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Atsuta 2nd In British MX OPener
 
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Atsuta 2nd In British MX OPener - March 14th 2005


News Archives | WSB Results | Supermoto Results | British Superbike Results | MotoGP Results |

    Motovision Racing Suzuki rider Yoshitaka Atsuta equalled his best ever result in the Maxxis MX1 British Motocross Championship by taking second position today at Canada Heights for the opening round of the 2005 national series.

    The former Japanese 250cc Champion was making his Suzuki debut on the RM-Z450 under cloudy and cold conditions in southern England and wowed the 9000 spectators by sliding past Honda's Jussi Vehvilainen on the last corner of the final lap in the second moto to scoop the podium place by just two tenths of a second.

    The 27 year old had been holding third spot all race behind Vehvilainen and eventual overall winner Paul Cooper and seemed to have lost any chance of the runner-up trophy when he almost crashed starting the last circulation while pressurising the Finn. He resumed his flight in stirring fashion for remaining minute and sensationally reached the chequered flag fractions before the Honda.

    Along with his fourth position captured earlier in the day, the new Motovision recruit was able to toast a pleasing start to the 2005 term: Atsuta's achievement in the first of eight rounds in the British series also matches Motovision's highest finish in the MX1 class, set last year by Tanel Leok.

    The Canada Heights circuit had been well prepared by the Sidcup and District Motorcycle club and became rougher and more challenging as the day wore on and backmarkers were a frequent problem for the front-runners.

    Atsuta's team mate, South African Neville Bradshaw enjoyed a satisfactory first meeting in MX1 on the RM-Z450 and although he remained adrift of the leaders, two fifth positions delivered the same overall ranking.

    Steering the RM250 two-stroke, Ben Taylor was happy to collect points in both motos after enduring the proceedings with a strained back. He placed 16th in the two heats.

    MX2 Motovision representative Jason Dougan scored a best result of 11th in the second race but left the Kent venue with a twisted ankle. The British teenager was unlucky to be felled by another rider in the first moto that forced a DNF.

    Team Hooper Maximum Solutions Suzuki had a bitter-sweet afternoon in the MX2 category:

    Lewis Gregory gained a creditable eighth position after moto results of eighth and ninth but the second race crash of John May gave cause for concern when the youngster sustained a painful facial injury and had to receive medical attention at the side of the track.

    Team Manager Rob Hooper was pleased with the application of Gregory who recovered from two mediocre starts on the 250 to place within the top ten.

    The second round of the series takes place on Easter Sunday at Polesworth near Tamworth in two weeks time.

    Yoshitaka Atsuta:

    "I was third for many laps and keeping with Paul but the track was difficult and one line. With all the backmarkers it was hard to pass. I was lucky near the end and just got by Jussi in the last corner. Second place is a good result for me and it is nice to start the season in this way. I am happy with the bike and the team.

    "The Suzuki has good power in the mid range and I need a little more in the top to suit my style but the team is working all the time to help me. The chassis is very strong and should be excellent for the GP tracks."

    Neville Bradshaw:

    "I qualified sixth which was good. I then started well in the first heat and was second in the first corner. I lost a couple of places but was holding a good position until the last part of the race when I began to feel tired. Fifth was ok for my first race on the big bike. In the second moto, I got caught up with James Noble for large parts and took another fifth. It was a good day but there is definitely room for improvement. I am happy that the team has two riders in the top five."

    Ben Taylor:

    "I strained my back at Hawkstone Park last week and wasn't sure if I would be able to ride. I used some strapping and braces but the races were dictated by my condition. Originally, I was just hoping to qualify, so to score points in both motos was great. The track was perfect today. It was rough but they had just the right amount of rain so the dirt was superb to ride on."

    Jason Dougan:

    "It wasn't a good day. I started OK in the first race but then a rider crashed in front of me on a slow corner and then I got taken-out by Tom Church. It took me three laps to restart the bike. Again I was among the leaders at the start of the second moto but I got pushed wide and caught my ankle in a rut. The pain was unbelievable. My riding is alright, I felt fast and my lap times were good. I just need to get a decent gate."

    Mark Chamberlain - Motovision Team Manager:

    "I am really pleased with Yoshi and his result, more so because I believed he showed that there is more to come and that gives me a real buzz. It is a great start to the season for the team.

    "Neville has been training and riding a lot recently and I think that showed today. He needs more race fitness on the 450 but I was happy overall with the start he has made.

    "Jason has hurt his other ankle now and is suffering similar problems to the injury he had last year. He will see a specialist early next week and we will know more."

    Lewis Gregory:

    "I did not get a good jump starting the first race and had to come through. The track was really rutty, my arms pumped up and I was losing my rhythm. I was happy to get up to eighth considering the first half of moto. For the second outing, I got out of the gate really well but then the bike squirmed and I struggled to keep it straight. I lost time wobbling up the hill and was almost last around the first turn. Again I had to get a spurt on. My arms bothered me today. The result was not bad but I know I can do better."

    John May:

    "I came into the drop too fast and tried to slow down on the braking bump but it hit me over the bars and I landed on top of the bike. I smacked my face and nose and it stunned me for a while. I have a lot of pain now but I was happy enough with my riding in the first race."

    Rob Hooper - Maximum Solutions Team Manager:

    "I am extremely pleased with Lewis. He did everything we expected. We were hoping for a top-ten result and he was eighth so I am happy. I am disappointed with, and for, John. He was tense all day and put too much pressure on himself. There were times when he was riding well and thankfully he seems to be ok after the crash."

    Results:

    MX1 Moto1:

  1. 1. Paul Cooper, Honda
  2. 2. James Noble, Honda
  3. 3. Jussi Vehvilainen, Honda
  4. 4. Yoshitaka Atsuta, Suzuki
  5. 5. Neville Bradshaw, Suzuki
  6. 6. Mark Hucklebridge, Honda
  7. 7. Mark Eastwood, Honda
  8. 8. Gordon Crockard, Yamaha
  9. 9. Mark Jones, KTM
  10. 10. Glen Phillips, Yamaha
  11. 16. Ben Taylor, Suzuki
  12. MX1 Moto2:

  13. 1. Paul Cooper, Honda
  14. 2. Yoshitaka Atsuta, Suzuki
  15. 3. Jussi Vehvilainen, Honda
  16. 4. James Noble, Honda
  17. 5. Neville Bradshaw, Suzuki
  18. 6. Glen Phillips, Yamaha
  19. 7. Christian Burnham, Honda
  20. 8. Mark Hucklebridge, Honda
  21. 9. Mark Eastwood, Honda
  22. 10. Stuart Flockhart, Honda
  23. 16. Ben Taylor, Suzuki
  24. MX1 Overall Result:

  25. 1. Paul Cooper - 60
  26. 2. Yoshitaka Atsuta - 50
  27. 3. Jussi Vehvilainen - 50
  28. 4. James Noble - 50
  29. 5. Neville Bradshaw - 42
  30. 6. Mark Hucklebridge - 34
  31. 7. Glen Phillips - 30
  32. 8. Mark Eastwood - 30
  33. 9. Stuart Flockhart - 21
  34. 10. Christian Burnham - 17
  35. 17. Ben Taylor - 10
  36. MX2 Moto1:

  37. 1. Mike Brown, Honda
  38. 2. Carl Nunn, KTM
  39. 3. Stephen Sword, Kawasaki
  40. 4. Wayne Smith, Honda
  41. 5. Tom Church, Kawasaki
  42. 6. Eric Eggens, Honda
  43. 7. Brad Anderson, Yamaha
  44. 8. Lewis Gregory, Suzuki
  45. 9. Graeme Gowland, Kawasaki
  46. 10. Tommy Searle, Kawasaki
  47. 18. John May, Suzuki
  48. MX2 Moto2:

  49. 1. Stephen Sword, Kawasaki
  50. 2. Carl Nunn, KTM
  51. 3. Tom Church, Kawasaki
  52. 4. Eric Eggens, Honda
  53. 5. Wayne Smith, Honda
  54. 6. Brad Anderson, Yamaha
  55. 7. Billy MacKenzie, Yamaha
  56. 8. Tommy Searle, Kawasaki
  57. 9. Lewis Gregory, Suzuki
  58. 10. David Willett
  59. 11. Jason Dougan, Suzuki
  60. MX2 Overall Result:

  61. 1. Stephen Sword - 55
  62. 2. Carl Nunn - 54
  63. 3. Tom Church - 46
  64. 4. Wayne Smith - 44
  65. 5. Eric Eggens - 42
  66. 6. Brad Anderson - 36
  67. 7. Mike Brown - 30
  68. 8. Lewis Gregory - 28
  69. 9. Billy MacKenzie - 27
  70. 10. Tommy Searle - 26
  71. 16. Jason Dougan - 10