The new look RHR Yamaha Motocross team made their first foray into competitive action at the Hawkstone International on Sunday with a World Class line up to test their metal against.
The team were dealt an early blow on Friday with Kristian Whatley having to withdraw from the event after injuring his knee in a training accident during the week.
That left Ryan Houghton as the team’s sole MX1 representative and he didn’t disappoint turning in a duo of 11th place finishes giving him 10th overall.
Rob Hooper – Team Owner
“We are very pleased with Ryan. He made decent starts and put together two strong rides and we are certainly buoyed by his performance. We learnt a lot too about how he likes his set up and based on this we feel Ryan will feature quite heavily in the top half dozen riders in any UK meeting and given consistency and staying injury free who knows what he can achieve this year”.
Ryan Houghton – MX1
“I am very happy with how the day went. I didn’t push myself too hard, it was more a day for testing myself and the set up’s so to come away with a top 10 finish is really good. By the Super Final my energy was sapped after two tough Moto’s but we got through it and we know what we need to work on for the next one”.
Come the Super Final many riders were drained from the heavy conditions and Houghton finished in 22nd.
The day got off to a tough start for MX2 recruit Robbie Dowson who only arrived back in the UK on Thursday after a successful race and training vacation in California. Early in the first moto a competitor crashed in front of Dowson causing a collision which wiped out his controls and forced an early trip back to the pits where the damage couldn’t be fixed. In race 2 Dowson got away well and fought hard in the heavy conditions to finish in a promising 15th position.
Robbie Dowson – MX2
“Wow that was shock to the system. Coming from the heat and hardpack of California to the heavy condition’s and snow at Hawkstone couldn’t have been any different. I was disappointed to have to pull out of the first race when I collected a rider who fell in front of me but that’s racing. In my second race I really felt I was getting into the flow and was happy to come away with a 15th”
Hooper also came back smiling from Robbie’s performance saying “I was chuffed with Robbie, you couldn’t have rode in more diverse conditions from what he has been enjoying out in California to Hawkstone so it was a bit of a culture shock for him. Now he is back we are looking forward to working with him as a team and to get to know more about him as a rider so we can help him progress throughout the year”.
On Whatley’s injury Hooper said “It was unfortunate for Kristian he was really looking forward to riding at Hawkstone as we were, but the main thing now is that he takes his 10 days rest and comes back strong for our first domestic meeting of the season”.
The next action for the team will be back at Hawkstone for the first round of the British Masters on the 3rd and 4th of March.