Hawkstone International 2017
Hawkstone International was an absolute success. The weather was good, the track was gruesome and the crowds were the best seen there for years. The start gates were packed with top GP riders from all over the world, competing against some of Britain’s finest riders.
All at Verde Sports Racing had worked hard long hours to get the team prepared in time for the event. The racing started off a huge success for Millward 303 and Ando 60 but things didn’t got quite to plan as the day progressed. However, that is what Hawkstone International is about. A pre-season race to see where you sit in the British / World Standing and see what additional work needs to be done to the bikes and the riders.
It had put plenty of rain down on Friday night which left the track pretty wet at the start of the day. A decision not to run the famous ‘Hill’ was made late on Saturday afternoon, due to there being too much standing water at the top.
Jake has always been a big fan of Hawkstone Park but rode a little cautiously due to the changeable track. The track was so soft in parts that the foot pegs dug deep into the sand, yet in other sections it was very slippery and wet. Jake got a couple of quick laps in and it was in his 3rd that he sealed his 11th position and gate pick for the day. The only riders before him were all Factory GP riders and the only Brits were Conrad Mewse and Ben Watson. Not a bad start to the day.
Brad too is a lover of the Hawkstone track and the wet conditions never bother this northern rider. It was also in Brad’s 3rd lap that he slotted in his quickest time giving him 10th position and gate pick for the day. Just like Jake, all the riders before him were full Factory GP riders and the only Brits were Max Anstie, Shaun Simpson and Jake Nicholls. All the other riders were a good 2 seconds slower than Brad. Another good start to the day.
What a top first race to the day. A fabulous start, sitting in 5th position behind Factory Riders; Jonass, Covington, Kjer-Olson and Ben Watson. He held tight throughout the race, battling continuously with Jeremy Seewer for most of the race. It was in the last couple of laps that Seewer got the better of Jake and both him and his Suzuki World team mate Hunter Lawrence managed to get past, pushing Jake Millward 303 into 7th place. But still an excellent finish and a brilliant ride by the 23 year old, who finished before the likes of Mel Pocock, Conrad Mewse and Adam Sterry.
A good solid first race for Brad Anderson. He was 3rd out the gate and with Shaun Simpson taken out of the race on the start, Brad moved into 2nd place in this stacked class. But the class was very stacked and the GP riders and Brad soon moved down to 4th place behind Anstie, Nagl and Jasikonis. Brad held off Kevin Strijbos for most of the race but then arm pump kicked in and once Strijbos made his pass, Jake Nicholls found his way through too. Brad rode hard in 6th place battling with Gautier Paulin and Nathan Watson until the last lap, when they pushed him down to 8th place. A great first race result, although Brad wasn’t totally satisfied and was keen to do better in his second race.
Another good start for young Jake Millward, out the gate in 5th place. He was up there with the same few GP riders and sat in 6th place for the first half of the race. Then Covington made a pass, followed by Vaessen. Jake held on to 8th place until Adam Sterry and Van-Berkel found their way through with just a couple of laps to go. It was in the last lap that Ben Watson pushed through from the back, taking Jake’s 10th place position and pushed Jake back to 11th finish for moto 2. Still an excellent finish with only GP riders before him.
Brad got another good jump out the gate and was feeling on form for this second race. He was up there with the GP riders once again and going strong. Then things didn’t go quite to plan. Brad’s bike misfired in the 4th lap and he had to pull off only to find an electrical fault with the bike. Both Brad and the team were disappointed. They tried hard to fix the problem for the Super Final but luck just wasn’t going their way.
Jake finished 9th overall in MX2 at Hawkstone International. A very stacked pack of GP Factory Riders and the only Brits to beat his overall position were Ben Watson (6th) and Conrad Mews (8th). Not a bad first race to the season and a good bench mark to see what else needs to be done in training prep for the Maxxis.
Brad only finished 15th overall due to the incompletion of race 2. Disappointing but a good pre-season race against some top riders.
Quote from Jake Millward:
Had a good weekend at Hawkstone coming away with 9th overall with a 7th and an 11th. Was good battling with some of the world’s best. A big thanks to everyone who helps and the whole Verde Sports Racing Team who do an amazing job.
Quote from Brad Anderson:
First race today I was out the gate second but got arm pump ended up 8th. So I felt ready for race two. Didn’t get the best of starts but was behind Simpson with Strijbos behind me so felt good. Then after about 5 laps or so the bike started to splutter so a DNF. The team tried to solve the problem for the Super Final but in the first lap it stopped, but at least am in one piece and ready for the next race. Thanks to the team Verde Sports for working hard to get us to Hawkstone. People don’t realise how hard it is to run a team. Thanks again Adrian Kirk, Matt Hunt, Chris Muir and Steve Clitheroe Well done to all the people who helped to get Hawkstone ready. It was in real good condition for the time of year.
Quote from Team Manager Adrian Kirk:
A good start to the day with promising results in both stacked classes in the first race. A lot of work still to do in preparation for the season but at least we now know where we sit and what we have to do in the next 4 weeks. Thank you to all the sponsors who helped us get everything ready in time for this meeting. Much appreciated.