The Oakleaf Kawasaki racing team made their way up to Milton Malsor Moto park for RD4 of the British championship with high expectations of improving on what has been a demoralising start to the 2013 season
The team arrived Saturday morning bright and early and set up in sunny weather conditions in preparation to turn things around on recent efforts with a few changes in house for both mx2 rider Jake Millward and mx1 rider Shane Carless, high spirits as always with all involved Sunday couldn’t come quick enough to dig deep and get out on track
Sunday, race day was upon us and heavy showers through the night and a sunny fresh morning and wet track, Milton park was in prime condition to start off the day’s racing with a big crowed gathering the buzz was kicking in
first up was Jake Millward in MX2 as he made his way to the waiting zone for free practice and qualifying Millward was to set a time of 1:49.005 he was to set the 18th fastest lap time , but a unfortunate problem with him loosing the chain guide and having to make his way back to the pit area to try to improve on his spare bike 18th was the best Jake could do but it was still a improvement on recent form and a positive to take to the line for Moto 1
Mx1 was out next with Shane Carless on a reformed bike now having got to the point of settling in after the move up to the 450f bike , Shane was confident on improving and getting where he and the team no he can perform, he was to qualify in 11th with a 1:44.439 and enter the 1 lap dash of super pole but unfortunate for him it cost him 1 place with a 1:44.447 with Steve Ramon taking the 11 gate and entering the first Moto with gate pick 12
As well as the pro races RD4 also entertained the MXY2 class and young 15y Academy rider Gradie Featherstone was up next , still getting use to the importance of qualifying after the move up from the BW85 he was to manage 10th, but not to phase Gradie his starting efforts would keep him in good frame of mind, Moto 1 for Gradie saw him enter the first corner in 2nd pushing hard in the first lap he was to put a pass on the leader but disaster struck in doing so he hit the deck and hurt his shoulder which forced him out of the race and he couldn’t take part in the other races on the day , one to forget for the rookie rider and put behind him and move on to the next Round at Desertmartin
Moto1 of the day and MX2 Jake Millward was to get the jump he’s been waiting for and entering the first corner in the top 10 , as he settled in the fast flowing quick lap race he was to hold his own in 9th to the halfway point until he had Nathan Watson on his back for a couple of laps , Nathan found it hard to get buy but , Jake tried his up most to hold him off but Watson passed and had pushed on and now Millward was on the back of Ryan Houghton for 9th battling away for a couple of laps , he had Bryan McKenzie closing in , Millward was to make a slight mistake which knocked his rhythm and on the last lap McKenzie was to push Jake back to 11 and it was where he was to finish for his best result of the season so far.
Moto 2 saw Jake Millward again with a impressive start in the top 10 , not making any mistakes in the first few laps he was running in 7th with a few seconds on 8th and looking comfortable, disaster struck on one of the big tabletops out the back when landing a stone got lodged in his rear brake causing him to overshoot one of the corners and upsetting his smooth rhythm he was to finish in 13th at the end of the Moto
Moto 3 proving not to be just luck again he was strong into the first corner inside the top 10 ,finishing the first lap in 11th he got his head down and worked hard fighting off challenging riders , and now riding a technical slick circuit he coasted the kxf250 across the finish line for a 2nd 11th position of the day and taking 9th overall which is fantastic for him having his best performance for 2013 so far
Moto 1 and Shane Carless was to power down the start straight into turn 1 in the top 10 and was to complete the first lap in 9th , ahead of him was ex world champion Steve Ramon and Shane had tagged on and was in good rhythm to make a move ,both Carless and Ramon where now on Anderson in 7th , Ramon made the pass through and now the battle of the warriors had begun , up front one of the front runners went down so everyone moved up a position , Shane was now in 7th and still battling away with Anderson until the final lap when Shane made the pass to take Anderson for 6th place
Moto2 and heads where high as Carless took to the gate , 5 second board was raised and the Welsh warrior had the Hole shot and was leading with Tanel Leok in 2nd then GP regular Jonathan Barragan in 3rd , Shane was to hold 1st place for 2 laps the rain had started to fall and track was getting gnarly both Leok and barragan went through , Shane was now in 3rd until a mistake by Barragan , Shane was now back to 2nd and still on the pace of world championship riders , Barragan took him back the race just started to get really exciting now as the whole team and supports where cheering him on , Shane kept this place and pace for 3/4 of the race until his roll off system on his goggles failed , this was to cause loss of vision as the rain came down , but Carless still dug deep and now battling with Kristian whatley & Nico Aubin he dropped back to 4th coming into the closing stages it was Leok, Barragan, Whatley, Carless, Aubin, Anderson he was there battling with the big boys , but Carless had proved he was just as quick as he was battling hard with anderson now aubin had passed and only 2 laps remaining , on the final lap Aubin was to go down and Shane carless was to cross the line in front of Anderson to take 4th and what a race it was
Moto3 and conditions deteriorating , Shane Carless into the first corner in 5th coming round on the first lap it was Aubin , Leok, Whatley, watermen and Shane Carless , Carless was on the pace again and getting passed josh watermen in the 3rd lap he was on a charge to get to the front , Leok was to DNF with a Mechanical and making Carless 3rd , carless settled in to a fast but controllable rhythm now being approached by Jonathan Barragan, barragan passed and with the race ending with Aubin, Barragan, Whatley and Shane Carless with a incredible ride making him 3rd overall on the day giving both Shane and the Oakleaf Kawasaki team there first ever British championship podium , such a proud moment seeing the Oakleaf Kawasaki team rider Shane Carless take to the 3rd step on the podium after a fantastic acheavment for him on his kxf450 .
Team Owner Shaun Anthony ” this has been an amazing experience for us as a team proving we are not just a new team anymore , where making a stamp and impression for sure the guys are all working really hard and the changes we made this weekend have been positive , I’m pleased for both riders and over the moon with our first podium finish, we need to now focus on the next round and keep getting good points and proving that we mean business, im also pleased to be the first team to put Kawasaki motors uk on the podium this year and hopefully we can continue to do so , i want to thank all involved and for giving us the opportunity to show our potential
Image By Kev Reid©