Thrills & Spills for Apico Husqvarna at the Apico 2 Stroke Festival
Apico Husqvarna travelled down to the Southeast of England for the Apico 2 Stroke Festival, which had the Red Bull Pro Stroke classes involved for the first time since its inception in 2017. With Jamie Law on stag duties, this meant Stuart Edmonds was riding 2-stroke & 4-stroke, Matt Burrows 2 stroke and Jake Shipton was riding in the 4-stroke class.
Images courtesy of Adam Duckworth
With Stuart and Matt qualifying first and second respectively, they were in the A group with the official ACU British Open 2-Stroke Title on the line. In race 1 the TC250 was somewhat alien to Stuart, though he still pulled the holeshot and was away with a comfortable lead. Unfortunately, Stuart had a technical difficulty where he lost his back brake on the fourth lap which later led to a small tip-off where he was passed and had to settle for second place. Matt’s luck wasn’t much better, he didn’t get the start, though he pushed through picking off riders making up over 10 places in 6 laps. Matt was looking strong to make up more positions when disaster struck having a massive crash injuring his shoulder and back as well as damaging his bike which allowed him to finish the race.
After repairing Stuart’s rear brake and changing Matt’s bars and clutch master cylinder system the lads were ready for race 2. Matt was very sore and knew he had to get the jump out of the gate to have a chance of finishing the race. As the gate dropped Matt fired his Husqvarna TC250 through the Apico Holeshot flags and into the lead with Stuart in close pursuit. Stuart had managed to get past Matt and sail home for a clear victory, though Matt managed to hang on and get the job done finishing 4th at the flag.
With the Red Bull Pro Stroke Classes being added to Sunday’s line-up, the team saw Jake Shipton join us for a fun-filled day of racing. Jake was supposed to race with us in 2021, though due to certain circumstances he couldn’t commit to the season. We were glad to have Jake and his family under the awning for one of the last race meetings of the season. Jake has shown a lot of promise in recent years and won the Bridgestone MX1 Class back in 2019, the form he hopes to repeat for a promising 2022 season.
Stuart had it all to do, competing in the Apico 2 Stroke Open Class and the Red Bull Pro Stroke Class. Matt had managed to recover a little from Saturday to be able to race. Stuart went out first on his Husqvarna FC450 in the Red Bull Pro Stroke, making a strong start in third and holding the position comfortably throughout the race. Jake too had a strong start, his first race amongst British & GP Level riders since 2019, moving quickly into 5th place on the first lap where he finished the race.
After one race in between classes, Stuart was back into the Apico Open 2-Stroke race with Matt. A last-minute change of the transponder from the FC450 to the TC250 meant Stuart rolled up to the gate as it dropped, starting in first gear, missing the jump. Matt managed to pull the holeshot again and pushed on to the halfway mark before being overtaken by Stuart. A great show of strength from Matt, who we thought may not ride due to Saturday’s big crash. The Apico Husqvarna riders finished 1,2 with Stuart leading the charge into the final race, the Open 2-Stroke title within his grasp.
Back to the final race of the Red Bull Pro Stroke, and Jake had managed another consistent start in fourth place, though unfortunately, Stuart stalled his bike going up the start straight and was dead last. For Stuart, the race was on. With some of the best riders in the country in front of him, he managed to catch and pass several riders before getting caught up in a battle with 2 MX2 riders. Stuart passed them after a couple of laps to catch up with teammate Jake and pass for third and narrowly missing out on 2nd place at the end of the race.
The final Apico 2 Stroke Open Class race saw Apico riders Stuart and Matt go through the Apico Holeshot practically side by side. Both riders managed to holeshot all four British 125 & Open 2-Stroke A races between them over the weekend. After putting in another strong performance both riders finished as they’d started in 1st position for Stuart and 2nd for Matt. This gave Stuart the overall and official British 2-Stroke Open Title and Matt finished 4th overall in the class.
Stuart “I was very happy with my weekend; it was nice to be back on a 2 stroke. Sunday was a tough day, riding 4 motos pretty much back-to-back. I still managed 3rd overall in the MX1 Red Bull Pro Stroke against tough competition and to add another British 2 Stroke title to my achievements was the icing on the cake. I’d like to thank Dave and the 2 Stroke Festival crew, my sponsors, the team and everyone who’s been in my corner this season”.
Matt “A great and fun weekend thanks to Dave Willet and the Apico 2 Stroke Festival crew for putting on another mega event. That first race was one to forget and left me sore. In 10 years, I’ve not bent a set of Pro Taper bars which should give a clue to how hard I went down. I managed to get out the gate in the second race, without that I wouldn’t have stood a chance battling through the field. Sunday’s races were better and considering the circumstances I’m happy with 4th overall. Thanks to Dylan & Anna, Apico Factory Racing and all my sponsors for their help this season”.
Jake “Being back at the racing now with these awesome people has been amazing. They’ve made me and my family feel at home, with touches like the team meal on Saturday night make the difference. I really enjoyed the event, which was fun and although the results were not too bad, I know I have some work to do before next season to get race fit and be back challenging for podiums. I’d like to thank Dave Willet for the invite and for putting on a great event. Thank you to all my sponsors and I will be putting the shifts in between now and next season to make sure I’m ready for what next season brings”.
Dylan “Another Apico 2 Stroke Festival in the books. Seeing the festival grow since we started it with Dave back in 2017 makes Anna and I smile. It’s been a tough slog for Dave, turning the buzz and online hype into bums on seats and get the start gates full. This year the event seems to have turned a corner where the classes have been full, and the crowds of spectators came in their droves to watch the event for free. We’d like to thank Dave and his team for stepping up and putting on another top-level event.
“We had Jake join us for the Red Bull Pro Stroke with Stuart as it was a good opportunity for him to make a return to top-level racing. He showed the promise I have seen in his racing; we’ll just wait until he is back to full race fitness before competing in British Championships. Stuart had a good time on the Husqvarna TC250, managing to capture another ACU British 2 Stroke title for himself and the first ACU British Title for the team. He has shown impressive form this season, the best he’s probably had at British Championship level and was still competing against the top U.K. riders today despite having to ride twice as many races. Matt had a good weekend considering his first race crash, he showed what we know he can do on the 2-stroke on Sunday’s races and was unlucky to just miss out on the podium.
“Anna and I would like to thank Dave Willet and the 2 Stroke Festival Team for putting on another great event, all the Apico Husqvarna riders and staff for making the team what it is and of course, all our loyal sponsors for continuing to support the team”.