Irwin and Kellett on top at Blaxhall

17 July 2017

Go Back Graeme Irwin (Buildbase Honda) raced to a dominant double MX1 win – his third in a row – at round six of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean at the Woodbridge club’s excellent Blaxhall circuit on Sunday.

The Irishman now leads the championship by 52 points and could wrap the title up one round early at Preston Docks on July 31.

In MX2 it was 20-year-old Todd Kellett (Hitachi KTM UK) who raced to a career-first moto win and overall victory on a sensational debut for his new team while James Dunn (GL12 KTM Racing) doubled up in the two-stroke class.

Qualifying second behind home favourite Elliott Banks-Browne (Geartec Husqvarna), Irwin holeshot the opening moto before it was red-flagged after EBB crashed heavily and sustained a suspected concussion that put him out for the rest of the day.

From the restart Irwin holeshot again and after soaking up early pressure from two-time champ Brad Anderson (Verde Sports Racing KTM) pulled clear to win by over 10 seconds from Ando and Ryan Houghton (iFly JK Racing Yamaha).

Title contender Gert Krestinov (Phoenix Tools Honda Racing) took a hard-fought sixth after an early crash dropped him to 22nd on the opening lap.

Irwin took his third holeshot of the day in race two and after swapping passes with Ando finally broke clear at half-distance to come home over seven-and-a-half seconds clear of Krestinov.

Anderson, who was slowed by a rear brake issue, was third for second overall ahead of Houghton whose race-two fourth earned him the final step on the podium.

“There was a lot of talk before this race from a lot of guys who were all coming here to win so it’s good to be the man who actually did win both races today,” said Irwin. “This is all that matters to me – I don’t care about any other series, this is the one that I want to win and to go 1-1 here and extend my lead to 52 points is perfect.

“I can wrap the title up one round early at Preston Docks and that’s the goal now.”

Micky Eccles (Putoline Planet Suspension Husqvarna) topped MX2 qualification but it was Kiwi Josiah Natzke (Hitachi KTM UK) who holeshot the opening moto and cleared off to win by almost 10 seconds from Mel Pocock (REVO Husqvarna UK).

Local hero Lewis Tombs (Lings Husqvarna) had a great ride for third just ahead of Kellett who came through from 15th after the first lap.

Brad Todd (Putoline Planet Suspension Husqvarna) led moto two before Josh Spinks (M Smith KTM Racing) took over at the front.

At half-distance Kellett, who’d again been forced to make a succession of passes, moved ahead as behind him a fierce battle raged for the leading positions.

Series pace-setter Ben Watson (Hitachi KTM UK) and his main title rival Martin Barr (Buildbase Honda), who’d both come from outside the top 20, were in the thick of it with Watson taking second from Barr on the final lap.

“It’s surreal,” said Kellett, “what you dream of. The first race was steady and I didn’t get a great start but in the second race I just thought I’d have a bit of fun.

“The first race was a bit of a disappointment – I think I should have been in second really but it’s one of those things. That was my first start on the bike so everything is new to me and I’m still learning. We’re just taking it as it comes, step by step.”

Pocock’s 2-5 card was good enough for second overall from Natzke who was ninth in race two after ending the opening lap all the way back in 29th.

In the championship Watson now leads Barr by 42 points with Kellett a further 32 points adrift in third.

Blaxhall also played host to round three of the British Two-stroke Championship and Dunn, who missed the opening round, looked super-smooth as he streaked to both wins to take the overall ahead of veteran South African Neville Bradshaw (DB Racing Honda) who ran 2-3 from series newcomer Manuel Lacopi who carded 4-2.

Dutchman Mike Kras (GL12 Racing KTM) lost his unbeaten record but despite struggling to 3-8 finishes after taking a big soil sample in race two he still leads Bradshaw by seven points with one round to go.

“It’s was mint to get two wins,” said Dunn. “I’m really, really happy with that. I’m building my confidence every weekend now and getting back to where I want to be. I need to thank [GL12 boss] Bob Buchanan for getting me on a bike and getting me to these races – that’s made all the difference.”

Picture © Imagerich Media

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