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Sam Atkinson scores season-best result at FatCat MXGB scorcher

Sam Atkinson scores season-best result at FatCat MXGB scorcher

The British summer arrived in style as a hot and sunny FatCat Moto Parc played host to the sixth round of the ACU British Motocross Championship.

Images courtesy of Conway-MX

The purpose-built sand track in Doncaster has become a staple of the MXGB calendar in recent years and this year the organiser implemented significant changes to the track layout that provided some intense racing throughout the weekend, especially in the ever-competitive MX1 class where Bulgarian Petar Petrov was looking to build upon his strong showing the last time the Phoenix Even Strokes Kawasaki team visited the track for the Michelin MX Nationals back in March.

The day started well for Petrov as he negotiated the track changes quickly in the morning timed practice session, posting the fourth quickest time and with it a competitive gate pick for the afternoon races.

Lining up on the inside alongside championship leader Tommy Searle, Petrov found himself battling with his mid-pack counterparts for the first half of race one before a mechanical issue left him having the nurse the bike home in ninth.

After a quick turnaround from the team’s mechanics to get his bike ready for race two, Petrov would pause for the final gate drop of the day with renewed vigour. A similar start to race one gave ‘152’ a solid platform to build upon as many riders were clearly suffering in the summer heat. He took that opportunity well to battle up into the top 10 shortly before a further bike issue would result in a DNF. A disappointing end to the day for Petrov, especially after the speed shown in the morning sessions.

The new track layout, coupled with the extreme temperatures throughout the weekend, would make for challenging conditions as both Sam and Carlton lined up for the final race of the day. Both riders were looking to build upon their individual showings in the morning session, where they qualified sixteenth and twelfth respectively.

In race one, Husband stormed out of the gate and straight into eighth as he rounded the end of the first lap and would eventually finish twelfth. Whilst Atkinson would cross the line in tenth. In race two both riders launched into the first turn just inside the top ten, but Husband would succumb to the intense heat in the closing stages of race two to finish just outside the points in twenty-first. A seventeenth overall providing a solid foundation to build from as he returns to full fitness following his broken foot.

The star of the weekend though was Atkinson who, despite the rising temperatures in race two, would bring his KX250 home in fifteenth position to secure twelfth overall, his strongest showing in his short MX2 career and a clear indication of his potential riding on one the toughest tracks on the calendar!

MX1 Rider – Petar Petrov #152: “Not much to say really as, on the whole, it’s been a frustrating few weeks. The morning practise sessions was positive, and I felt like I could go faster and that all the hard work I had put in was starting to pay off. Heading into the motos my confidence was high, but the mechanicals in both races would prevent us from showing our true potential. We have to find out the issues and continue to work hard for the remaining rounds. Huge thanks again to the team for their hard work.”

MX2 Rider – Carlton Husband #6: “First and foremost I’m just happy to be back racing! I came into the weekend not expecting much, so I wanted to keep it steady and build my race speed back up gradually. The morning qualification was not too bad at all with P12, considering the time I have had off the bike. Having not ridden much recently, coupled with the heat, I knew the races would be tough, and although I started out strong for the first few laps I struggled towards the end, of both races. Now we have a few weeks to focus on more bike time in preparation for the next round, which I’m really looking forward to .”

MX2 Rider – Sam Atkinson #127: “Another good weekend for me, started with P16 in the morning qualification laps despite crashing on one of my fast laps. I was happy with this as I could see the times were close to the riders above me, and I was eying up the top ten heading into the first moto. I have been struggling with my starts all year, so I was really pleased with my start in race one as it allowed me the battle up to tenth where I eventually finished. Another strong start in race two put me inside the top ten and I battled up to eighth by the end of the first lap, but the conditions were tough out there and the heat started to take it toll towards the end. I lost a couple of places, but overall I’m really happy to see the solid results continue and particularly happy with the improvements to my starts. I’m buzzing for the next round.”

Team owner – Barry Moore: “I’m gutted for Petar, who’s race results were not reflective of his true speed. He had a really strong showing in the morning session, out-qualifying both Harri Kullas and Shaun Simpson, and was on for an even quicker lap but unfortunately a rider fell in front of him. We also made some changes to the bike ready for the moto, which were positive, but we had an electrical issue and that meant Petar had to nurse the bike home in moto one and unfortunately had to DNF moto two. There are positives to take from the weekend though, both for Petar and the bike and we’ll be looking to build on that for the next round. With Carlton, after eight weeks off the bike we came into FatCat with no expectations. It was all about getting bike time and working on race speed, and I’m happy he did that in really challenging conditions with the heat. Sam meanwhile continues to show real progress and another top ten is a huge testament to his potential in the pro ranks. Lastly, I have to give a special mention to our youth Rider Lucas Moncrieff who was super consistent all weekend, consistently riding inside the top ten as the sole Kawasaki rider amongst the 85cc Small Wheels riders on the line. He showed real grit and determination to battle for the whole race distance in very hot racing conditions and he fully deserves his great results this weekend.”