EBB gives 2019 Husqvarna a stamp of approval with MX Nationals podium finish!
With second place in the championships safely in the bag, Elliott Banks-Browne and the Geartec Husqvarna team headed to Cusses Gorse in Wiltshire for the final round of the MX Nationals series with an outside chance of taking the title.
Aboard the much changed 2019 Husqvarna 450 straight from the crate, the stock machine handled like a dream as Elliott pitched straight in with the fastest qualifying time and the first gate pick for the moto’s.
With a lightening start, EBB was a clear leader posting consistent lap time’s and increasing his gap at the head of the field. Lurking behind though was reigning champion Graeme Irwin, and as the Irishman closed in, an epic battle ensued between the two for the lead which had the crowd on their feet as they flew side by side over the finish line table top. Irwin was to overhaul Elliott, but not without a fight, and Elliott stayed on his tail for the remainder of the moto for a good second in his first race on the new machine.
With Jake Nicholls finishing in 4th Elliott’s title hopes were over, but the crusade for the final round victory was still very much on for the second moto.
Once again it was EBB who stole the holeshot, but a mistake in the first half of the lap proved costly and he was shuffled back to fifth as he crossed the timing loop on the first lap. With the track tough to pass on, and with Irwin clearing off in the distance in the lead, Elliott knew he needed to make some quick moves. After passing Jake Shipton and moving into fourth, finding a way past champion Nicholls was proving a tough task, though it was clear EBB was the quicker rider. With frustration setting in Elliott made a mistake which quelled his attack and he had to settle for fourth place, which was enough for third overall, and a podium finish to end the 2018 MX Nationals championships.
Paul Mason – Team Manager
“We knew that we couldn’t get any worse than second in the championships so we decided to run the new bike, which we received earlier in the week. We basically put Elliott’s suspension in it, put some fuel in, run it in and went racing with it. Elliott was shocked how good it was straight from the crate, which is a massive step forward for us, as normally we spend ages searching for things to improve but this machine has nothing that needs doing to it really. So to go to Cusses and achieve what he did, we were pleasantly surprised and pleased with. I think Elliott was disappointed with where he finished up overall, but on the same token we will take a lot of positives from it and it gives us a good starting point for next year.”
“It wasn’t such a bad day; it was the first time out on the 2019 bike in a race. There was nothing really to lose here; we had already sewn up second in the championship. We started off good with first in qualifying. The bike felt awesome out there and my first start on the bike was a holeshot. I felt good out there leading moto 1, but maybe I was sticking to my own lines too much and Graeme (Irwin) closed in on me.
I was just riding really tight. It’s a different set up on the 19, so I wasn’t riding quite as relaxed as I normally do. I made a little mistake and Graeme came past me, and we had a really good race right to the end. I felt I could have got him back, but there just wasn’t that passing opportunity, and we went over the line together pretty much.
“In the second race I got a really good start again and the holeshot and came round on the first lap real comfortable and easy. Over the back, there was one bit of the track they had watered, and it was where I thought I had found a sneaky line, but it was bit too sneaky and I nearly crashed and got in all sorts of shapes and went back to 5th. After that I was fighting to come back, and just could not make a pass. The track was really good today, but it was near on impossible to pass on. I was getting super frustrated and got right back onto them with 3 minutes to go and then dropped it.
“All in all it was a really good day, and a good run out on the 2019. It gives us a chance to see where we can improve, but the engine is amazing, the bike chassis turns really good. Maybe we need to do a little work on the shock, but it was nice to come out on a pretty much a standard bike and nearly win a race, so I was happy with today”.
A return visit to Cusses Gorse in two weeks’ time is next on the cards for Elliott and the team as they look to hold onto his 22 point lead in the Bridgestone British Masters, and be crowned the Pro MX1 champion in that series.