Honda’s Graeme Irwin raced to his third consecutive maximum score at round six of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean at Blaxhall on Sunday to open up a 52-point lead in the MX1 title chase over Gert Krestinov.
His double win at the sandy Suffolk circuit means the Irishman could clinch the biggest prize in domestic motocross one round early at Preston Docks at the end of this month.
After qualifying second, Graeme holeshot the opening moto on his CRF450R before the race was red-flagged following a crash. From the restart he again led the field around the opening turn and was never headed, extending his advantage to over 10 seconds at the end of the 25-minute plus two lap race.
He again reacted quickest when the gate dropped for race two and despite slipping to second in the early stages the victory never looked in doubt. Moving back to the front at half-distance he put on a display of controlled aggression to win by over seven-and-a-half seconds.
“There was a lot of talk before this race from a lot of guys who were all coming here to win so it’s good to be the man who actually did win both races today,” he said. “This is all that matters to me – I don’t care about any other series, this is the one that I want to win and to go 1-1 here and extend my lead to 52 points is perfect.
“I can wrap the title up one round early at Preston Docks and that’s the goal now.”
Former champ Brad Anderson took a fine second overall, while it was a career best ride for Yamaha’s Ryan Houghton who ended up on the podium in MX1 for the first time, beating Gert Krestinov by a single point.
It was disaster for Elliott Banks-Browne, one of the favourites coming into the event. He crashed in the first moto and was knocked out. He was ruled out of action for the rest of the day.
In the MX2 class, Hitachi KTM new-boy Todd Kellett took his first ever moto win, in race two, and first overall win from Mel Pocock and Josiah Natzke, who won the opening moto from Pocock and Lewis Tombs with Kellett fourth. Brad Todd was fifth from series leader Ben Watson. It was the best rides of the year for Pocock and Tombs.
Second time out, Kellett was hounded all the way by his team-mate Watson but held on for his first win, with Martin Barr third from Josh Spinks, Pocock and Liam Knight.
Barr struggled out of the gate all day and paid the price with his 6-3 scorecard leaving him just two points off the podium and only eight away from the overall win.
“It’s been a really frustrating day for me today,” said Martin. “I qualified fifth which gave me a decent enough gate pick but unfortunately my starts today were very poor.
“In the first race I spun too much and I think I passed the mechanics’ area in 22nd on the opening lap so I had a lot of work to do. I dug deep and kept my head down and eventually got back to sixth which was frustrating because my lap times were really good.
“In race two I wanted to go out and put it right and my jump was a lot better but me and the rider beside me hooked bars and I almost went down.
“Again, I had a lot of work to do on a track that’s not easy to pass on but I kept pushing and worked my way back up to second but on the last lap I made a mistake and Ben Watson got better drive out of a corner and jumped by me.”
With two rounds to go Martin sits second in the championship, 42 points behind the leader Watson as Kellett has moved into third in the series.
“I want to be winning races and clawing championship points back on Ben,” added Barr, “but there’s still 100 points up for grabs and I’ll just keep putting my work in.”
In the penultimate round of the two-stroke series, James Dunn romped to a double win from Nev Bradshaw and Manuel Lacopi. Series leader Mike Kras was fifth overall, and now has just seven points advantage over Bradshaw. Lewis Trickett, still third in the series, has quit racing this year to recover from a recurring injury so didn’t race. Photos Nuno Laranjeira.