Phoenix Tools Apico Honda Racing burst into life at the annual Hawkstone International this past weekend. Gert Krestinov was the sole representative for the squad, as Carlton Husband elected to sit out with a niggling injury. Husband has his sights set firmly on the first round of the domestic series in March.
In a stacked field, which consisted of two former world champions, Gert Krestinov recorded a respectable lap time and ended the initial qualifying session in fifteenth. Countless riders commented that the circuit was particularly one-lined this year, but that did not deter Krestinov in the first of two motos. After starting the twenty-five-minute moto right on the cusp of the top twenty, he pushed forward and cracked the top fifteen before the end. Fifteenth, just three seconds down on the rider in fourteenth, was where he eventually ended up.
The second moto was fairly similar for Gert Krestinov, as he started in twentieth again and then put his head down. Krestinov did not quite make it into the top fifteen this time around, however, as he rode past the chequered flag in sixteenth. Those consistent finishes were enough for seventeenth overall on the day. After considering the fact that there were no points on offer and he is still in need of more bike time, the decision was made to skip the Superfinal.
The opening round of the Maxxis British Championship will take place at the old-school circuit of Lyng on the second weekend in March. Both Gert Krestinov and Carlton Husband are focussed on improving their ranking from the previous season.
Gert Krestinov: “The Hawkstone International was not good for me. The conditions were tough and I was not ready to battle. I am coming back from a shoulder injury after having sixteen weeks off and I need more time on the bike. We will improve for Lyng in a month’s time and show a faster pace.”