Buildbase Honda’s Adrien Escoffier consolidated his third place in the Pro Lites series and Adam Chatfield moved up to eighth in the 450 class at rounds three and four of the 2019 Arenacross Tour at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena over the weekend.
Unfortunately, the team’s second 450 rider Austin Root was forced to pull out after dislocating his shoulder on Friday night.
“Austin was riding really well – the best I’ve seen him ride – but he moved awkwardly on the bike through the rhythm section and his shoulder popped out,” said team boss Dave Thorpe. “He tried to ride on Saturday but the pain was too much. I do feel for him – it happened just as he was starting to show what he’s capable of.”
With Austin sidelined it was down to Adrien and Adam to represent the team and the Frenchman survived two big crashes to keep his championship hopes alive.
“I led the Main on Friday and crashed because another rider jumped on me,” he said. “On Saturday I had a really big crash but now I’m focussed on Sheffield.”
Dave was more than happy with Adrien’s performance over the two nights in Birmingham.
“Adrien rode extremely well in the Main Events on Friday and started second in the Super Final before taking the lead,” said Dave. “There was a triple into a corner and he touched with the guy in second in mid air and Adrien ended up almost in the control tower. He was very lucky to walk away from it.
“He really got to grips with the track on Saturday. He was third in the first Main but in the second he had a huge crash which put him through to the head to heads and then he won the LCQ. In the final he started on the second row and battled his way to fifth which was a great result. He’s a tough man to walk away from two big crashes and still fight to such a good finish.
“Adam struggled with the track on Friday but he rode the best he’s ridden in the whole series on Saturday. I was really pleased with him.”
Adam, who was AX champion for the team back in 2013, was delighted to be climbing the leader board.
“It’s been a better weekend for me,” he said. “The dirt was really nice and I got better starts which made a big difference. There are so many good riders this year so I was happy to make the Super Final on Saturday. Hopefully I can carry the momentum on into Sheffield.”
Austin flies back to Italy on Sunday to have his shoulder checked but is confident he’ll be back in action for the series finale at Sheffield’s Fly DSA Arena on February 15-16.
“I was running second on Friday and I popped my shoulder out,” he said. “I tried to ride on Saturday but I had so much pain. I felt really good on Friday and it’s just a bummer. I should be back for Sheffield, I just got to get healed up.
Words and Pic: Buildbase Honda