Sunday saw the Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki team make the long trip town to Exeter for the final round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship. For the final round of the year the LPE team went into the event with a four rider line up. With the recent bad weather in the South West the team were surprised to find the track in superb condition ready for racing.
Sunday started with the MX2 qualifying session and guest rider for the team Steven Lenoir produced a solid lap time to progress into the Superpole session. Returning rider David Goosen was making his first Maxxis appearance of the season and posted a 27th fastest time. In the Superpole Lenoir was able to improve his time and move into 6th place. In the MX1 class, young Connor Walkley was making his second appearance on the 450f alongside Gordon Crockard who would be testing the new 2013 machine for the team. Both riders produced solid lap times to finish in 14th and 15th for Crockard and Walkley.
After the lunch break it was time for the first race of the day and both Lenoir and Goosen suffered with poor starts and had to work forward. Lenoir quickly battled his way into the points and went on to finish in 11th. For Goosen it was to challenging race as he worked his way up to as high as 22nd before finishing in 27th.
The first MX1 race of the day saw both riders make mid pack starts, Walkley quickly moved into the points and set about closing in on the top 10, for Crockard it was to be a slower progress as he made it into the points for 19th place. Walkley eventually went on the finish in 12th place in his first British Championship race in MX1.
The second MX2 race of the day saw Lenoir make a better start to the race and was quickly into the top 10. Lenoir continued to push forward and finished in 7th place. Goosen had another tough race after a poor start left him with a lot of work to do. Goosen eventually finished in 31st place and missed out on Super Final at the end of the day.
The second MX1 race of the day again saw the pair make average starts, but Walkley quickly made a number of moves on the first lap and was into 15th place. Walkley was looking good in 15th and was making moves forward towards the top ten until a crash on the 3rd lap left Walkley a lap down and with a lot work to do. Crockard again had a steady race and finished in 19th place, while Walkley recovered to 27th place.
The final race of the season would be the mixed race, with both Lenoir and Walkley in the race. The race suffered a false start and a red flag after another rider hit the gate. After a 30 minute delay the race was restarted and Walkley produced his best start of the day and rounded the first corner just outside of the top 12. For Lenoir things didn’t go as well as a crash on the opening lap left the French rider at the back of the field and with a lot of work to do. As the race went on Walkley was able to settle down and finish in 13th place in the race and 9th MX1 rider for 14th overall on the day from two race results. Lenoir would eventually finish in 21st place in the race and 9th MX2 rider just outside the points and take 9th overall on the day and 6th in the Championship standings.
I gained a lot of valuable technical information from racing the new 2013 KXF450 in full standard trim. I used the event as a test to contribute to part of the preparation programme for next season’s championship attack from the team. Putting the bike through the race weekend gave great feedback and had many positive benefits. My personal results were irrelevant and I can take the 19th place finishes in my stride without embarrassment. I will have more chances to race for podium finishes in the future.
I’ve had a lot of fun day today and scored some good points in my first Maxxis MX1 race despite crashing and not scoring points in race two. I still managed a top 15 overall, so I’m happy with that. I’d just like to say a huge thanks to Steve and everyone else for all there help along the way.
Today has been pretty good, I had a problem with the back brake on my race bike in practice and had to use my spare. In the first race I rode pretty good and kept the same pace all race and then towards the end I got a little bit of arm pump and lost a couple of places. Then in the second race it was a lot rougher and I struggled a lot and never got into my groove. I’ve got a lot of work to do before next year but I’m glad to be back after my knee injury.
Today was my first time on the Kawasaki bike and it was good, the track was ok but I never managed to get a good jump out of the gate. The first race I got a poor start and came back to 11th which was ok, then in the second race I got a better start and rode good and finished in 7th. In the Superfinal I got a really good start and then it was red flagged and in the restart I crashed in the opening corners. I finished in 21st and outside the points; I’d like to say a big thanks to Steve at LPE and the whole team.
Today’s been a good day and a good end to what has been a very tough and challenging year. In MX2 today it was David Goosen’s second race back from his knee injury, David looked good on the bike but struggled a bit with bike fitness and pace over the duration of the races, but it was good to see him out there and he finished both races which is a step forward in his recovery. As a guest rider in MX2 we had French rider Steven Lenoir, Steven struggled a bit with bike set up to begin with but that was to be expected as qualifying today was the first time he had ridden the bike. But he qualified well in 6th place during Superpole. In the races Steven suffered with bad starts but we made a few changes to the bike throughout the day which helped him to charge hard through the pack to finish in 9th overall. In MX1 we again had Connor riding the 450f and he proved again that he is more suited to the bigger bike. In the first race he had a 12th place finish and then in the second race he was 13th before a crash left him at the back of the field and having to recover the 27th. He made it into the Grand final and finished 13th in the race and was the 9th MX1 bike home, to finish in the top 10 of a MX1 race at the first attempt is a mega result. Gordon rode the new 2013 KXF 450 for us this weekend as a race test to get some data ready for next season, he had two point scoring rides and in doing so we gained some very good feedback, it has been a pleasure to have Gordon on the team riding our bike in the last four races to fill in for the injured Ray Rowson and I would like the thank him for the valuable feedback he has given us during testing and the races.. Finally I’d like to thank Kawasaki UK, Maxxis, Henderson Insurance, Links Plant and Equipment Ltd, Truck Links, Pro Circuit, Apico, Spiral GFX, Renthal UK, CI Sport and all the rest of the teams many loyal sponsors each and everyone of them are so very important to me and without them it just wouldn’t be possible to run the team, Also I want to thank all the team personnel and everybody involved on the team, the mechanics the truck drivers and all the team helpers for everything they have done this season, it’s been a tough year but thanks to everyone involved we got through it and ended the season with a smile on our faces looking forward to 2013.