Rain spoils Foxhill GP
RaceSince the last two years rain has always affected the course of events at the triple-header Motocross GP in Foxhill. Unfortunately this weekend was not much different. Continued rainfall during the week preceding the race and torrential rainstorms on Friday, left the spectacular valley circuit bathing in a sea of mud. The organisation first modified the race schedule with all classes qualifying on Friday in order to preserve the track as much as possible.
Both the 125 heats were raced on Saturday as planned, but for Sunday the organisers cancelled all races as the conditions were regarded as too dangerous.
The riders had very little time to practice and qualify on the Friday and it was necessary to post a fast lap straight from the start of the single qualifying session per class as the track conditions deteriorated after each and every lap. For the 250 and 500 riders qualifying eventually proved to be a wasted effort with the Sunday races cancelled.
Especially for Yamaha 125 hopeful Carl Nunn, riding on home soil, the expectations were high. Carl responded well by qualifying in third, a very good result considering the massive rainfall during the session. Luigi Seguy managed ninth and Alex Puzar eleventh.
Heat 1 - S. Breugelmans 8th / L. Seguy 14th / B. Jorgensen 18th / C. Nunn - DNF / A. Puzar DNF
Carl Nunn was looking good for the race that was held on a shortened track. Carl came of the line in sixth and started to move forward. The track was very slippery and in many parts the hard chalk base coming though the top layer made riding extremely treacherous.
I pushed to third but on my fastest lap I made a small mistake and slid off. The engine of the bike was covered in mud, I tried to clean it and continue. The clutch felt like it was slipping though and I decide to pull in to give my mechanic time to fix it. After a detailed inspection it was found that the clutch lever did not release properly due to mud built up.
Luigi Seguy was very aware of the adverse conditions. It was so tricky out there. I told myself to ride calm and within my limits. In both races I suffered from bad starts due to wheel spin. In these conditions its double hard to recover from a blown start.
The mud took its toll on Alessandro Puzar, who went down hard in the opening lap. I was lucky not to break anything, continuing was pointless so I pulled in.
Heat 2 - C. Nunn 2nd / A. Puzar 3rd / L. Seguy 7th / B. Jorgensen DNF
The second heat proved to be a lot better for Yamaha. Carl Nunn thought he could have won the race. I was feeling fresh by not ending the first heat. It looked I had the hole hot, but the bike wheelied, so I had to back off a little and was third behind Alex. I moved to second and my mechanics were signalling that I was closing in on James Dobb. Then suddenly the race was red flagged. It appeared that the race was stopped due to an overhead advertising board that was looking to come down due to the weight of the water and mud. Puzar was happy with third.
In these conditions you need to use your head, there are many different racing lines with stones everywhere and if you dont take risks with the jumps you are not getting anywhere. It requires full concentration. I was struggling with my eyes after loosing my goggles. What a day, I am happy to come away here with no injuries.
Luigi Seguy repeated his heat 1 strategy by riding a calculated and steady race, but he to went through physical punishment. My goggles were filled with mud so I threw them away. The rain and mud hurt my eyes. I was in fifth but I had to slow down and cruise loosing two places. Luigis eyes were swollen and blood shot and he was one of eight riders requiring medical treatment to relieve some of the pain in his eyes.
Brian Jorgensen, the team mate of Carl Nunn, could not have chosen a worse timing to return to racing after being out for five weeks with a broken shoulder blade. He fell victim of the conditions and managed to finish only the first race.
Foxhill normally is one of the highlights of the Motocross season, but this year the event is one to soon forget. Positive though is the effect the race results had on the championship standings. With the top three very close separated by two points. Yamaha first man Luigi Seguy consolidated his fourth position, but will need to win some races if he wants to have a shot at the title.