Quick thoughts: Hawkstone Park International
No rain, a great crowd and some brilliant racing meant Hawkstone Park was a resounding success in 2022. The track was soft but it developed well and it was certainly a good workout for the riders, especially with three races plus a practice session in a few short hours.
The atmosphere was fantastic with a packed infield cheering on the brilliant Conrad Mewse and impressive Ben Watson who spearheaded the British interest at front of the field.
Mewse was inspired on his debut race with his own team. He could even have went 1-1 but a crash doing the double that Vialle wasn’t even doing in race one cost him his shot in that one but he delivered in race two beating two of this season’s world title contenders, Vialle and the super fast De Wolf to take a huge win ahead of new GP season – let’s hope he can get those starts at Matterley!
Ben Watson also looked good, in only his second race on the Kawasaki and a short off season he showed very good speed and could have won race two except for a crash when out front and then battled Coldenhoff and Bogers in an intense super final.
Glenn Coldenhoff ended the day on a high with a super final win in his best performance of the day to head into the first GP feeling good while Brian Bogers was fast all day with excellent corner speed – a dark horse at Matterley?
Brent Van Doninck was fantastic as was as Jake Milward in race one, leading some of the best in the world and setting the pace until he went down – what a feeling that must have been!
Kay de Wolf is special. Amazing corner speed De Wolf came through the field and even ran fourth for a long time in the superfinal untl he went down. This kid is for real and could well be a big contender for the world title at 17 years old. A very, very special talent.
Tom Vialle was smart all day and had good pace, especially considering he isn’t back ont he bike long after injury. He’s composed and playing the long game while getting faster week on week. A good day for the Frenchman and he admitted he made big strides from last weekend.
Hitachi KTM duo will be happy with their performances, Isak Gifting got a brilliant race one win as Kay Karssemakers was very impressive in terms of his speed on the 250f KTM considering he is just up from a 125! He battled Everts all race long in moto two and Everts himself was riding well but average starts meant he was in the thick of a battle each time out! The style and technique is lovely to watch though.
A great day that has wetted the appetite and given some riders great confidence ahead of the first GP round this weekend!
Image: Too Fast media
Article and interviews: Jonathan McCready