The British summer paused as the Phoenix Even Strokes Kawasaki team headed north to a rainy Whitby for the penultimate round of the ACU British Motocross Championship.  A packed awning greeted the riders on Sunday morning as mechanics made preparations for the challenging track conditions caused by overnight rain.  The team also welcomed back Jason Meara to the MX1 class as he returned from injury to provide a full compliment of riders.

The morning qualification session started well for Petar Petrov who was looking to build upon his good pace at the last round, the Bulgarian rider qualified in eighth.  Jason Meara, on his comeback from injury qualified 14th.   Heading into race one the foggy conditions that met the riders in the morning had begun to clear and riders were met with an evolving track that was still slippery in places and dry in others.  Those track conditions would catch out Petrov in race who as he slid out in the second turn after as solid start which had placed him inside the top five.  Despite this early setback though he would race back to finish sixth.  An eventful race two began with Petrov sliding on the gate and having to charge back from outside the top 20.  He showed solid top five pace though and passed back up into eighth before a crash with another rider dropped him to 10th where he would finish.  His 6-10 scorecard was enough for seventh overall, matching his season-best points haul from Blaxhall.   Jason Meara meanwhile finished 14-14 for 15th overall following two consistent rides where he showed good speed throughout, giving him confidence heading into the tail end of the season.    

In the MX2 class Carlton Husband suffered a minor setback early in the morning qualification session when he crashed on a fast lap that was looking quick enough to put him inside the top five.  He would regroup quickly however to claim 11th with a quick lap as the chequered flag fell on the session.  In race one his KX250 fired out of the gate and into the top three before a collision with another rider dropped him to dead last, he would eventually finish 12th.  As the sun made an appearance for race two #6 lined up and rode his spare race bike to an impressive fifth place finish en route to securing seventh overall.

 Youngster Sam Atkinson would have a difficult weekend however, as he struggled to gel with the track and the difficult race conditions.  He would finish 24th in race one but fared better in race two, bringing his bike home in 18th position, for 19th overall.

MX1 Rider – Petar Petrov #152: “On the whole it was a positive day considering we had to make some bike changes early on Sunday due to the track conditions. First moto I got a good start, possibly my best of the year so far, and was riding top three but I went into the second turn maybe a little too aggressive, and so dropped back to 10th.  I settled quickly though and made my way back up to sixth but it was difficult to make passes as the track developed and become somewhat one-lined.    In the second race I slid off the gate and had a lot of work to do for the remainder of the race, but I’m pleased I made some good passes up to eighth.  My pace was quicker than the guys in front but I was taken out and had to settle for 10th.  I enjoyed the track, and felt like to rode well.  It’s a shame about the second race as I felt like we were capable of a top five today but I’ve got to give a big thanks to the team for their hard work in those challenging conditions. Time now to regroup for the last round at Landrake.”

MX1 Rider – Jason Meara #10: “Even though the results may not show it, I feel like I rode really well this weekend.  My first race start was terrible and I lost my goggles early on so had to make a pitstop, that put me way back from the rest of the pack but I was able to run at a really good pace for  the rest of the moto.  In the second race I got a much better start but got filled in on the second turn and once again had to ride most of the moto without goggles.  That, coupled with a small crash on the third turn, left me way back, but I focused on my pace and worked my way back up to 13th, almost claiming 12th on the line.  So overall I’m really happy with my riding given the circumstances, I just need to get better starts so I can battle higher up the race order.  A huge thanks has to go to the team who stuck by me the past few weeks whilst I’ve been injured.  Barry has given me the time to heal up correctly and come back strong and I’m now looking forward to Landrake to finish off the season on a high.

MX2 Rider – Carlton Husband #6:  “From a riding perspective it was a good weekend for me.  I really like Whitby so it was good to get back racing there after a few years.  In the qualifying session I was on such a good lap when I landed on a slick section of the track and the wheels just went from under me, it was a big one but I regrouped and went back out to claim 12th at the end of the session.  In the first moto I got a great jump out of the gate and was running top five out of the first turn when another rider collided with my front wheel and then a few other bikes rode over me.  The bike was carrying some damage, but I put my head down and just focused on working my way back.  I was charging for the remainder of the race, picking off as many riders as I could and eventually finished 12th, which I was over the moon considered I was dead last and way off the pack after the first lap.  Due to the damage in race one I lined up with the spare race bike for race two.  It was largely a stock KX250 and it got me out of the gate and straight into the top seven, from there I just focused on hitting my marks and rode solid into the top five.  Considering the challenges in race one I’m delighted to finish P7 overall and looking forward to the Michelin MX Nationals at Hawkstone next weekend.

Team owner – Barry Moore: “It was great to be back to a full strength team.  Carlton, after only his second race back had two strong rides, and his fifth in race two, on a stock bike, was brilliant.  Petar also had two strong rides, for seventh overall, a few little issues in the first race and a rider clearing him out in race two put paid to what could have been a top five overall. It was good to have Jason back under the awning after his injury and we were really pleased with his two consistent rides.  Sam struggled a little throughout the day though, the condition were obviously challenging and the track just wasn’t to his liking, but he dug deep and picked up a couple points in the last race.  But overall its great to have all the guys back in one piece and it was a pleasing weekend.”