Hammal shows phenomenal speed at Canada Heights – Rob Hooper Racing Team Report
Images courtesy of Warren Kee
A fall in qualifying hampered his times, but he would still round out the session in 5th and with good gate pick for the races.
A mid-pack start in Moto 1 meant he was close enough to make an attack on the leaders, and his speed was clear to see as he closed in and passed Martin Barr for second position before he set out about reeling in MX2 race leader Josh Gilbert who was 7 seconds further up the track. Close in he did, and he was all over Gilbert’s back wheel with three laps to go. A spanner was thrown into the works though when Gilbert moved past his 450 teammate Lewis Tombs, who then halted the flow of Hammal who couldn’t find a way past the rider on the bigger machine. In struggling to get by Tombs, Barr was back behind Taylor and used his force and experience to make a move on the last lap leaving Hammal to finish a good third, but with the knowledge, he was very close to the win.
Taylor was back on his practice bike for Moto 2 after a slight niggle with the race bike at the end of the first moto forced the change. Another half-decent start saw Taylor chasing down Brad Anderson in fourth, but a problem with the front brake meant he could only cruise round at the end of the Moto which he did with still enough speed to finish fifth and gain fourth overall.
“Taylor rode fantastic again,” said Team Boss Rob Hooper “it was frustrating that Martin (Barr) got past him on the last lap of the first race, as he was riding so well and had the speed to win the race until he got stuck behind Lewis Tombs. It was still a really really good ride, and he showed phenomenal speed. In the second race, he had to use his practice bike, but he still looked strong enough for a second until there was a problem with the front brake, which is unfortunate and meant he missed out on a podium position, but his day will come, and it will come very soon.”
Taylor said of his weekend “ I am feeling pretty gutted with how the day went really. I started off pretty average with a 5th in qualifying. In the first race, I felt like I was riding really well. I passed up to second and was right behind the leader but couldn’t make the pass. On the last lap, I was held up by a 450 rider which let Barr past me which I was really gutted about as I felt like I could’ve won that race but ended up 3rd. In the second race, my front brake came off, but I managed to ride around for 5th. My riding and speed was right there, but I just had some bad luck. Hopefully, I’ll take the speed I had into Hawkstone this weekend coming.”
The Team move onwards to Hawkstone Park on Sunday for the sixth round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championships with Taylor looking to move up to the top six of the standings and into the lead of the Expert Cup.