Crescent Yamaha team-mates Martin Barr and Jake Shipton were in action on Sunday at Canada Heights in Kent at the fourth round of the MX Nationals.
Carrying the series leader’s red plate heading into the event, Martin qualified second in MX2 on his YZ250F just over a second behind his main title rival Josh Gilbert. Unfortunately, Jake suffered an early crash in qualification and injured his right wrist but by then he’d already posted the fifth-fastest time in MX1 so he pulled in to receive medical attention.
The series runs an exciting ‘Fastest 40’ format which mixes the top 20 from both the MX1 and MX2 classes together in two 25-minute plus two lap motos but scores them separately. I
n the opening moto Jake, with his wrist heavily strapped, started well and was seventh after the opening lap. Gritting his teeth, he then moved up to sixth and was pressurising the riders ahead of him but the pain was too much. Struggling to hold onto his YZ450F, he was forced to back it down and lost places to a handful of MX2 riders but was still sixth in class at the flag.
Martin struggled against the more powerful 450s out of the gate but was running second in MX2 before being pushed back to third on lap five. Well-known for his fighting spirit, the Irishman never gave up and managed to make a last-lap pass to regain second.
With Jake opting to head home to get his wrist checked at his local hospital, Martin was the team’s sole representative in race two and led the MX2 class in the early stages before losing a place to Gilbert. Continuing to push for the full race distance, he was second in class at the end.
The result means Martin has lost the series lead to Gilbert but with two rounds to go he’s just three points behind.
Representing the team in the MXY1 class for youth riders on 125cc two-strokes, Bobby Bruce poled Qualification by almost four seconds and comfortably won both motos on Saturday – the first by 20 seconds and the second by 40 seconds.
Unfortunately, his YZ125 developed a technical problem on the line before the start of Sunday’s first moto and he was unable to compete for the rest of the day and as a result has slipped a position to sixth place in the championship.