Report: Hawkstone International – surviving the storm!
What a day that was! For a while it looked like Hawkstone would somewhat survive storm Ciara, the worst storm in the UK for seven year as, despite the strong winds and showery drizzle, the track was in surprisingly decent shape for practice – but it all changed during lunch.
Sustained driving rain before and during the first MX2 moto and in MX1 left the track a mud bath and the riders bravely trying to race around the historic circuit, even if, in places, a jet ski would have been more suitable!
By the second motos the rain had subsided and we even had blue sky but the damage was done with Buildbase Honda not going out for race two and the Superfinal cancelled, that said, the racing was still good and the crowd numbers impressive!
Shaun Simpson was in brilliant form in race one leading from start to finish in a superb debut for his own SS24 race team with the hardy fans cheering the Brit on as he kept Glenn Coldenhoff at bay until the Dutchman made a mistake and dropped back. All eyes were also on Jeffrey Herlings, the poleman has went down on lap one then stormed through the field from dead last to take third despite the conditions and, with one more lap, might have even passed Coldenhoff for second!
Herlings made amends in race two with the holeshot and wouldn’t be headed even if Coldenhoff put the pressure on at the end. Simpson gated top five and once into third and passed the impressive Brent Van Doninck, set his sites on Coldenhoff in second, a pass which would have won him the overall. Coldenhoff though and his sights set on Herlings and seemed to up his pace and would finish second giving Herlings the overall with a 3-1 ahead of Simpson 1-3 and Coldenhoff on a 2-2.
In MX2 it was the rookies that impressed! 18 year old Austrian, René Hofer, in his first year in MX2 and as a factory rider, lead all but two laps of the first moto and had fellow rookie, 15 year old Kay De Wolf on his tail for most of the race only for Roan van De Moosdijk, last year’s EMX2 champ to take the first moto win on the F&H Kawasaki, his young teammate Mikkel Haarup took a strong third with De Wolf fourth after a mistake.
In race two Tom Vialle put a quiet first moto sixth behind him to win with Jed Beaton showing good form for second and Harrup strong again in third. It gave Vialle the overall on a tie-break from Haarup and showed that the 2020 MX2 world championship could be sensational with all the young talented riders coming in from EMX2 on fire and the existing MX2 riders trying to step up and win a world title- it could be anyone’s year!
The 125 class was all about Evets and Rizzi. The Brit held Everts off in race one to take an impressive win but Everts rode a stunning race in the wet in race two going from last to first in three laps and pulling out a huge lead. His technique was superb and it was a big win for Everts against some of the top EMX125 competition he will take on this season.
All in all, despite the weather it was still a good day’s racing and set’s us up for what should be a pulsating first GP at Matterley Basin – let’s just hope the weather plays ball in three weeks time in Winchester!
Report: Jonathan McCready Images: Ray Archer