Rough day for Verde Sports

April 04th 2017 | by Lewis Phillips

The second round of the Maxxis ACU British Championship was held at Lyng, a fabulous track down in Norfolk. The crowd’s turned out in droves, the weather was fabulous, the team were in good spirits and the riders felt on form. However, the racing didn’t quite go to plan.

The track had been well prepared and was in excellent condition, as usual. It rode well, although it was a bit dry, and when the soft stuff cut up it was pretty hard and slippery in sections beneath. Jake enjoyed the practice, as the track felt “mint.” It was a bit slippery in places, but it suited him well. He slotted in a quick first lap, which put him straight into fifth position, and he held this spot throughout the session. Fifth gate pick for the day was a good start and it showed he has got the speed.

It was not quite as good a session for Brad. The track was pretty hard and slippery, now that the loose sand had cleared in places. On one quick lap he came off, on another he stalled and then on a third a rider held him up. His third lap was his best and he managed to obtain ninth-gate pick for the day.

A good start to race one for young Jake Millward, as he moved around the first bend into a comfortable fifth place. He chased Brad Todd and eventually passed him into fourth place. Then his front end slipped and Jake lost a lot of places. The bars were twisted, which made it hard to ride. He held tight and made his way back into thirteenth place. A disappointing first race, but scoring points always counts in the championship standings.

A good start for Brad Anderson in his first race, as he sat in fifth place and looked strong. The front three riders got a clean break, leaving Brad to chase down Elliott Banks-Browne in fourth. [Kristian] Whatley tried to latch on, but Brad just kept widening the gap between them. Then disaster struck, however, as his back-brake seal went and things started to go wrong. He immediately lost places to Whatley, [Harri] Kullas and [Gert] Krestinov.

Brad was determined to finish the race, but had to ride cautious. Unfortunately he had to let another couple of riders through on the last lap, so was left with a tenth place finish in race one. It was not ideal, but points were scored and he was ready for race two.

Jake got an excellent jump out of the gate in race two, as he came around in fifth place. He quickly moved into third place, but then a rider hit Jake and totally wiped him out! Jake managed to get back on the bike, but was right back in last place with a lot of ground between him and the front pack of riders. The track was very fast and narrow, with few places to make passes, but Jake managed to pull back from thirty-eighth to twenty-first. It was not a great way to finish the day, as no points were scored.

Brad’s start wasn’t quite as good in race two and he came up the start straight in eighth. Within the first lap, he found his way through to sixth behind Ashley Wilde. It took the first half of the race for Brad to find a way through into fifth. By this time the front four were way ahead, however, and there was no way that he could make up sufficient ground to catch. Brad rode the second half of the race in a comfortable fifth place, holding off Whatley to the end.

Overall this was one of the worst day’s racing in Jake’s career (13-21) as he was eighteenth overall. Jake’s lack of points cost him dearly in the championship, as he slipped from sixth place down to eleventh. Brad, on the other hand, went 10-5 for seventh overall. This wasn’t ideal, but he still managed to hang onto fourth place in the championship. Today has made it much harder work to climb into third place in the championship, as the gap between him and Steven Lenoir is now far greater. Ando, however, is a fighter, so he will almost certainly pull something out of the bag at Canada Heights in just three weeks.

Jake Millward: “Qualifying went well, getting the fifth-fastest lap time. That was good, as I am never usually up there in qualifying. I got an okay start in the first race and passed a few guys to get into fifth. On the fourth lap I crashed, dropped way back down the order and was riding with a bent-up bike. I managed to pull back to thirteenth.

“I got a really good start in the last race. I was in third when an out-of-control rider wiped me out! I was dead last with a big gap between me and the guy in front. I came back to twenty-first, which wasn’t ideal at all, but I got the third-fastest lap of the race. There were some positives to take away.”

Brad Anderson: “I had difficulty getting a fast lap in for qualifying and ended up seventh. The first race wasn’t a good start, but I came through to fifth and was chasing down fourth when my back-brake seal went. I came off trying hard to get some points, but I kept going and ended up tenth. In the second race I got out the start better and was coming through. It took me ages to pass a rider and the front few had gone, so I ended up fifth. I’m still sitting in fourth overall in the championship, so thanks to Verde Sports. I’m looking forward to Valkenswaard on the two-stroke. Thanks to everyone who helps me.

Adrian Kirk: “Today was not really a good day’s racing for the team. Jake will have to put 110% into every round in order to recover from today’s championship slide. Brad had the speed and determination, but needs to work on his starts to prevent the frontrunners getting such a gap ahead of him. Glad this weekend is over, so we can put it behind us and move onto round three at Canada Heights.”

Words: Press Release | Lead Image: ConwayMX

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