Team KTM UK
Race report –British Motocross Championship Rd 3
Rain, mud and ruts greeted the Team KTM UK riders – Shaun Simpson, Alex Snow and James Noble – for round three of the Maxxis British motocross championships held at Torrington in West Devon. Despite the bad weather and difficult conditions the on-track action was as exciting as ever and there was plenty of bar to bar racing and an abundance of rider errors that made for a very entertaining day’s racing.
After the gate dropped for the day’s opening MX2 class moto and the 35 riders headed up the start straight and around turn one it was Shaun Simpson who was able to dive into the lead entering turn two. His glory was short lived however as the young Scotsman slipped off his machine exiting the corner and had to restart at the back of the pack. Alex Snow meanwhile was running in the top five until a crash of his own saw him slip down to seventh.
While Simpson battled through the pack to an amazing fourth place finish on his 250SX-F Snow suffered some small electrical problems, but was still able to finish 11th at the end of the 30-minute plus two lap race on what can be considered his home circuit of the Maxxis tour.
Moto two was held in much drier conditions and Simpson was able to take full advantage of a tangle between early race leaders Mike Brown and Stephen Sword to move ahead of the pack on the second lap. Never looking back from this point Shaun took his third moto win of the 2008 series to move into second place in the championship standings.
While Simpson had it all his own way at the front of the pack Snow had his work cut out after tangling with another rider on the uphill start straight. Blasting through the pack from last to 13th at the finish Alex was also able to improve his championship position and now sits in 14th place after three hard fought rounds.
After missing the opening round of the MX1 world championship in Valkenswaard, Holland last weekend because he was suffering the effects of pneumonia James Noble was back in action on his 450SX-F at Torrington.
Battling hard against the elements, track conditions and his MX1 classmates at far from full-strength James was able to tough it out to put in a consistent 4-5 scorecard which was good enough to leapfrog the Yorkshireman into fourth place in the series standings just nine points back on joint second placed riders Mark Jones and Tom Church.
The next outing for Team KTM UK’s Shaun Simpson and James Noble is at rounds two and three of the Motocross World Championship to be held at Bellpuig in Spain and Agueda, Portugal over the next two weekends before the British championship picks up again on May 4 at Lyng in Norfolk.
Shaun Simpson – MX2 4-1
“I came into today with quite a bit of confidence and qualified fourth which was okay because the start here is quite fair.
“In moto one I got out of the gate well and passed Swordy going into the second corner to take the lead but got a little bit excited and kind of half looped out. I couldn’t get the bike started so I bumped it down the hill to get going again. I fell off again twice more on the first lap to make it three in total. I was miles behind but I just went on a mission passing guys left, right and centre and I came through to fourth which I was very happy with.
“I got away third in the second moto behind Mike Brown and Swordy but Brownie made a massive pass on Swordy which took them both out and I was like ‘thank you very much!’ I rode my own race from there and took the win quite easily.
“I’m now in second place in the championship and I’m only 16 points down from Swordy who’s leading. I’ve now got to go to the next round at Lyng, get out of the starts and do some more winning!”
Alex Snow – MX2 11-13
“I got a real good start in the first race and was running fifth for a few laps until I slipped off in an off-camber corner. I got going again in seventh but at around mid-distance my bike developed a misfire due to what appears to be a faulty spark plug cap so it was hesitating everywhere which made it a bit of a nightmare so I ended up 10th.
“In moto two I got my shirt got caught on the handlebars of the rider next to me and I ended up almost getting spun right around on the start straight which meant I had to battle back from almost last to 13th. I felt like I was riding well but I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get the two top-10 places I wanted from today but hopefully I can do it next time.”
James Noble – MX1 4-5
“I’ve lost a month’s training with my illness so I’ve got to use these races to build up my fitness and speed - I’m basically just hanging in there at the moment to get some results.
“I got quite a good start in the first race but Jamie Law fell off in front of me and I lost one or two places there but I battled back to fourth then I slipped off by myself, got going again and then crashed with a backmarker so I was fifth but Brad Anderson came off and that put me up to fourth which was okay but if I hadn’t crashed so much it could easily have been second.”
“In race two I got a decent start but crashed in the whoops and had to come from around 28th back to fifth. In the closing laps I started getting a little bit of cramp in my legs because I’ve been doing so little riding. I’m a little disappointed really because before my crash I was battling with Mark Hucklebridge and he ended up second.“
MX1 Series Standings
1 Billy MacKenzie (Honda) 150 points, 2 Mark Jones (Kawasaki) 106, 3 Tom Church (Kawasaki) 106, 4 James Noble (KTM) 97, 5 Brad Anderson (Suzuki) 89, 6 Wayne Smith (Yamaha) 87, 7 Kenneth Gundersen (Yamaha) 78, 8 Mark Hucklebridge (Kawasaki) 70, 9 Mark Eastwood (Honda) 70, 10 Danny Smyth 50
MX2 Series Standings
1 Stephen Sword (Kawasaki) 129 points, 2 Shaun Simpson (KTM) 113, 3 Martin Barr (Yamaha) 111, 4 Elliot Banks-Browne (Suzuki) 87, 5 Neville Bradshaw (Honda) 72, 7 Pascal Leuret (Suzuki) 67, 8 Marcus Norlen (Suzuki) 60, 9 Carl Nunn (Suzuki) 60, 10 Carlos Campano (Yamaha) 55, … 14 Alex Snow (KTM) 47
By: KTM UK, Photo: Paul McCready