Gilbert gets back to winning ways in Oxford

Crendon Fastrack Honda riders Josh Gilbert and Conrad Mewse continued their amazing run of wins and podiums at the third round of the MX Nationals at the spectacular and fast Oxford Moto Parc circuit.

After Mewse won the last three British championship events from his team-mate, this time Gilbert carried on his MX Nationals winning run from the last round at Monster Mountain in Wales.

At the man-made circuit near Abingdon, it was Gilbert who blasted to victory in both races on the fast and technical circuit. His maximum 50-point haul means he’s now just two behind Mewse in the championship, who had second and third place finishes at Oxford despite feeling under the weather. And the pair’s incredible record of being together on the podium at every single national-level championship round this season continues.

The opening moto saw former HRC factory rider Evgeny Bobryshev lead on the first lap with Gilbert and Mewse quickly on his tail. By the end of lap two it was Gilbert in the lead with Mewse right behind in second, and once again the pair set an unmatchable pace at the front as they gapped the field. Setting lap times up to two seconds a lap quicker than the chasing Bobryshev and Harri Kullas, the Crendon Fastrack Honda duo staged a fantastic fight for the lead that had the crowd on their toes. But in the final three laps Gilbert just seemed to find the extra he needed to edge away to victory. He also set the fastest lap of the race.

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Second time out Gilbert used the power of the Honda CRF450R to take the holeshot from Bobryshev, Ivo Monticelli and Mewse. Gilbert immediately began to edge away from the Russian rider, while it took Mewse a couple of laps to get by Monticelli and settle into his rhythm. By mid race, Gilbert continued to edge away from Bobryshev on every lap then Mewse began to make a charge. But instead of his normal, relentless move to the front he found it impossible to get on terms with the leading duo. As Gilbert eventually crossed the line 16 seconds in front of Bobryshev, Mewse was feeling sapped of energy so brought the Honda home for a safe third place.

So with Gilbert taking the overall for his double win, Mewse and Bobryshev tied on 42 points each for second but the nod went to Bobryshev due to his better second race result. But Mewse still holds onto the red plate.

Gilbert said: “It’s so nice to get a one-one finish – my first one of this year. And it feels good. Me and Conrad have been having some good battles lately and if it’s not him winning it’s me. He’s had the upper hand in the last few races. But today I had a perfect day.

“Last week at the British championship the team changed the bike and it has made a big difference. It makes me more relaxed and I can ride like I know I can. And that proved it today.

“The track was gnarly, there was no let up and it kept you on your toes. My starts were dialled, and for that you need a good bike and the Honda is unbelievable. And the suspension is working right. It’s everything that makes it possible to win.”

Mewse said: “It was a tough day today as I felt a bit under the weather. I haven’t felt good since Thursday, so I don’t know if I’m coming down with something. Today I wasn’t my usual self on the track. So if that’s an off day for me then I’ll take that. To be on the podium and leave still leading this championship and the main British championship is good so I have to be happy with that. And we’ll bounce back next time.”

Team co-ordinator Ryan Thorpe said: “The whole team performed incredibly well again this weekend, with Josh having a well-deserved double win and Conrad making the best of not feeling very well to keep the red plate and end up on the podium again.

“It’s testament to the professionalism of the riders and mechanics who keep working relentlessly to come up with the goods again. Race wins, podiums and first and second in the championship means it was another successful event for the Crendon Fastrack Honda team.”

Words: Press Release

Image: Crendon Fastrack Honda Racing