It was a double podium for Heads & All Threads Suzuki at Canada Heights for the final round of the MX Nationals series. Graeme Irwin took third to finish his championship campaign in second. While Neville Bradshaw rode to second place with MX2 teammate Gary Gibson claiming ninth.
Irwin went into the final round trailing the championship leader, Kristian Whatley, by a mere seven points, and despite setting a qualifying pace some 1.5 seconds clear of the rest of the field, he couldn't quite keep Whatley at bay and went on to take second in the first moto.
Taking the holeshot in the second race, Irwin struggled to find grip and dropped to third. In the closing laps he pushed hard and caught the leaders again, but just came up short and finished in third for third overall and claimed his second position in the championship and lifted the Michelin Cup.
"Qualifying was good, but I struggled to get into a good flow in the first race and Whatley was obviously strong.
I had a problem getting traction at the beginning of the second race, so I just tried to ride smooth and conserve some energy, but in the last few laps I made a charge to try and take Lenior for second overall and I put my fastest laps of the race, but it wasn't quite enough.
It's a bit of a bummer, but in all it was a good day and a good end to the championship." — Graeme Irwin, MX1 #5
In MX2, Bradshaw showed he is still better suited to the smaller 250 machine and set the fastest MX2 lap, with Gibson qualifying in tenth. Good starts and solid riding saw Bradshaw closing in on the leader in both motos, but fighting through the MX1 machines in the mixed group racing slowed progress and he went two-two for second overall.
"I felt pretty good on the bike in qualifying and took the fastest MX2 but I struggled to get through a couple of 450's at the start of the first moto, but once I did I started to put in some good laps. James Dunn was way gone, but I did manage to close the gap down quite a bit.
I knew my pace was good going in to the second moto, we changed a couple of things on the bike which made it a bit better. Again, James had gone, maybe twenty seconds by the time I got into a space where I could see him. I rode really good I thought and I caught him up from way back, but I just didn't have enough to pass him.
It's cool, another weekend closer to being back to normal again. I've just got to work hard now and put in a good show for the last British Championship round at Fatcats." —Neville Bradshaw, MX2 #272
Gibson continued his show of improvement and despite not getting the starts he would have hoped for, he worked his way through the field and secured tenth and ninth for ninth overall.
"The bike was great, I just struggled in the first couple of corners and left myself with a lot to do. I couldn't really get comfortable on the track, but I'm happy to break into the top ten in both races to get ninth overall. I'm just looking forward now to Fatcats for the final round of the British Championship, I feel i'm better suited to that type of track." — Gary Gibson, MX2 #4
"Graeme rode good, he's obviously had a big week with the birth of his daughter, it's just Whatley was a little stronger, especially on these types of the conditions, but Graeme rode really well, especially in the closing stages of the second race to catch and challenge Steven Lenior.
I was really happy with Neville, he was riding the bike strong. In the second race he got up to James Dunn and potentially could have taken the overall, but it was still a great day for him.
Gary was riding good, but you can't afford to start at the back then have to overtake the bigger bikes before moving forward in MX2. His fitness is there, we just need to get him out of the gate." — Neil prince, Team Manager.