Mike Kras retained his ACU British Two-stroke title with a champion’s performance at the fourth and final round at Hawkstone Park on Sunday.
After three rounds the tall Dutchman was sitting pretty with a 21-point lead. He topped the morning’s qualification session comfortably and was leading the opening moto when he was forced to pit for a new silencer. This dropped him back to seventh at the flag which cut his lead to 10 points.
There were tense scenes under the GL12 Racing KTM awning between motos but second time out he drew on his many years of experience of top-flight racing and maintained a safe second position to the flag to retain the title by seven points.
Kras said: “I was looking forward to this one. It is the most far away from me but I like this track and, of course, the famous hill is always awesome. Timed practice went perfect and I was two seconds faster and in the first race I was leading by more than 10 seconds – I was already taking it easy because I wanted to save the bike – and then the silencer came off which nobody can predict.
“I knew I had to do one slow lap to give my mechanic the chance to get a new silencer so then I came into the pit and had a new one put on to give me a chance to finish the race and that’s what saved the day I think.
“In the second race I just wanted to keep the bike together. I was a little bit faster than Ashley [Wilde] but I didn’t take any chances so I just followed him and we pulled away from the rest. I knew second was good enough so it was a good day but a little bit more exciting than I wanted.
“It feels good to win the title again and if I get the chance with Bob we can go for the hat-trick because it’s a great class and I love coming to England. This class is obviously a little less faster than the EMX300 but still anything can happen and Ashley rode awesome the second race.”
Team boss Bob Buchanan said: “We have won the British Two-stroke Championship for the second year running. I have to thank everyone who has helped us do it but I can’t mention everyone here and do not want to single anyone out.
“Hawkstone was a struggle and highlighted how massively underfunded we are. Up until then we hadn’t lost a race in this championship but, still, GL12 Racing’s Mike Kras is the champion – again!”