Hitachi KTM riders Ben Watson, Josiah Natzke and Todd Kellett travelled to a sunkissed Foxhill Motoparc near Swindon in Wiltshire for the eighth and final round of the 2017 Maxxis British Motocross championship.
Ben had already been crowned MX2 champion at the previous round and so the team decided to let him try the bigger KTM 450 SX-F machine in the MX1 class just for the experience, leaving Josiah and Todd to hunt down more silverware for the team in MX2.
MX1 Race 1
Tommy Searle who was making a comeback to racing after spending most of the year on the side lines through injuries got the holeshot at the start on the first MX1 race and was followed in to turn one by Elliott Banks-Browne and Ben.
Being on the bigger bike Ben was taking his time getting into the race and had slipped down to sixth by the third lap and Searle and Banks-Browne stretched out a bigger and bigger lead in the energy sapping heat.
As the race progressed Ben became faster with more confidence and ended the race in sixth place behind Searle, Banks-Brown, Brad Anderson on a Verde KTM, Gert Krestinov and this year’s MX1 champion, Graeme Irwin.
MX2 Race 2
Ben didn’t get the start he wanted in race two and rounded turn one in eighth place with – once again – Searle and Banks-Browne leading the race.
By the halfway point, Ben had passed Jamie Law, James Harrison and Luke Norris and moved into fifth and was running the same pace as the leaders. As the finish flag fell, Searle notched his second win of the day for the overall from Banks-Browne and Krestinov with Ben in fourth for fifth place overall on his first MX1 outing.
Ben Watson #919 Hitachi KTM – MX1 5th overall (6-4)
“I just came here today to enjoy myself on the big bike and was not taking it too seriously, so coming away with a fifth overall is good I think. Riding the KTM 450 SX-F compared to the KTM 250 SX-F is completely different as the power is always there on the 450 when you need it, which makes it easier to ride fast but what with the extra power and weight its takes a lot more holding on to – but it’s all good fun!”
MX2 Race 1
In the first of the MX2 races Martin Barr got the holeshot from Darian Sanayei and Florent Richier with the two Hitachi KTM team members, Todd Kellett and Josiah Natzke in sixth and seventh places.
With the battle for the lead between Barr and Sanayei raging on, Josiah found a way passed his team mate Todd on lap two. With the pair both past Josh Gilbert on lap six and were in fifth and six places just as the race was stopped with a red flag after Barr had a massive crash down one Foxhill’s big hills. Barr was taken to hospital but early reports suggest he was lucky and has no broken bones but was feeling very second hand.
MX2 Race 2
Josiah got the holeshot at the start of race two and was followed round the opening lap by Sanayei, Todd and Mel Pocock. On lap five Sanayei slipped by Josiah for the lead and went on to take his second win of the day as Josiah and Todd finished second and third.
Overall, Sanyei was the winner from Josiah and Pocock with Todd just missing out on a podium place by four points.
Josiah Natzke #33 Hitachi KTM – MX2 2nd overall (5-2)
“It’s been a good season and I am very glad I came over to take part in this British championship. I did hesitate a bit when thinking about this series, but I have got a lot out of it even though we didn’t get the results we wanted and had some issues which were out of my control. But I have enjoyed myself and will be coming back next year!”
Other notable KTM finishers were Brad Anderson in the MX1’s on his Verde KTM fourth overall on the day and third in the championship, James Dunn on his GL12 KTM who took both two-stroke wins and Dutchman Mike Kras on the second GL12 KTM who won the two-stroke championship.
Words and pic: KTM UK