Battered Banks-Browne keeps hold of British Masters lead at Hawkstone!
A battle worn Elliott Banks-Browne landed at Hawkstone Park for the 5th round of the Bridgestone British Masters knowing that with “no pain there would be no gain”.
Heading into this round, Elliott had a comfortable lead in the Pro MX1 championships, and although struggling with a catalogue of painful injuries, the Geartec Husqvarna team knew that getting points on the board was the aim of the game.
For the first time in months the Geartec Husqvaran team were at full strength with Luke Norris returning to the fold. This is just the beginning of the building process for Luke, who has been out with injury since the start of the season.
A good start in Moto 1 put Elliott right where he wanted to be, towards the front of the field, and as of the first lap he sat in a comfortable second behind leader Ryan Houghton. It took a while for Elliott to find his way past, but once he did, he pulled a gap and kept clear to take the race win.
Luke, after qualifying in 8th in MX1, finished 9th in the first moto, but results are irrelevant at this stage of his recovery when race time is more important. Race 2 seemed to be the bridge too far for Luke, but with race laps under his belt, he is looking forward to being back on track this weekend at Duns in the Maxxis British Motocross Championships.
A poor start for Elliott in Moto 2, then a first lap fall saw him have to fight his way through the pack. Some fast moves saw him on the rear wheel of leader Liam Knight by the end of lap 5, but losing a hand on the bars over the back table top, he lost control ending up in a wet and boggy drainage ditch. Having to paddle his way out, covered from head to foot, made for hard work on the bike and after taking his goggles off he had to succumb the battle for the lead and settle for third place in the race and second overall. With two rounds to go Elliott tops the standings by 22 points, so he is still very much in the Pro MX1 driving seat.
“It wasn’t the best of results, but under the circumstances of the last few weeks, it’s not the end of the world I guess. I qualified first which was good. Once I got ahead in the first race I felt comfortable for the win.
“In the second race I had a really bad start. It felt like the clutch was slipping in the first couple of laps, and I actually crashed on the first lap, but I got back on and caught the leaders up quite quickly and into second. I was on the leader then, and coming over the table top into the woods my hand came off of the handlebar, and I rode over a bank and into a drainage ditch which was filled with water, and it submerged me. Water went all over me. I was like a swamp monster for the rest of the race. It went down the back of my goggles, I was soaked and had to paddle my way out. When I got back out I was fourth and I caught back to the leaders, but I went to wipe my goggles and it was wet so it just smeared everything, so had to chuck my goggles off so that was the end of my chase.
“My results over the last two weeks haven’t been too bad considering. I have been to the hospital today and found out that in my crash at Preston Docks I had broken a bone in my wrist. Then my crash a couple weeks back I broke a bone in my back and ripped the tendons in my little finger. It’s quite a lot worse than we first thought. It’s not changed anything, we are still doing everything that we planned, and in some ways it was a blessing we didn’t know the full extent of the damage at the time. It’s a bit unfortunate, but that’s motorbikes. It has been sore but to come away with 1-3 and second overall certainly is not the end of the world.”
The full Geartec Husqvarna team move onto Duns in Scotland this weekend for Round 6 of the Maxxis British Motocross Championships with Elliott currently holding 4th position in the MX1 standings, 53 points behind leader Jake Nicholls.