Millward, Grimshaw and Hague on Hawkstone International
IT RAINED, it poured and gale-force winds threatened awnings throughout the paddock but the Chambers Racing Husqvarna team dug in deep and kicked the year off in a positive fashion at the season-opening Hawkstone Park International Motocross.
With team members Ben Franklin and Aaron McCarroll sidelined through injury, three riders – Jake Millward, Tom Grimshaw and Jay Hague – made it to the startline on Sunday.
Conditions were very testing around Britain’s most challenging track but the trio did enough to underline the hard work they’ve put in during the off-season.
Jake was a rock-solid seventh in qualifying in the MX1 class – despite twisting his knee on his final fast lap – and was running in the top five in the opening moto before he got stuck in a deep rut and lost so much time he had to pull out and then opted to withdraw from race two.
Tom qualified in 18th out of the international MX2 field and ran a commendable 17-13 in the points-paying races to end the day 14th overall.
Jay recorded the 12th fastest time in qualification to demonstrate his speed but was forced to withdraw from both MX2 races.
Tim Chambers (Team Principal)
“Qualifying was good. Jake showed that he can run with the big boys with a great seventh place before he tweaked his knee on the final lap.
“Jay put in a great time and Tom was solid which is what we expect from him. Conditions were tough but there’s a lot more to come.
”We’ve built a great team and I’m confident that, despite the conditions today, the results will come.”
“It started out well and I got a good qualifying lap in which I was happy with. Then I went to do another fast lap at the end of the session and twisted my foot.
“It started to feel okay so I went out for the first race and was fourth or fifth for the first few laps but I took an inside line in one of the corners and got stuck – the rut was up to the seat and I lost so much time trying to dig it out.
“My knee wasn’t feeling amazing so I decided to sit out the second race.”
“It was all looking good and we were all gleaming at the start but one lap in we were absolutely covered! You’ve got to give it up to the organisers because it wasn’t looking good.
“The team did well and everything’s looking okay. It was a challenge but we got through it. I’m very happy with the Husqvarna – I’ve gelled well with it.
“I always want to finish higher up the field but I’ll take that for a debut ride on the Husqvarna.”
“I normally really enjoy these sort of conditions but I lost my goggles on the opening lap of race one and I was still washing the sand out of my eyes a day later.
“It wasn’t fun out there but I’m happy with my qualification time. Putting in a fast lap isn’t normally my strong point – and it was a bit of a lottery given the conditions – but I’m confident that I’ve put the hard work in during the off-season and I’m going to build from this.”
Words: Sean Lawless
Pic: Nuno Laranjeira