim in eighth, just under 2 seconds off the pace set by Molson Kawasaki’s Ray Rowson. Priit and Kristjan were in twelfth and thirteenth respectively, a mere 4 milliseconds apart. Gavin qualified in twenty-third and Tom in
The first race was mixed for the team. Priit had the best start, in fifth, and capitalised on it well. After a brief battle with Ray Rowson and
Daniel Preston, Priit moved to fourth and remained there for a large period of the race. Preston dislodged him after the half-way mark, and
after a crash in the closing stages of the race, Priit was left in ninth. A last-lap manoeuvre returned him to eighth. Jim’s start in eighteenth was not the most stellar, but his recovery was. Within two laps, Jim returned to the top ten, and by the half-way point closed in on Priit. Priit’s misfortune was his gain and the resulting sixth place was well-deserved.
Kristjan’s progress from the back of the pack was steady. He made single-position progress in the early stages, but ran into competition in
Kevin Wells. A last-lap change in the front of the pack gave him a boost to seventeenth. Tom and Gavin also put solid work into their first race. Tom made good progress in the first half to a high of twenty-second, where a battle with Vytantas Bucas cost him a position. He regained twenty-second in the final lap.
In the second race Jim and Priit were the frontrunners of the team again. They started one position apart in ninth and tenth, but while Jim made a rapid ascent to the front, Priit ran a steady race in eighth. Jim tried his best to get a hold on the leader Jamie Law, but Ray Rowson entered the race for the lead with a few laps to go and relegated Jim to third. Priit was able to pass Lewis King and Luke Hill to end in sixth, his season best so far.
Tom, Gavin and Kristjan were caught up in the back of the pack, but paths diverged soon after. Tom crashed soon after the start and was left in the back of the pack. He made good progress throughout the race, moving up one position after another to the half-way point, where he settled into twenty-sixth. Displacing Ben Howard he moved into twenty-fifth with the two lap board out for the leaders. Gavin shadowed Kristjan briefly before battling with Ashley Thomas, Tom McEntee and Lee Skinner for twenty-third. Aaron Smith’s last-lap wheel puncture moved him up by one position to twenty-second.
Kristjan moved to twenty-third in the first lap and made solid progress to seventeenth. A post-race noise test failed and he was penalised a minute, leaving him seven positions down in twenty-fourth. The team overall for the day was a third for Jim, which he dedicated to
his grandfather, a sixth for Priit and a twenty-second for Kristjan. Gavin and Tom failed to earn any points.
Mark Bishop, team owner, described the day as very satisfactory, and hoped to make more improvements with the team riders to improve their starts and race performance.
Moggstar KTM will next race at Blaxhall Pits in Suffolk in two weeks for the third round of the CCM British MMX Championship.