Buildbase Honda’s Josh Gilbert and Lewis Tombs almost made it a double podium celebration on Sunday at the second round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean at Cadders Hill, Lyng, on Sunday.
Racing in the MX2 class on his CRF250R, Josh topped qualification and holeshot the opening 25-minute plus two lap moto and led until over half-distance before dropping back to second. In race two his start wasn’t as good but he fought hard and an eventual fourth-placed finish was good enough for second overall.
“I’m happy,” said Josh. “It’s been a really good day. That’s the first time I’ve ever poled qualifying which was a great start – I’ve been working on that and it seems to have paid off.
“In moto one I got a perfect start and got away a little bit for the first five or six laps but then I tensed up and Conrad Mewse closed up and passed me which I’m a little bit annoyed about.
“There was a little bit of argy-bargy off the start in race two and I ended up about fifth or sixth and had to scrap for the whole race. It was tough but I was actually happier with the second race than I was with the first because I was more relaxed and my fitness felt fine.”
Viewed as a 250 specialist, Lewis’ form on a 450 has been a revelation since he’s joined the team and he showed that his third-placed finish at the opening round of the series at FatCat last month was no fluke by qualifying fourth and running 4-4 in the points-paying races for fourth overall.
“It’s been a good, solid day,” he said. “I was fourth in qualifying which I was chuffed with because I don’t normally qualify that well and that set me up for a good gate pick.
“I didn’t get the best of starts in race one but managed to work my way up to fourth and got third off Mel Pocock towards the end of the race but he passed me back. In the second one I started third and stayed there until Harri Kullas got me near the end.
“The Buildbase Honda CRF450R is such an easy bike to ride and it handles like a dream – I’m also quite big so it suits me.”
Competing in the MX2 Youth class, Japanese teenager Shiaru Honda got a score on the board with 19th in race one to seal the deal on a successful day for the team.
Team boss Dave Thorpe was very happy with how his riders performed at the challenging Norfolk circuit.
“We’ve had a great day,” he said. “Lewis qualified fourth – he got pipped by Harri Kullas on the last lap – and battled really, really hard in the first race. It was a bit of a dogfight for him.
“He had a slightly better start in the second one and for 10 minutes he stayed right behind Tommy Searle which was great to see but then he tightened up a little bit and Harri got him which cost him a place on the podium. To be fair he rode absolutely fantastic and we were all really pleased for him.
“He’s been given an opportunity to show everyone what he can do on a 450 and he’s grasped his chance with both hands. As a team we can’t fault his attitude, he’s been absolutely brilliant.
“Josh holeshot the first race and for the first six laps he was outstanding and had a good 15 seconds on Conrad Mewse but he possibly got a little tired riding at that pace with the grand prix boys which is understandable.
“In the second race he didn’t quite make the start and got caught up in a real battle. The last lap was frantic but Josh did what he needed to do to get second.
“Shiaru, our guest rider from Japan, scored his first points in the MX2 Youth class and while it’s still a very steep learning curve for him it was great to see. It’s a big challenge for him to come to Europe and he’s rising to it.”
Words: Buildbase Honda