Nicholls warms up for Blaxhall with double victory – Banks-Browne also podiums

The podium in the MX1 Class at Canada Heights, Evgeny Bobryshev, runner-up, Jake Nicholls, winner, E

The podium in the MX1 Class at Canada Heights, Evgeny Bobryshev, runner-up, Jake Nicholls, winner, Elliott Banks-Browne, third. Photo: RICK BLYTH. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk riders Jake Nicholls and Elliott Banks-Browne were in great form at Canada Heights, in Kent, at the weekend, writes Rick Blyth

Rocket start from No.45 Jake Nicholls at Canada Heights. Photo: RICK BLYTH

Rocket start from No.45 Jake Nicholls at Canada Heights. Photo: RICK BLYTH - Credit: Archant

Ipswich-based Nicholls won both meetings of the second round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship, picking up maximum points ahead of the next meeting at Blaxhall.

It means Nicholls will head to the Suffolk track in a fortnight’s time with the red championship leader’s plate on the front of his Buildbase Honda.

“It’s been a good day, practice went well and both races too,” Nicholls said.

“It couldn’t have worked out better with Blaxhall just round the corner, to get a good crowd behind us. It will be nice to go in with the red plate, but I won’t feel any pressure. I’m just going to enjoy myself, like I have all season. It’s working out well.

Ellliott Banks-Browne sprays Jake Nicholls with bubbly on the podium. Photo: RICK BLYTH

Ellliott Banks-Browne sprays Jake Nicholls with bubbly on the podium. Photo: RICK BLYTH - Credit: Archant


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“During the week I am not thinking about racing all the time now I have a full-time job, like I did when in the Worlds. At times I wasn’t sleeping thinking about it. I have a good team behind me too and a great bike.”

And there was double Suffolk success as a second in race one and a fourth in race two, saw Bury St Edmunds-based Banks-Browne also finish on the podium, in third place.

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“The first podium of the year, so of course I’ve got to be pleased,” Banks-Browne said.

“The speed is there, I’ve got a bit of work to catch Jake, but we are looking forward to Blaxhall very much. We are both in good form.”

Shaun Southgate, on his way to victory in the British MX1 Expert Class. Photos: RICK BLYTH

Shaun Southgate, on his way to victory in the British MX1 Expert Class. Photos: RICK BLYTH - Credit: Archant

The recent heat wave saw the track in perfect condition for racing and it was Nicholls who dominated proceedings.

The Honda rider set out his stall during the morning qualifying session where he was just half a second off pole position in third place with Banks-Browne on the Geartec Husqvarna taking fifth fastest it looked like it was going to be a strong day for the pair.

Nicholls took the holeshot of the opening race with a great start and immediately set fast lap times and started to pull away from the chasing Banks-Browne who was in second as Nicholls continued to the manage the gap for the first half of the race.

As the race progressed Nicholls started to break away at the front and rode an impressive race to claim his first British Championship race win in just over a year and took victory by nearly 30 seconds from Banks-Browne.

The second race once again saw Nicholls and Banks-Browne at the head of the field and battling for the race lead but this time it was Banks-Browne at the front until Nicholls took charge on the second lap and once again rode a dominant race to win by 15 seconds ahead of Russian Evgeny Bobryshev in second, reigning champion Graeme Irwin in third and Banks-Browne in fourth.

The double race win on the day gave Nicholls the overall victory and with it the Championship lead, while he was joined on the podium by Banks-Browne in third overall.

Also stepping onto the podium was Shaun Southgate who took the victory in the British MX1 Expert Class.

With Nicholls now leading the Championship and Banks-Browne in top form the excitement levels are increasing as the Championships moves to Blaxhall near Woodbridge, on Sunday, May 6, when they will both be battling for race wins again in front of their home crowd.

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