Following a challenging week battling the elements in preparation for this weekend’s British Motocross Festival, a day of fantastic racing at Culham MX Park saw Graeme Irwin and Conrad Mewse take the honours in the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship, with Mike Kras earning the overall victory in the ACU British Two-stroke series yesterday.
While the weather had proven challenging for the organisers in the lead up-to the weekend, the bumper crowd were not disappointed as track conditions proved tough yet exciting for the day’s proceedings.
In the Maxxis ACU British MX1 Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean Graeme Irwin picked up where he left off last season, with a pole position in qualifying, while Elliott Banks-Browne was second and Jake Nicholls rounding out the top three. In the opening moto, local-hero Kristian Whatley took to the front, but a charging Brad Anderson had clinched the lead by lap three. It would be short-lived, as Irwin hunted down Anderson to take charge of the race on lap four of the 25-minute plus two-lap moto, and was closely followed by a hard-battling Nicholls, who pushed the Irishman to the chequered flag for the runner-up spot. Anderson was third and Evgeny Bobryshev recovered from a first lap incident, in which he was out of the top 15, for fourth place with Whatley in fifth.
In the second moto of the day Banks-Browne took the early lead, with Ivo Monticelli putting the pressure on, while the battle behind them ensued. Bobryshev gave the spectators a real show to climb the order and with two laps to go the popular Russian star took to the front to take the moto win, with Banks-Browne in second and Irwin third. Overall Irwin took the victory honours and takes home the series’ red plate, with Bobryshev second and Nicholls in third position. Anderson was fourth, and Whatley was fifth.
Graeme Irwin said: “The goal for yesterday was to hold onto the red plate and we achieved it. It wasn’t the easiest of days, we didn’t get the best start in the first one and then we got to the front with a little gap. I knew Jake was there behind me towards the end and we had to manage that, but he did come close and fair play to him for that, as I know he had an issue. In the second one I struggled to find the flow in the beginning and Bobby (Bobryshev) came by me, but I sat back for a lap or two and managed to get a pass back, but straight away he had a good line in that bottom bit and got me back. I could match his speed and knew he was going fast, but I got caught up with some of the riders and took third in the end. It’s been a good day and a nice way to start the championship. The track was in good shape, and we’ve come away with the result we wanted, so I’m happy.”
In the Maxxis ACU British MX2 class supported by Pro-Clean Hitachi KTM UK ASA Scaffolding’s Conrad Mewse put on a class performance to take both moto wins. The 18-year-old from Shepton Mallet topped all sessions, and after gating third in the opening moto the KTM-ace took control of the race and with it the win by 29 seconds. Honda mounted Josh Gilbert led the opening part of the moto, and took a well-earned second position with some fantastic riding, while Mel Pocock made the most of a good start to take third position at the chequered flag.
Although Mewse did not clinch the best start in moto two, with Josiah Natzke blasting to the front aboard his Buildbase Honda, the youngster went from eighth to the lead by the end of lap four and controlled the race from the front, again winning by nearly 30 seconds. Gilbert put on another strong performance from fourth at the end of lap one to take the runner-up spot and a superb podium second overall, with Liam Knight in third for fourth overall. Pocock’s fourth position in moto two gave him the final podium spot for Revo Husqvarna in third place.
Conrad Mewse said: “I came into this weekend not knowing what to expect. We’ve had a good start to the season and it’s been nice to get the British Championship underway. We had a perfect day, winning every session we had on track and by a considerable margin, so I’m really happy. The team has done a great job, and Graeme also did a good job in the MX1 class. It’s been a fantastic weekend and I’m happy with where I’m at. I thought the track was going to be a lot wetter than it turned out – we thought it might have even been waterlogged, but the organisers have done a fantastic job. There were plenty of lines out there, it was really technical and it made for some great racing. I had my work cut out in the last one, as I had to come through, but it was technical and that helped me. The event was amazing – I always love racing in the UK, and especially in the British Championship. It’s my first year doing it and we’ve had a great start.”
In the ACU British Two-Stroke championship the battle was on with Mike Kras taking both moto wins, while Ashley Wilde took a runner-up spot double. Neville Bradshaw went 6-3 for the final podium position.
1 1 Graeme Irwin 45 25 20
2 777 Evgeny Bobryshev 43 18 25
3 45 Jake Nicholls 40 22 18
4 60 Brad Anderson 35 20 15
5 227 Kristian Whatley 30 16 14
6 119 Ryan Houghton 28 15 13
7 44 Elliott Banks-Browne 25 3 22
8 95 Daniel Thornhill 25 13 12
9 153 James Harrison 25 14 11
10 41 Erki Kahro 18 10 8
11 57 Tony Craig 18 11 7
12 128 Ivo Monticelli 16 – 16
13 37 Gert Krestinov 12 12 –
14 25 Jamie Law 11 2 9
15 162 Stuart Edmonds 10 – 10
1 426 Conrad Mewse 50 25 25
2 3 Joshua Gilbert 44 22 22
3 119 Mel Pocock 38 20 18
4 134 Liam Knight 36 16 20
5 115 Ashton-Lee Dickinson 30 18 12
6 41 Alexander Brown 28 15 13
7 33 Josiah Natzke 27 11 16
8 148 Michael Eccles 22 8 14
9 66 Lewis Tombs 20 13 7
10 331 Jordan Eccles 17 6 11
11 180 Josh Spinks 15 – 15
12 50 Martin Barr 14 14 –
13 171 Dexter Douglas 13 9 4
14 98 Todd Kellett 12 12 –
15 303 Jake Millward 10 – 10