The Rob Hooper Racing Yamaha Motocross team sailed away from Desertmartin in Northern Ireland with another strong Maxxis British Motocross Championships performance under their belts, with Ryan Houghton 8th overall in MX1 and Robbie Dowson 14th in MX2.
A sun baked track made for ultra-fast race conditions to treat the big crowd you had turned out to watch the action.
Looking to build on their podium results from Preston Docks in the British Masters, both of the RHR riders set out looking for a good gate pick from qualification, and Houghton delivered with 8th whilst Dowson, never one to post fast times in qualifying, recorded a lap that placed him in 22nd.
Having blasted to two holeshots last weekend, Houghton was keen to get out of the blocks fast again in the first MX1 moto, and a top 10 placing in the first bend meant he was able to run with the pacesetters. Good progress was made into 6th position by lap 6 before MXGP racer Ivo Monticelli slipped past. Ryan kept with the Italian rider and was close to making a pass before Evgeny Bobryshev joined the battle after falling from second, which broke Houghton’s attack and he finished a great 7th less than 2 seconds from Monticelli in 6th.
A disastrous start in Moto 2 for Houghton meant there was hard work to be done to salvage a good overall, and in the blistering heat that wasn’t going to be easy. By the end of lap one he had worked up to 19th and with a long moto ahead he sliced through the field to come home in a tremendous 8th which gave him 8th overall but tied for 6th.
Ryan said of his meeting “My first race was good, I was really happy with a 7th. In the second Moto I had a terrible start and was well out of the top 20. That was a real hard race. With the track being so fast everyone was on the fast lines and it was really hard to pass. It took me a while to get into a rhythm but once I did it was alright, but by then everyone at the front was gone, but I managed to get an 8th so I was happy with that considering”.
Team Boss Rob Hooper said of Ryan’s performance “His first race was a really good strong ride, and to get an 8th out of the second race was very credible. When he came past us in the work area for the first time in that second race he was right back in 19th. He had plenty of passing to do and ground to make up so to get to 8th was another good ride.”
MX2 rider Dowson admitted this wasn’t his favourite track but a good 11th in the first Moto was followed by a 16th in the restart of the second race where he was involved in the crash which resulted in the first staging behind red flagged. Those two race results gave him a solid 14th overall.
Robbie commented on his day “I had a good first race but in the second one I got involved in a crash on the first bend and got a bit banged up and that caused a red flag as the rider who crashed with me got hurt. He was falling off and leaning on me and that was what caused me to come off. In the restart I was up in 10th but had a little crash and then just couldn’t make up any ground so ended up with 16th. This wasn’t really my type of track so 14th overall was good really.”
The full squad now assemble and head to Sherwood this weekend for the next round of the MX Nationals where Kristian Whatley, who has been out on a bike all week, will be making his eagerly awaited mid-season comeback.
Photo Credit: Elliot Spencer