4 July 2017
Race Report – Pirelli British Masters, Round 5, Foxhills
Our riders had a free weekend before the Michelin MX Nationals series continues next week, so James Harrison and Josh Coleman decided to have a guest ride at the Pirelli British Masters championship at Foxhills, Wiltshire. And boy are we glad they did! The track is one that Josh and James excel on and both had a great ride at the iconic venue at last year’s final Maxxis British Championship round.
Qualifying for James was a tough affair as the track was slick, so he settled for safety and a 7th place grid position. Race 1 saw James’ training partner, friend and coach, Nev Bradshaw, lead the first few laps with James holding 2nd early on, only to be passed by a flying Jake Shipton on lap 2, who then went onto take the lead from Bradshaw on lap 4. James then took 2nd place from Bradshaw three laps from the end but trailed Shipton by nine seconds at the flag. Amazing fact that both James and Shipton had the exact same fastest lap of 1:54.727 on lap 6 and 7 respectively.
James had a flying start in race 2 to lead and put in some early fast laps to get away from the chasing group of Bradshaw, Shipton and Josh Spinks. By the end, Harrison’s lead was never challenged and he had reversed the race one result with a win, 9 seconds ahead of Shipton in second. An awesome result that secured James an overall win, a first for him and the team in a national Pro MX1 championship.
Josh was competing in the Amateur MX2 group against a whole host of the country’s top amateur riders and British Championship runners. Qualifying was good for Josh, but did not really set the tone for how well his weekend was going to pan out, as he posted the third fastest time behind pole man, Henry Williams. Race 1 kicked off and our young gun lead every lap, just fending off a hard charging Henry Williams by 0.6 seconds. Race 2 was quite a battle with Josh holding second place at the start and swapping places with early leader, Ben Franklin, more than once. Josh took the lead back on the last lap to win by 2 seconds for another hard fought win.
Race 3 was another incredibly tight one for Josh as he won by only 0.4 seconds after leading the whole race. Again, Henry Williams kept Josh on his toes pushing him all the way to the finish. Josh has always dealt with pressure well and it was great to see him coming out on top in the first three races, despite some serious pressure. Josh saved his only blip of the weekend for the last race, falling on turn two and having to work his way through the pack for an eventual 4th place. It was still enough to give him first overall against a tough field and a visit to the top step of the podium.
Now onto round 4 of the Michelin MX Nationals series at Sherwood near Nottingham.