Shaun Simpson made amends for his double DNF at the last round at Desertmartin by romping to a pair of unchallenged race wins at Hawkstone Park, round six of the Maxxis British championship.
The Scot took the lead on the opening lap of both races and made it look easy, especially in the first moto where he won by 37 seconds. Second time out, his rival Tommy Searle was never too far behind, but the KTM man controlled the pace to take the victory.
Searle was also second in the opening moto, despite riding in discomfort from ribs he injured recently. He pulled through to second place with couple of laps to go, using his superior fitness as his rivals slowed.
It means despite his injury meaning he wasn’t at full speed, Searle still has a healthy 49 point lead over Simpson with two rounds remaining – and 100 points still up for grabs.
As he has done many times this year, Honda’s Harri Kullas took the final place on the podium despite riding in pain with a shoulder injury. He inherited third place in the opener when Elliott Banks-Browne, making his return from injury in the Maxxis series, went out of second place when his Husky expired.
In the second moto, Kullas pulled the holeshot as Banks-Browne crashed out on the first turn and was run over by several bikes. He didn’t finish the race.
Kullas couldn’t hold off Simpson and Searle, and finally lost third place to another rider making his return from injury, Honda’s Jake Nicholls.
After ten months away from British championship racing due to complications to a broken leg, Nicholls ended the day on a high with that third place. His day started off much worse as he fell on the second corner and restarted last. He pulled through to a solid eighth place. His 8-3 scores meant he ended up fourth overall, just a point in front of Jake Millward and Mel Pocock who tied on points for fifth. Husky man Millward got the nod as his second race fifth place was higher than Pocock’s seventh. Millward was fifth in both motos while Pocock’s first ride ended in a fine fourth.
Also returning from injury was Honda’s Lewis Tombs. He was running near the front of the opening moto until he fell coming down Hawkstone’s hill. Battered and bruised, he remounted to finish the race 13th. With his back badly tweaked, he went to the line in moto two and was rewarded with ninth place.
Irishman Jason Meara, filling in for the injured Gert Krestinov on the Phoenix Kawasaki, proved his selection for the Irish Nations team is justified as he took a great seventh overall, in front of Jake Shipton and Jamie Law.
Brad Anderson struggled on the very fast track on his 250 two-stroke KTM and took tenth, while former pro rider and current AMCA championship ace Nev Bradshaw took 13th overall, a place in front of former AMCA champ Luke Burton. Bradshaw only decided to enter the race on Friday.
In the MX2 class it was a walkover for the Revo Husqvarna team with red plate holder Dylan Walsh winning both motos from his team-mate Alvin Ostlund. Walsh set the fastest time in qualifying, pulled two holeshots and was never headed in either moto. But Ostlund was right on his tail both times, chasing him over the line in nail-biting finishes.
Ostlund didn’t get the greatest start in the first moto and had to battle his way through to second. He caught Kiwi Walsh on the last lap but couldn’t make a pass. In the second moto Ostlund was right behind Walsh from the first lap but still couldn’t get by. With KTM’s Conrad Mewse and Bas Vaessen both out with injuries, it’s odds on one of the Husky men will win the title.
Third overall was Honda’s Josh Gilbert, who took third in both races. In the first moto he fell but remounted and took third. Second time out he was closer to the leaders but couldn’t get on terms with them on what he says is his least favourite track of the year.
With the next two rounds being on his preferred hard pack surface, he hopes he can beat the Husky men and edge closer to his first championship.
Veteran Martin Barr rode solidly for fourth overall, with two fourth-place rides. And fifth was rising star Ashton Dickinson, who held second place for much of the first moto to show he really does have the speed of the top men.
The results are HERE.