The Geartec Husqvarna Motocross team arrived at Sherwood for the first round of the MX Nationals with a fully fit squad of three but, left the Nottinghamshire circuit with their No 1 Elliott Banks-Browne on the injury list.
After claiming Pole in qualifying, hopes were high for a strong start to the season for EBB, but those hopes lasted only a few corners of Moto 1 as he was collected by another rider while in second, with an injury to his elbow finishing his day.
An X-ray has revealed a crack to the bone, but a visit to a specialist on Thursday should show the full extent of the damage, and how long the recovery time will be.
Luke Burton made his MX Nationals team debut and impressed everyone with two solid rides where he moved through the pack on each occasion after a lowly qualifying time landed him with poor gate picks. An excellent 5th in Moto 1 was followed by 10th in the second, giving him a great 6th overall finish.
The third of the trio James Dunn came into the meeting underprepared by his own admission, and with the aim of gaining more time on the bike. He would finish 16th in race one before goggle issues forced his retirement from the second moto.
Team manager Paul Mason: “It’s such a shame for Elliott, having been so quick in practice. There was nothing he could do about the crash; it just came at him from nowhere. He would have had a really good day. Luke rode excellent. The kid has sheer determination, dug deep and came away with 6th overall which I am really chuffed with”.
Elliott Banks-Browne: “Everything started well in qualifying getting the fastest time. In the first race, I didn’t make the best start, but I managed to come round the corner into 4th and then into third instantly. I moved into second and was minding my own business on the inside, and the next thing I know I heard a big panic rev behind me and Brad Todd cartwheeled over his bike and into me. I tried to avoid it, but I couldn’t get out of the way. I wasn’t expecting it, so I couldn’t brace myself for it. I went down so quick and hard and landed on my arm funny. I got back up, and my arm was sore, but I did a lap but had to pull in. I had a scan and x-ray on it last night. It’s not ideal. I have got to go and see a specialist about it later in the week. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as we first thought, and we can then put a timeframe on it.
“It’s such a bummer. It’s the first race of the year, and I was feeling the best I have ever felt. It’s such a shame, not just for me, but the whole team who have put in so much work, and we have such a good bike, it just feels so comfortable. That’s motocross I guess, and it is what happens.”
Luke Burton: “Overall yesterday was a success. Everything went according to plan before I got on track, but I made a schoolboy error in practice. I did two laps slow then went straight into qualifying, which I thought was how they ran it, so I was doing qualifying laps when it was actually free practice. Then by the time we got into qualifying I got arm pump, so I couldn’t put a fast lap down, so I ended up qualifying in 28th, and I was expecting more if I am honest.
“However, on the whole everything went to plan and we had a good day, we are 6th in the championship and very close to the people in front of us so a really good start and pleased with how it all went. I am going to practice on my starts this week leading up to the Maxxis at the weekend. If we can make better starts we can get the results, I have the equipment, so it’s just down to me.”
James Dunn: “We came into the weekend a bit underprepared, but we did the best we could under the circumstances. In qualifying, everyone was really close, and I felt I put together a few good laps. In the first race, I struggled with Arm pump, which I have never had before. For the second race we regrouped and came out third on the first turn, but unfortunately, halfway around the first lap I pulled my roll-offs, and they weren’t working. I pulled in to get a new set, and they didn’t have any laminates on, so with the rain, I had to pull in and DNF. It was unfortunate, but we learned a lot, and I am now looking forward to redeeming myself at Fatcats.”
The team now move onto Fatcats Motoparc this Sunday for the first round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championships.