There’s nothing more Graeme Irwin would have wanted than to win in front his home crowd at Desertmartin for the second consecutive year running. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be this year but you certainly can’t fault his effort.
At the start of the first moto, Irwin was in fourth, after Nicholls and Bobryshev had small crashes, the Hitachi KTM UK rider found himself in a strong second. Searle had a ten second lead at one stage but the determined Irwin didn’t give up. Lap after lap he closed the gap and at the end it was less than two seconds, another lap and who knows what might have happened! The start of the second moto didn’t go to plan as he was nearly last going around the first corner but he worked hard and battled his way through the pack. He managed to get all the way back to fourth and passing series leader, Nicholls along the way. He didn’t win but it certainly wasn’t down to lack of speed, Irwin can hold his head high about his performance. Hopefully he can push on now and build on this heading into the rest of the season, it’d be nice to see him in the top ten of MXGP!
It wasn’t a dominate performance from Tommy Searle which we’ve seen before at Desertmartin but the Dixon Kawasaki rider did enough to go 1-1 and take fifty championship points. It doesn’t matter how you win as long as you get the job done and that’s what the Brit managed to do at the weekend.
Searle missed the first round of the British series after breaking his collarbone and it’s took him a while to get back up to speed but you can see every week he’s getting stronger and stronger. A few more weeks and we might just see the Tommy Searle back we’re used to seeing. Considering he missed the first round it’s highly unlikely he’ll come back to win the title but it’s good for him to get race time under his belt and try different things with the bike to get it setup for the MXGP World Championship.
He’s not exactly known for his sand riding but IFly JK Yamaha’s Ivo Monticelli put on a great performance around the sandy Desertmartin circuit during his first visit to the track. The start of the first moto didn’t go to plan as he was buried outside the top fifteent and had a small crash when he was working his way though the pack. The Italian ended up getting back up to sixth though which was the best he could do – the top five were gone!
The British Championship rookie took a much better start in the second moto as he was sat in third. Bobryshev and Searle were running 1-2 but to his credit he kept them in his sights and when Bobryshev crashed he found himself in second. Monticelli kept the gap to Searle pretty reasonable as there was less than seven seconds in it at the line. The Italian is riding really well at the moment so it’s pretty clear the decision to start working with Christophe Pourcel has been a good one – he seems to know how to get the best out of Monticelli after just three weeks of working together.
They say you win the championship on your bad days and even though on paper it looked like an average weekend for Jake Nicholls, in terms of the championship it’s worked out perfect. Nicholls didn’t lose any points to Bobryshev which means he’s still got a nineteen points gap in the race for the championship and he only lost four points to Irwin at his home track.
Nicholls had a solid day going 3-5 in the moto’s but still showed good speed on his Buildbase Honda. There’s no doubt that he seems to be having a lot more fun on his bike this year with the stress of not having to race GP’s and you can tell he’s happy with the place he’s at right now. The goal will be to bring home the title and right now you wouldn’t bet against him either.
Cab Screens Honda rider, Dan Thornhill goes under the radar quite a bit! Heading into Desertmartin Thornhill sat tenth in the championship which is pretty impressive considering the series is faster at the front than last year with the likes of Bobryshev and Monticelli competing.
The friendly Honda rider had a really good weekend at Desertmartin as he went 8-7 in the moto’s for an impressive seventh overall. With the top five being so fast this year that’s probably about the best he can do but it won’t stop him from pushing on and trying to break into the top five during the remaining rounds of the series.
A shout out to the local riders Richard Bird and Luke Smith as they finished seventeenth and nineteenth respectively. The pair of them both picked up points in both moto’s which they can be pleased about – it’s not easy!
Article: Andy McKinstry
Pics: Nigel McKinstry