MICHELIN MX NATIONALS ROUND 6 HAWKSTONE PARK
We were at Hawkstone Park this weekend for the last round of the MX Nationals UK. Both riders go well round this venue, so we were looking for a successful finish to the series. Brad was still injured from Preston Docks but decided to give it a go and see who he felt.
There had been plenty of rain on the track throughout Saturday but after a bit of grading on the Sunday morning, the track dried out nicely and was spot on for a day of Pro racing.
MX2 – Jake had a mega ride in qualification. He relaxed and loved riding the track. His speed was right up there and he got a 2nd MX2 and was 4th fastest out of this mixed class.
MX1 – Brad rode cautions, a bit unsure of how his shoulder would react when he landed off jumps. He was fine, still fast and finished 6th MX1 with a 9th gate pick.
MX2 – Disaster struck on the start gate and Jake couldn’t get his bike to start. A good 20 seconds went by and all the riders had left the start straight by the time Jake got it going. Jake was wound up but it put the fire in his belly and he pushed hard and picked his way through the pack of MX1 and MX2 riders one by one. By the end of the 2nd lap he was into 13th place and 8th MX2. It was a long race on a tough track but he soon picked off Hague, Davidson, Tombs, Kellett, Husbands and then Knight and moved into 2nd place MX2 with just Martin Barr in front. His lap times were fast and consistent but Liam Knight wasn’t going to give up and let Jake get away. Jake was tired now. He had used so much energy chasing from the back, passing both MX1 and MX2 riders. With just one lap to go, Liam started to battle with Jake. It was neck and neck and great racing to watch. But Jake was spent and eventually he let Liam past which gave Jake 3rd place in the MX2 class in Moto 1 and 5th out of the mixed class of riders. A fantastic ride for Millward with an excellent result.
MX1 – Brad got a mega start and came out of the first bend in 2nd behind Ashley Wilder. It was close and Brad soon passed Ashely to take the lead. He was out up front and looking good but his shoulder wouldn’t let him hold tight. He was tense, it was rough and he was struggling to hold on and lift the bike. He held on for the first half of the race and then retired after 8 laps and came home a respectful 7th place MX2.
MX2 – Jake got boxed in on the start so wasn’t in the front running in lap one. He started to pull through very quickly and by the close of the first lap he was already into 5th place MX2. Then on the last uphill bend before you head down to towards the pits, the bike stopped dead and spat him over the bars. The bike ceased so suddenly on a blind bend, that the rider behind ran clean over Jakes back, followed by at least 3 others. Jake managed to get himself and the bike up but the bike wouldn’t move. It had to be carried off the track. It was such a shame. Jake was of form today and had the aggression and fight in him that complemented his smooth, effortless riding style. So Moto 2 was a mechanical DNF.
MX1 – After a lot of debate Brad decided to go out in Moto 2 as he still had a chance of getting 3rd overall in the Championship. He is a true professional and definitely not a quitter. So he put the pain behind him and gave it his all. He got another excellent start and was out front with the Wild Card rider Kevin Woulds. After a couple of laps Brad let Kevin get away. He knew it wouldn’t make a difference to his championship position. So he spend the rest of the race ensuring no other MX1 rider got past him. He rode hard, put the pain to the back of his mind and overcame the cautiousness he had shown in the first Moto. Brad got a clean 2nd in MX2 with Josh Spinks finishing 3rd behind.
MX2 – With the bike going bang in Moto 2, Jake’s points were hit badly. So despite 20 points in Moto 1, he ended up 10th overall MX2 for the day and missed out on 3rd overall in the Championship by 19 points, finishing 4th overall behind Liam Knight. All he had to have done was finish 2nd in this last Moto of the series to secure his 3rd place. He was more than capable of doing this today but luck just wasn’t on his side. So Jake finished 10th overall for the day and 4th in the Championship.
MX1 – Brad achieved what he had gone out to do in the last Moto and secured 3rd overall in the Championship despite only competing in 4 out of 6 meetings (8 out of 12 races). He finished 4th overall for the day with only 4 points off the podium. A further 2 points would have also pushed him up to 2nd place in the Championship.
QUOTE FROM JAKE MILLWARD:
Gutted that the bike went in Moto 2. I really thought I was gonna have nailed it at Hawkstone today.
QUOTE FROM BRAD ANDERSON:
Finished 3rd overall in the Championship on the Verde KTM after only riding in 8 out of 12 Motos. Not too bad with being injured today and all. Glad I rode today. It has help me put the pain out of my mind, stop being cautious and prepare for the last round of the Maxxis, which is at Foxhills in 2 week’s time.
QUOTE FROM TEAM MANAGER ADRIAN KIRK:
Totally pleased with both riders today. Jake rode by far the best he has done all year. It is so disappointing that he had to go out with a mechanical that neither rider nor mechanic could have prevented! It cost him his 3rd place in the Championship.
Brad gave it his all as usual and rode through pain in order to achieve his 3rd place in the Championship. He is a true professional who always gives 100%. His level of commitment goes much further than anyone would expect. More riders should aspire to be like him.