Team work for Buildbase Honda at the MX Nationals – Sherwood Team Report
Jake Nicholls shrugged off two big crashes in MX1 and Josh Gilbert stamped his authority on MX2 as Buildbase Honda travelled to Sherwood for round four of the Michelin MX Nationals.
Jake, who was leading the championship by a healthy 24 points heading into the second half of the six-round series, had to pick himself up off the deck in both races but showed incredible pace and fortitude on his CRF450R to climb back through the field for a pair of second-placed finishes in MX1.
His championship lead may have been cut to 18 points but the 28-year-old remains optimistic.
“Today was good,” he said, “but the first race was unfortunate. Someone crashed in front of me and I couldn’t avoid it. I hit them and bent the bike a little bit so I had to straighten it back up and wait for the whole pack to pass because I was in the middle of the track.
“I was dead, dead last and came back to third and it was obvious that I was the fastest guy on the track.
“In the second race I had an okay start and was being patient behind Elliott [Banks-Browne] when I just had a freak accident over one of the jumps. I scrubbed it and lost the back end and had to get away from the bike in mid-air. It could have been a lot worse – luckily, I landed on my feet but the bike was bent up.
“I got up in about fifth and struggled a bit afterwards to be honest. The track was tough and I lost my rhythm. I had the speed and I could have won both races today but it is how it is and I really enjoyed my riding.”
At the Michelin MX Nationals the MX1 and MX2 Pros race together – but are scored separately – in two mixed-capacity races.
The team’s CRF250R rider Josh Gilbert has been on fire this season and he carried his form into Sherwood, taking both MX2 class wins while banging bars with the 450s to dramatically reduce the gap to the series leader to 14 points.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” he said. “I was fastest in qualifying and then won both races comfortably really so it was another good day. I was a little bit behind in the championship heading into the day but I’ve narrowed the points down massively which is good.
“My speed’s really good at the minute and I’ve got to hopefully keep it going for the last couple of rounds and try and win the championship.”
There was another team podium in the MXY2 250F championship where Callum Green schooled everyone as he raced to a maximum four race wins with the result moving him to the top of the standings.
“Jake’s performance in the opening race was the ride of the day for me,” said team boss Dave Thorpe. “It was amazing. He had a top-five start but a third of the way around the first lap he hit Kristian Whatley’s bike after Kristian crashed.
“He was 20-odd seconds behind the last rider after the first lap and his bike was twisted but if they hadn’t reduced the races by five minutes I think he would have caught Elliott [Banks-Browne] who won. Jake rode very, very well.
“In the second race he had a massive crash on a jump. It was big. His bike was incredibly bent and he did well to come back to second.
“Josh was impressive all day long. He was strong, he had good pace and he totally dominated MX2. There’s not a lot more to say.
“Callum won all five races. He’s growing in confidence and stature every week and his lap times were comparable to MX2. We’re delighted with him and he’s really gelled with the CRF250R.”