Tuesday August 29, 2017 at 4:53pm
Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki team-mates Darian Sanayei and Tommy Searle dominated the pro programme at the eighth and final round of the 2017 Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean at Foxhill on Sunday.
The American, a wildcard winner last time out, returned to run 1-1 in MX2 while Searle – making his 2017 championship debut after spending the entire season injured – matched Sanayei’s score in MX1.
In the British Two-stroke Championship it was James Dunn (GL12 Racing KTM) who remained unbeaten on the day as his team-mate Mike Kras took the title and Tom Grimshaw (HCR Putoline Apico Yamaha) topped the MXY2 class but couldn’t stop Keenan Hird (Craigs Motorcycles/Team Green) from sweeping to the coveted crown.
The day ended in disappointment for Buildbase Honda pairing Graeme Irwin and Martin Barr. Irwin, with the MX1 title already secured, attempted to race both classes but withdrew halfway through the day through illness and Barr, with second in the MX2 championship safe, crashed heavily in his opening moto
Fortunately, after being taken to hospital, the diagnosis was heavy bruising but no broken bones for the tough Irishman.
“It was kind of a last-minute decision to do this,” said Sanayei. “I had some pretty good racing with Martin Barr in the first one – I hope he’s all right – and in the second battled with Natzke for a little while and ended up going 1-1.
“I’ve never been to Foxhill and I missed a little bit of the free practice this morning so I went out there and I didn’t know really where I was going. On the first lap of the first race I went over a hill and the corner was a little bit sooner than I was expecting.”
Sanayei was joined on the podium by Natzke (Hitachi KTM UK) who took second on a tie-break after carding 4-2 from Mel Pocock (REVO Husqvarna UK) who ran 2-4.
In the championship Harri Kullas (MVR-D Route 77 Husqvarna) snatched third behind Ben Watson (Hitachi KTM UK) – who, with the title already in the bag, raced MX1 – and Barr.
Searle, the 2016 MX1 champ, was in dominant form but was chased hard all day by Elliott Banks-Browne (Geartec Husqvarna) who signed off with two second-placed finishes and Gert Krestinov (Phoenix Tools Honda Racing) in third with a 4-3 card.
Watson, making his 450 debut, looked fast and impressed with a 6-4 score for fifth overall.
“I just came here to race,” said Searle. “It’s important for me to race and I’m enjoying racing at the moment probably more than I have done in the past just because I haven’t really got much pressure on myself.”
In the championship Krestinov took second from Brad Anderson (Verde Sports Racing KTM) by 13 points.
Despite missing the opening round of the two-stroke series Dunn claimed third in the championship behind Kras and Neville Bradshaw thanks to his second maximum score in a row.
“It’s nice to finish the year with a 1-1,” said Dunn. “Obviously, I didn’t start the season due to injuries last year so it’s good to finish on a strong note and go into the off-season feeling happy.”
Bradshaw, racing an ’89 CR500, came home third on the day behind series newcomer Ashley Greedy.
Heading into the final round of the MXY2 championship Grimshaw trailed Hird by 24 points and took his first overall win of the series with a 2-1 score
“I’m over the moon,” said Grimshaw. “I’ve come close all year but managed to put two consistent races in today and come away with the overall. To win the last race of the season is a great confidence boost before I move into MX2 in 2018.”
First race winner Charlie Cole (Husky Sport) followed Grimshaw home in moto two for second overall with Hird taking third on the day with a 5-3 score.
Lewis Hall (Team Green Kawasaki) was fifth overall to secure third in the championship.
Picture © Lawless Media UK