Phoenix Even Strokes Kawasaki drove north to the newly built Oxford Motoparc in Abingdon for the final round of the 2022 Michelin MX Nationals this past weekend, with a point to prove and a championship to play for!
Expert MX2 rider Sam Atkinson, sitting second in the championship standings, knew it would take a significant swing in the points for him to claim victory, and he set about doing all he could early on with the third quickest time in the morning qualification session, two places ahead of his title rival.  In the first two races on Saturday the #127 would finish fourth and second to close the gap on the championship lead heading into the final day.  Atkinson would round out the weekend in a strong fashion, finishing second in both races to claim second overall.  The #127 managed to close his gap on the championship lead from 35 to 11 points over the course of the weekend to round out a hugely successful rookie year in the Expert MX2 class.

Pro MX1 rider Petar Petrov came into the weekend high on confidence following his podium at the last round at Hawkstone. The Bulgarian was fighting for championship points here in order to make a late rise up the championship standings, a 14 point deficit separated him from sixth place in the championship!  Petrov didn’t have things all his own way though, a DNF in race one meant everything rested on his race two performance and despite a bad start the #152 found good pace aboard his KX450 in the second half of the race to pass up to sixth place which was enough for 15 points.  That late charge securing the Bulgarian rider his top six finish in the championship.

In the Pro MX2 class it was a frustrating weekend for Carlton Husband who, despite showing good speed, would suffer crashes in both races to finish with a 7-DNF scorecard for 11th overall.
The team now head back south to regroup before the season culminates at their local Landrake circuit in Cornwall for the last round of the ACU British Championship on the 10th & 11th September.

Pro MX2 Rider – Carlton Husband #6: “Wasn’t the best weekend for me, the riding was good, and I felt good on the bike, but a couple of silly mistakes cost me in both races!  In the first race I got a good start but then hit the back of another rider and had to charge back through the pack to 5th, but then had a fall later in the race which ruined any chance of a good finish, so I finished seventh.  In the last race I got out of the gate well and felt good on the bike, making some good passes, but then went down fairly hard trying to make a pass and the bike was pretty bent up.  So not the best results, but I’m still happy with my speed and it’s just a shame that this was the last round of the championship!  Big thanks to Barry and the team, I’ve really enjoyed the year!” 

Pro MX1 Rider – Petar Petrov #152: “ It was an average weekend really, practice went ok, on a new track and I didn’t feel like I really got a clean lap in. But first moto we had a mechanical issue which meant I had to pull into the pits early on, we tried to get it fixed and I managed to go back out, even though I was a few laps down I managed to keep pace with the leaders and watch their line choices which really helped build my confidence for race two. For the second moto I had a really bad start and began to develop arm pump early on, but I finally found my rhythm and started to make passes, moving up to 6th place. Some mistakes here and there, but overall I was happy with race two.  I’m now looking forward to finishing the season strong at Landrake next weekend.  Big thanks as always to the team for all their hard work, let’s give it one last push for Landrake!”

Expert MX2 Rider – Sam Atkinson #127: “ A pretty good weekend to finish off the MX Nationals season! After qualifying third I was confident heading to the line for race one, but I struggled a little to make passes and ended up fourth.  Race two was better and I felt like I found better lines which helped me get up into second where I finished.  On the Sunday I got a poor start in race three but battled up from sixth to second which was pleasing, I felt like I was really starting to figure the track out by this point.  The final race was another P2 finish for second overall on the day and second in the championship.”