A short-handed Geartec Husqvarna team headed home from the first round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship’s at Culham safe in the knowledge that they have the speed to compete for the MX1 title but some good luck along the way wouldn’t go amiss.
Second place in Qualifying for Elliott Banks-Browne meant a good gate pick for the main races, but team mate Luke Norris went no further than this session. Norris had been feeling unwell all week, and had his energy sapped in a few laps so it was felt best by the team to pull him from the races to save his energy for next week’s MX Nationals and the remainder of the British Championships.
Banks-Browne went into race one as the lone rider for the Geartec Husqvarna team but after the sighting lap his machine began to splutter. With time running out the decision was made to go for the race, where a good start was made and within three laps he made his way from 7th up to 4th, but the bike was slowing and more misfortune was to come when his back brake gave way. Still soldiering on for valid championship points, with no brake and a slowing machine, the bike eventually gave up the ghost with 20 seconds left on the countdown clock.
'It's was a shame as i had the speed to win but lady luck just want on our side'
Being a lap down on his main rivals Elliott still managed to salvage 3 valuable championship points in 18th position.
On a new machine for Race 2, Elliott powered from the traps to gain the holeshot and pull clear at the head of the field. With 5 minutes to go and a 9 second lead over second, bad luck struck again when the hydraulics on the clutch were lost and Elliott’s lead was soon eaten up by eventual race winner Evgeny Bobryshev leaving Banks-Browne to nurse his bike home for a 2nd place finish and 7thoverall.
Paul Mason – Team Owner
“It was a bad day and a good day for us. It was one of those where we had an issue with one of the engines in the first race, so we sent Elliott out on the spare bike for race 2. He could of won race 2 if the clutch hadn’t of played up, but we had lots of speed and we showed out colours, so as much as we are disappointed we know we have what it takes to be at the front of the field.”
“It was a shame how the day panned out with the engine problem in the first race. It was no fault of the team it was just one of those things. I got the holeshot in moto 2 and I felt I was riding well and keeping a good pace riding within myself. Then I lost the hydraulics in the clutch with just 5 minutes to go with a 9 second lead and I just had to take care of the bike and finish , so a second was good considering. It was a disappointing day on the one hand, but all in all we had the speed, I have the fitness, so we know we should be up there for the next one.”
The next meeting for the team is the opening round of the MX Nationals this weekend 7th and 8th April, which takes place at Elliott’s local track of Lyng, and with plenty of local support he will be looking to turn that speed in to race wins, after being so close at Culham. The team are hopeful that Luke Norris will also be fit to take his place at Lyng and get his first taste of point scoring race action in 2018.