With Gary Gibson recovering in hospital after an injury this week, the Heads and All Threads Suzuki team headed to Preston Docks for round one of the MX Nationals on Sunday, the 22nd of March, with Graeme Irwin and Harri Kullas both aboard the RM-Z450 in MX1
With the MX Nationals being a mixed class fastest 40 event (MX1 and MX2 scored separately), it was important to get a good gate pick on Sunday morning. Irwin showed great speed and took 4th, and Kullas took a respectable 10th.
The first race saw Irwin make a good start and was within the top 5, but as the track became much rougher than in qualifying at the half way point of the 30min moto, Irwin struggled with his stiff fork setting from qualifying, and as it drained his energy, he dropped positions and crossed the line 8th (6th MX1).
Kullas’ start left him with a lot of work to do from 12th, but he stormed through the field to cross the line in 5th (4th MX1)
Both Suzuki riders rounded the first corner in great positions in the second race, with Irwin in 3rd and Kullas in 5th. Irwin moved into second and was pushing, but a mistake in lap eight cost him, and the Irishman dropped to his finishing position of 6th (5th MX1), and 6th MX1 overall.
Kullas rode a consistent race from the start and was battling to take 2nd, but couldn’t quite do enough and crossed the line in 3rd, narrowly missing out on the MX1 podium with 4th MX1 overall.
“Qualifying was good, but I struggled to ride in the first race and sapped a lot of my energy. The second race started well, and I was 2nd with about ten minutes to go, but I made a mistake and went over the berm. It took a couple of laps to get into the rhythm again, but then it was too late to make any more progress” — Graeme Irwin, #5
“I got a bad start in the first, but I think I recovered well to get 4th. It was a better start in the second and I was really happy to get third. I’m happy with the Suzuki and how I rode, but it would be better to get on the podium overall.” — Harri Kullas, #151a
“It was a good day really. Graeme had some problems and a mistake. He rode well, but it’s hard to come back from in the mixed races.
Harri rode brilliantly in the first, he came through the pack like a steam train, it’s just a shame he missed out on the podium overall.
Now we’re just looking forward to the next British round at Lyng in two weeks.” — Neil prince, Team Manager.