Clean sweeps were the order of the day at round two of the Red Bull Pro Nationals as Brad Anderson and Elliott Banks-Browne continued their winning ways in front of 5,500 weekend fans at a packed Landrake Moto Parc.
Race one pole-setter Kristian Whatley (Samsung Yamaha) was out of the gate like his life depended on it and within two laps had a good lead over CCM’s Stephen Sword and PAR Honda’s Brad Anderson with Elliott Banks-Browne sitting in fourth on the MX2 machine. As the race progressed Whatley had the dreaded arm pump and his pace dropped slightly allowing both Sword and Anderson past.
Further back, due to a far from stellar jump out of the gate, LS Red Bull Honda’s Shaun Simpson was dealing with mouthfuls of roost, courtesy of Alex Snow’s rear tyre. A couple of laps from the end a mistake from Sword saw him drop back behind Simpson and Whatley and with Anderson in sight, Simpson really put the hammer down as he tried to close the gap in the dying laps of the race.
Anderson made slightly harder work of the second moto after a poor start saw him way back in eighth, just behind an equally bad-starting Shaun Simpson. With CCM’s Stephen Sword quickly passing Alex Snow for the lead it was all about the chase as Ando and Simpson put their heads down and went on a charge through the pack. Once Anderson caught and passed Sword it was all about trying to minimise the mistakes as the two of them passed and then repassed each other in the fight to the flag.
“I got a bad start but quickly managed to pass Simpson and Whatley,” recalls Anderson. “Stephen was next and I caught him up and passed him then made three big mistakes in one lap, nearly coming off allowing Steve to pass me back. Steve was controlling the race and then he made a big mistake, giving me the opportunity to get back past him, so I just had to try not to make any further mistakes and I managed to bring it home in first so I’m really pleased with that. I’m just really pleased to keep my winning streak alive.”
While Anderson was trying to keep his mistakes to a minimum, CCM’s Stephen Sword was desperately trying to make amends for a disappointing first race but unfortunately lady luck didn’t favour the Swindon speedster.
“Okay I’m on the podium but it’s hard to be satisfied when you’re not winning anything,” says Sword. “The first race was terrible – the first half was good but then I got arm pump, made a lot of mistakes and just rode bad really. The second one was better as I got a good start then me and Brad were together, he got by me but I felt really good. When I got past him the second time I thought I had it in the bag because I had all the good lines but then I blew it – I went over a rut and he came back past me. I made too many mistakes today and that’s what cost me a better result. I’m already looking forward to the next round at Whitby and getting a better result there.”
In the MX2 class nobody can keep up with Pulse DB Racing’s Elliott Banks-Browne – in fact there are quite a few MX1 guys who are struggling to keep up with him and he now sits pretty at the top of the MX2 pile with four clear wins from four races.
“It’s been a really good weekend it was just a shame I couldn’t get a bit closer to some of those MX1 boys,” says EBB. “It’s just so much harder to do on a 250F with all the tight corners you know but, yeah, I was pleased. It really couldn’t have gone any better.”
Following EBB home in both races was TAS Suzuki’s Mel Pocock. “Yeah I’m happy with that, I mean obviously Elliott’s getting more points than me in the championship so I’ve got some catching up to do. The track was gnarly and rough today and I think everyone will agree with that, there was like a million lines in every corner, it was like a maze! The bike was riding really well and I can’t thank my team enough, they put so much effort into me.”
In the Fuchs Silkolene Open 2 Stroke Championship KTM’s Matt Moffat remains at the top of the Open Expert class, although he wasn’t able to repeat his clean sweep of round one. The three motos saw three different winners in Stu Edmonds, Matt Moffat and Dan Arnold, with Arnold the most consistent of the trio posting a win consolidated with a fine pair of seconds. Stu Edmonds had an unfortunate crash in race two that put paid to his overall victory.
Moffat’s 1-2-3 finishes earned him second spot on the box, increased his championship lead and with his current form makes him favourite to fill Mark Eastwood’s Alpinestars as Open Expert Champ.
The Fuchs Silkolene 2 Stroke 125cc championship was nothing short of epic with two fantastic bar-to-bar battles in two out of the three races. Race one saw Yamaha’s Luke Remmer taking the win from TM-mounted Jim Davies in the Expert class who had a race-long battle. The second race saw Remmer with the early lead but series leader John Pettitt made a hard-fought charge from a poor start to carve his way through the field and catch Remmer and just miss out on taking the win away from him.
In the 125cc Junior class Jamie Houghton carried on from where he left off at FatCat by taking two wins from three and retaining his red plate ahead of the third round at Whitby.