The first round of the MX Nationals had mixed results for Verde Sports Racing. It was cold, it snowed, it hailed but then the sun came out. The first round was at Preston Docks, a track local to both Verde Sports Racing and their riders, Brad Anderson and Jake Millward. Both knew the track like the back of their hands but could they beat off the opposition on the day …..
Despite the bad weather on the Friday, the track was rideable and the Pro Top 40 qualification was the first out on the Sunday morning.
MX1 – Brad looked good. He has taken to the kTM like a duck to water. Within the first couple of laps he took the lead with a second ahead of all the other riders. Then, half way through the 20 minute session, Graeme Irwin put in a flying lap time and took the lead. Try as he might, Brad just couldn’t get another clear run, so settled for a very comfortable 2nd gate pick for the first race.
MX2 – Jake was out on his 250 KTM and would be for the rest of the season. However, he just didn’t settle into the session quite as easily as Brad. Although he knew the Preston Track well, he struggled to get settled into a rhythm. With Martin Barr out front, it was all down to who was to be in 2nd. With only half a second between 8 of the MX2 riders it was going to be a tough call. Jake ended up with 8th place MX2, but a gate pick of 18th, as MX1 and MX2 were mixed together.
Pretty good jumps out the gate for both riders in Race 1.
MX1 – Brad got the jump but got cut up on the start straight which pushed him back, but by the end of the first lap he was comfortably in 5th. By the 4th lap, Elliot Banks-Brown took a fall, allowing Brad to move up into 3rd place, behind Nicholls, with Graeme Irwin taking the lead. Then Brad’s clutch went, making the remainder of the race a tad tricky and even more difficult to catch the two riders ahead. But 3rd place was a pretty good start to the season.
MX2 – Jake didn’t get too bad a start, getting out of the gate near the front of the pack, amongst both the MX1 and MX2 bikes. He was 4th MX2 with Martin Barr, Lewis Thombs and Neville Bradshaw ahead. But the race just wasn’t going to plan and both Liam Knight and Carlton Husbands made their passes, leaving Jake to finish up in 6th place MX2.
As the day started to close in, the sun was sitting low, making it near impossible to see going over the jumps. The Fastest 40 Race 2, was the last race of the day.
MX1 – Brad got another good start and was close on the wheels of Whatley (who had got the hole shot) and Irwin in 2nd. By lap 2, Irwin had taken Whatley and by lap 3, Brad Anderson had got them both and was now in the lead. Ando is not a quitter. He had so wanted to win in the first race, that it made him even more determined in the 2nd. He rode a flawless race, holding Irwin’s every attempt to make a move. Brad finally took first place, leaving Irwin with second and Whatley 44 seconds behind the pair.
MX2 – Race 2 just wasn’t for Jake. His performance just wasn’t up to his usual standard. Sometimes you just have one of those days and today it was one of those for Jake. The sun was low. The ground was rutted. He just wasn’t feeling it. 13th MX2 in this 2nd race wasn’t what he had expected.
MX1 – Brad finished 2nd overall, with Irwin taking the 1st place trophy. An excellent finish for Verde Sports Racing first race of the series but Brad was left disappointed. He always sets his sights high and to him, second just wasn’t good enough. With that philosophy let’s see how he fares at Landrae in round 2.
MX2 – A terrible days racing for Jake. He didn’t do anything particularly wrong but he just wasn’t at the speed that he is capable off. He finished 10th MX2 overall so scored points which will help towards his championship position. Roll on Landrake.
Quote from Brad Anderson:
It’s not a bad start to the year. In the first race I was a bit tense and got some arm pump. In the second race I managed to pull through, even though it wasn’t too good a start. The sun was low so you couldn’t see the ruts, but I knew what I had to do and once I pulled into the lead, I controlled it from there. I managed to hold Graeme off, even when I made a mistake in the last lap. Finished 2nd overall which is okay … but I wanted first.
Quote from Jake Millward:
A day to forget. Onward and upward. It was just one of those days.
Quote from Team Manager, Adrian Kirk:
An excellent start to the season for Brad and a bad day for Jake. So both a happy and sad camp rolled into one.