Buildbase Honda’s Josh Gilbert raced to his second consecutive Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean MX2 podium finish at round three of the series at a tough and testing Canada Heights circuit on Sunday.
A fighting third in the opening 25-minute plus two lap moto after qualifying second on his CRF250R, Josh was held up by but narrowly avoided the carnage at the start of race two which claimed the championship leader and then managed to fight his way back through the field to finish fourth for third overall.
“It’s been a tough day but I’m happy to get another podium,” said Josh. “Obviously, I want to win so anything less than that is a disappointment to me but it’s coming together and I’ve got a great team behind me and a fantastic bike under me so I’ll take this result, build on it and move on.
“There are still another five rounds to go and I’m confident I can keep improving.”
Racing the CRF450R in MX1, Josh’s team-mate Lewis Tombs had a tougher day after being taken down in the first turn of race one and losing his rear brake – a huge disadvantage given the track’s dramatic changes in elevation.
Ending the first race in 12th, Lewis came home sixth in race two to finish the day in eighth overall to maintain his third place in the championship.
“I went down in the first corner in race one – I got hit from behind – and the impact took out my back brake so 12th was all I could get,” he said. “In the second race I started eighth but struggled to get into it at the beginning although at the end I was riding good.
“So it hasn’t been my best day but at least I was riding all right and I’ve kept hold of third in the championship by the skin of my teeth. It is what it is.”
Competing as a guest rider for the team in the highly-competitive MX2 Youth class, Japanese teenager Shiaru Honda got scores on the board in both motos with a pair of 20th-placed finishes.
Team boss Dave Thorpe knows all about the highs and lows of top-flight motocross racing and was taking the ups and downs of Canada Heights squarely on his chin.
“Both Josh and Lewis rode really well but both got caught up in first-turn misdemeanours which was really unfortunate for Lewis in the first race when he lost his rear brake.
“Josh was lucky because he could have gone down but he managed to save it although it took him from a third-placed start to 10th and for whatever reason it appeared to be really hard to pass today. He dug deep and rode very well. They both tried really hard and you couldn’t have asked for any more from either of them. They make me proud every time they race and that’s all I expect from them.
“Today has been a real team effort and everyone has worked hard to make sure we’ve come away with two solid results and maintained our positions in the MX1 and MX2 championships.”