Shaun Simpson’s return from a broken hand went from glory to disaster in both motos as the British championship hit the sand of Desertmartin in Northern Ireland.
In the first race, the tough Scotsman looked like he was going to chip away at Tommy Searle’s six-point series lead as he held the lead on his RFX KTM. But it started to smoke, and despite him risking a crash in case it locked up, Simpson still gave it his all. The ailing bike allowed Searle to close right in and it finally expired in front of the paddock, allowing Searle to pull away to an easy win and extend his series lead.
Yorkshireman Jake Millward, who won a moto in the last round at Blaxhall, took a fine second place. It was a case of KTM gremlins as Mel Pocock also lost third when his bike stopped but the crowd went mad as local hero Jason Meara took third place in his best ever ride. Jake Shipton took fourth from Irish Nations regular Stuart Edmonds.
In the second moto, Simpson went out on the team’s spare bike and pulled the holeshot. But in a bizarre repeat of race one, that bike also stopped in almost the same spot after just a lap.
Again it left Searle to take command and another win, extending his lead at the head of the championship to 55 from Simpson, in a week where he celebrated a deal to race a factory Kawasaki in the rest of the MXGP world championship.
Pocock made amends for moto one by taking second in the race, when Shipton briefly fell. That allowed James Dunn to take third, from Shipton and Millward.
Those results helped Millward take second overall with yet another podium with Shipton the final spot on the podium. And a surprise fourth overall was John Adamson, the former two-stroke specialist, thanks to eighth then sixth place rides.
In the MX2 class, Dutchman Bas Vaessen showed his sand riding prowess by taking the overall win with a holeshot-to-chequered flag ride in the opener giving him the moto win from Alvin Ostlund and local star Martin Barr in third.
Second time out, Kiwi Dylan Walsh took his Revo Husky to the race win ater a clear holeshot. But Vaessen took second to take the overall win. Third was Ostlund whose second and third place finishes gave him second overall from Walsh. Walsh had crashed in the first corner of moto one but came back to fifth in a staggering ride.
Josh Gilbert, winner of the last round and one point off the red plate behind Walsh, was second fastest in qualifying but lost fifth to Walsh in the first moto. Then he had a back wheel issue in race two and retired.
Walsh extended his series lead to six points over his team-mate Ostlund. Vaessen and Gilbert are both 18 points behind Ostlund.
Full results are HERE!