The Hawkstone International is traditionally an event where most of the best national and international riders come together for a final shake down and to test there racing machines and race fitness against the other teams and riders before the start of there relative championships, be it the GP’s, or in the Putoline Apico Honda teams case the Maxxis British and Red Bull Pro Nationals championships.
The team, and there number one rider, Neville Bradshaw were ready to take on the hard challenge of Hawkstone Parks testing and power sapping sandy circuit where the weather had been very kind to the organisers staying dry for three days before, and on the day making the track in prime condition for racing in front of an estimated four and a half thousand spectators.
Neville was in the top five qualifiers which meant getting a good gate position pick for the all important start, and said after, “With all the work the team has done so far this year with the bike setup it felt good as soon as I got out on the track. We finished qualifying in fifth place and from second place, to where I was in fifth was less than a second difference so I was pretty pumped with that”
There was no way that Neville and the team could stay with the two times world champion and sand master Dutchman Jeffrey Herlings but after a eighth place start Neville kept a good pace for the whole of the twenty five minute and two laps race and finished sixth amongst some of the worlds top MX2 races.
A contented Neville said after the first race, “I didn’t get a nice start as I would have liked but I managed to get to sixth when I came up behind Steven (Lenoir) and he sort of messed my rhythm up a bit and I ended the race there”
Neville had an up and down race two as he started well, crashed and had to make a come back through the field of talented riders and again finishing in sixth place, which gave him sixth overall.
After he said, “I got a much better start and was running good in fourth place till I made a stupid mistake by losing the front wheel over a jump and it seemed to take me some time to get back and get going again and I re-joined in eighth but manage to get back up to sixth again before the end of the race”
The last race of the event was the superfinal where the top twenty riders from both the MX1 and MX2 overall race together with the smaller capacity MX2 riders getting a small head start.
Neville got a good start and rode a good race finishing in a strong tenth place. He said after, “Brad (Anderson) and myself were having a great battle for eighth and ninth, swapping places again and again, but towards the end Todd Waters and Gert Krestinov managed to get past me so I ended the race in tenth”
He added, “Overall it was a good positive weekend and I am very happy with the bike and my fitness. So there is not much left we need to do before the first round of the British championship in three weeks time”