Following a cancellation earlier in the year, the Michelin MX Nationals team held the second fixture on their 2016 calendar at Pontrilas this past weekend. Although respectable results were enjoyed by the Phoenix Tools Honda duo, Gert Krestinov and Carlton Husband, the speed that the pair possessed in their motos indicated that they were deserving of much more.
Carlton Husband was the leading 250F rider when the first mixed moto fired into life and then led his class for a majority of the race. Although Husband gave way to a hard-charging Martin Barr, he settled comfortably into second and crossed the line in that position. An unfortunate, and controversial, decision by officials cost Husband the spot, however, as he was docked two minutes for running wide in the first turn.
Gert Krestinov was not as fortunate as his teammate at the start of that first moto, as a mistake left him with a mountain to climb across the thirty-minute stint. After making some progress immediately, an issue with the rear brake left him in an impossible position. Krestinov dug deep though and continued to charge, so crossed the line seventh and was one of the riders who made the most passes.
The second and final moto was another exciting affair for Husband, as he used all the power available to him to again round turn one as the top MX2 rider. More misfortunate thwarted his efforts, however, as he broke his gear level whilst leading and had to pull in for repairs. He put in a valiant effort after this, despite facing a large deficit, and salvaged a fifteenth in his class. This left him in twelfth overall on the day and pushed him to tenth in the championship.
Krestinov enjoyed a better moto in the second mixed encounter, as he started in the lower half of the top ten and then quickly moved into the top five. The gap to those ahead was too difficult to overcome on a one-lined track at that stage, so he was forced to settle for the position. His speed, however, left most in awe, as he had the fastest lap of the race! Krestinov occupied the same spot, fifth, in the overall classification and now sits fourth in the MX1 standings.
Gert Krestinov: “The weekend was okay. I don’t count it as one of my favourite tracks. I messed my start up in the first race and then after a few laps I lost my rear brake, so I had to let everybody go. After riding a bit, the brakes came back when I double pressed the pedal. I thought I would ride it to the finish line and got to seventh at the end. In the second race I was battling in fifth place most of the race, but couldn’t make any passes and that’s where I finished. The good thing was that I had the fastest lap of the race.”
Carlton Husband: “At the start of the first race Nathan Dixon hit me on the start and I had nowhere to go, other than off the track. I rode nearly the full race in second, but ended up with a two-minute penalty after the first corner incident. In the second race I was leading and had a nice little gap until halfway through, but I lent it over too far in a rut and bent my gear shifter up. I had to pull in and re-joined the race way down. I was really happy with my speed and set the fastest lap in the second race. I just need to put it all together now and I’ll be up there for sure.”