The incredible 100% podium record for both Crendon Fastrack Honda riders Josh Gilbert and Conrad Mewse continued at the second round of the MX Nationals at the brand new Monster Mountain circuit in South Wales.
The pair have been together on the podium at every single national-level championship round this season. And on Sunday, both riders tied on points with a win and a second place each. Mewse won the first race while Gilbert clinched the decisive second moto, so the Cornishman took the overall victory. It meant Gilbert moved into second place in the six-round series and Mewse extended his championship lead.
Just a week after Mewse and Gilbert put their Crendon Fastrack Hondas on the podium in the ACU British motocross championship at Blaxhall with a classic one-two that saw Mewse take the red plate, the pair were in stunning form at the man-made new circuit near Merthyr Tydfil. In qualifying, the Honda CRF450Rs once again dominated, with Mewse quickest from Gilbert who was just a fifth of a second back.
In the opening race, both Honda men had decent starts but Mewse decided to be tentative into the first turn as it had been watered to keep the dust down. He wisely went wide to avoid trouble and two turns later was in second place behind defending champ Harri Kullas. Mewse instantly pounced and went by, then set about building a gap at the front as he had a clear track and was feeling comfortable.
Gilbert was third on the opening lap and admitted he wasn’t 100% comfortable with bike set-up on the track which featured gravelly, hard sections, deep ruts in corners and huge jumps. So he wisely took a lap to get dialled into the circuit then pounced on Kullas and was quickly by into second spot. Mewse had seized the chance and edged away from the chasing Gilbert, as the Crendon Fastrack Hondas pulled away from the chasing pack. Mewse took the win from Gilbert, with third place 10 seconds adrift.
In the second race it was the start that was to play a crucial part in the race as Kullas once again led but this time Gilbert was quickly on his tail while Mewse got bunched up with other riders. Gilbert soon put a decisive move to take the lead on the first lap and the pair used the clear track to get away from the pack.
Mewse rode with amazing track craft and confidence to work his way past his rivals and managed to get through to third place by the third lap. But Gilbert was setting a blistering pace at the front and with the Honda duo being very close on lap times from mid-race onwards, Mewse couldn’t reel in his team-mate. But he did manage to catch up to Kullas and make the pass into second place on the last lap. The race win and overall victory belonged to Gilbert with 2-1 scores, with Mewse’s 1-2 gave him second although both ended the day with 47 championship points.
Gilbert said: “What a great day and on a track that ended up so gnarly. There were big holes on the jump take-offs so you had to be so precise and careful. The layout is huge – like an AMA National track. And the team did a good job of looking after it over the weekend.
“In the first race I struggled with the feel of the bike and wasn’t too comfortable, so I didn’t push too hard. We made some bike changes and I came out swinging in the second race as I just felt more comfortable. It was as simple as that, I could pick my lines and edged away at the front then maintained a nice gap there.
“The bike was just perfect so I must give a big thanks to my mechanic and the team for doing such a great job again. Winning is a big team effort and I’d really like to thank everyone involved.”
Mewse said: “Another solid day and I leave with the red plate and have extended my lead. And that first race was just awesome for me. They’d put down water in the first corner so I was a bit hesitant there. I went round there in fourth or fifth place but made sure I didn’t follow anyone, so I could carry my corner speed through the next section of track – the rollers. And by the third turn I was in the lead.
“It was total intensity on the first lap to get a gap then I settled in and rode my own race. I was riding with a great rhythm and didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard. The second race I didn’t get a great start which really made a big difference. I was buried in traffic in the first few laps and had to come through from a long way back. But I got my head down and came through to second place.
“I hold the red plate in both the MX Nationals and Revo championships so everything is going well.”
Team principal, triple world 500 champion Dave Thorpe said: “Yet again it’s another incredible performance by everyone at the team, with our riders proving just how good they are against tough competition. Monster Mountain was a great result for the team and the hard work continues as we try to win both main championships this year.
“I have to give a big thank-you to the hard work put in by our riders, mechanics, team partners and sponsors who make it all possible.”