For newcomer Pendrich KTM, the journey from its inception has been blessed with mixed fortunes. With its first journey down south to Kent, the team was reduced to just one rider, Bryan Mackenzie, as the junior rider in the team, Mark Perfect, attended a prior engagement elsewhere.
The free and qualifying sessions on Sunday morning were used to good effect, with Mackenzie clocking up a fifth place in the qualifying session and putting him in a good position to get a jump on the pack. But, as has been the story so far, fate intervened and with a ferocious rain storm turned the track into a slippery mud bath. To make matters worse, Mackenzie suffered a jammed rear brake that left him struggling to get going after the start. Dead-last around the first lap, Mackenzie soon pushed past several rivals, picking them off one by one and returning to eleventh. Once there, Mackenzie was forced to briefly pull in for a pit stop which cost precious positions. Restarting in fourteenth, Mackenzie recovered three positions to end the race in eleventh again.
The second race was a complete reversal. In second off the start this time around, Mackenzie soon pushed past his MX1 rivals, only to run into more interference that prevented him from reaching the class leader mere seconds ahead of him. With the last lap board out, Mackenzie found himself under pressure again, forced to concede his race position, but retaining second in the MX2 class. Two points short, Mackenzie had to make do with a fourth place, the podium so close, yet oh so far.
Commented team principal Mark Perfect: “We didn’t have Mark this weekend, he had arranged something else for this weekend when the date changed and it caused a clash. Mark wasn’t in contention for the championship or any position, so it didn’t make sense to spoil the plans he’d pre-arranged. With regards to Bryan, he qualified great, within a second or so of the leader, and he had great hopes going into the first moto, he finished eleventh which was not that great but the track change was a big contribution. The second race was much better, he got a great start, led the class, and with the big 450s in the same race got caught between Gert Krestinov and Lenoir and had a wee off. He is really satisfied and it’s perked us up that we had a great result in the second moto. Training went well this week, Bryan was feeling himself again, which makes everything a lot better.”
Bryan Mackenzie (#121): It’s been a pretty up and down day. I was really upset after the first race, because things weren’t going our way this week – again. In the first lap I got a stone lodged in my brake pedal which jammed the back brake on, and it took me forever to get back out. It’s been the story of the last month; I was really down after that. Then we managed to get a good start in the second race. I was fighting for the lead in the MX2 when I got stuck behind one of the 450 bikes for absolutely ages. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get past him. I feel it was my race to lose because I was going faster, and the MX2 leader I just couldn’t get past either and that was it and we ended up second. It was a bad start to the day but a nice ending.