Jake Nicholls (Buildbase Honda) raced to a devastating double win in MX1 at Blaxhall on Sunday, a fortnight after doing exactly the same thing at Canada Heights, as the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean pitched camp in Suffolk.
Roared on by a sizeable contingent of his home fans who’d turned out to support their local hero, Nicholls faltered in qualifying with fifth fastest time before ripping to two commanding wins on the immaculately-prepped track.
“I got two good starts and rode well,” he said. “I struggled a little in qualifying but the races went to plan. I just put my head down and tried really hard and it paid off again. I didn’t look back all day – I just kept pushing. The bike’s exceptional and I’m really, really happy.”
Elliott Banks-Browne (Geartec Husqvarna), another home-grown fan-favourite, was second with a 3-3 scorecard with Evgeny Bobryshev (Lombard Express Suzuki with PAR Homes) third after backing up fifth in the opening moto with second in race two.
Wild card Tommy Searle (Bike It DRT Kawasaki) chased Nicholls home in race one but exited the second moto early with a technical problem.
With three rounds down and five to go Nicholls has now stretched his lead to 19 points over Bobryshev. Defending champion Graeme Irwin (Hitachi ASA KTM UK) lost ground in third after bravely racing to fourth on the day following a qualification crash that left him with severe burns to his back.
In MX2 Martin Barr (REVO Husqvarna UK) halted Conrad Mewse’s four-race win-streak and took his first overall victory since Desertmartin last year.
Liam Knight (Pope Racing KTM) took a wire-to-wire win in the opening race, narrowly beating Josh Gilbert (Honda Adventure Centre) who closed dramatically in the dying minutes. Mewse, racing without a rear brake after a collision in turn two, had snatched third from Mel Pocock (REVO Husqvarna UK) on the final lap but both were docked five places for jumping on a yellow flag which moved Barr up to third.
Mewse made no mistake in race two after overhauling early leader Micky Eccles (Manchester MC Husqvarna) and resisting pressure late in the race from Barr who took the overall win from Gilbert on a tie-break after the young Cornishman came in third.
Barr, who injured ligaments in his right hand at the opening round last month, is now focussing on getting fully fit.
“I’m looking forward now to getting back to 100 per cent,” he said, “and being able to do my preparation during the week because I’m starting to feel it towards the end of the moto but it’s great to be on the top of the podium.”
Mewse still leads the title chase but his advantage has been cut to 21 points by Gilbert. Pocock, racing with no front brake, was seventh in race two and drops to third in the championship.
In the B2S class James Dunn (GL12 Racing KTM) ran out winner both times from his Dutch team-mate Mike Kras and Ash Wilde (RMJ Husqvarna UK) for his second consecutive overall victory.
In the championship Kras now leads Wilde by 11 points with Dunn, making up ground after a bad opening round, another eight points off the pace.
The MXY2 championship also kicked off at Blaxhall and it was Callum Green (Honda Adventure Centre) who ended the day on the top step of the podium with a 2-1-4 scorecard.
Rossi Beard (Putoline Planet Husqvarna) won the first and third races but a thrown chain in the second moto while leading resulted in an eighth-placed finish and he had to settle for second overall.
George Sim-Mutch (Manchester MC Husqvarna) took third overall from a flying 125cc two-stroke-mounted Ike Carter (GL12 Racing KTM) who battled the four-strokes all day and even grabbed a second-placed finish in the final race of the day.
Picture © Nuno Laranjeira