Suffolk teenagers fly the flag in Italy

SUFFOLK teenagers Elliott Banks-Browne and Jake Nicholls each responded magnificently after the Suzuki Swift Motocross Team for the Irish GP was cut in half by injuries.

Motocross:

SUFFOLK teenagers Elliott Banks-Browne and Jake Nicholls each responded magnificently after the Suzuki Swift Motocross Team for the Irish GP was cut in half by injuries.

Each deserved many more points than they actually scored at a brand new track built in the infield of Fairyhouse racecourse, home of the Irish Grand National.

Both youngsters were drawn in the same qualifying heat after impressive times during practice, despite each losing time as their mechanics had to remove waste material such as fencing wire which had been buried in the rubble used to build the track.


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Nicholls, from Ipswich, took full advantage of his best start of the year - fifth - to advance to a challenging third before disaster struck.

Banks-Browne, of Bury St Edmunds, running just a couple of places further back, had also gone down a couple of laps earlier, but stayed on track and was able to recover magnificently for a seventh placed finish.

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An hour later Nicholls made up for his earlier mishap with a cool ride to third in the Last Chance, headed only by recent GP winners Searle and Krestinov, so both boys were ready for Sunday's race.

Both Banks-Browne and Nicholls started mid-pack, but both were making advances from the word go. Nicholls' speed was particularly impressive as he advanced from 19th to 10th before being halted by a mechanical problem. “That was so frustrating. I was still moving forward and had Sword in my sights,” he said.

Banks-Browne had also moved forward to 15th before the Frenchman Tarroux crashed right in his path. He said: “I couldn't do anything about it. I was so close to him that there was no way I could avoid him.”

After picking himself up Banks-Browne was outside the points when he restarted but showed great determination to pull himself back up to 18th by the finish.

Having missed out on the rewards they deserved in race one, both riders were determined to make amends in race two, but fate once again took a hand.

Again both riders made midfield starts, and Banks-Browne was soon left to chase after having trouble with the Italian Guarneri. Restarting well back Nicholls recovered to 14th, a testimony to his determination.

Banks-Browne had started 14th, but was dragged down by a hole in the track which was unseen beneath the wood chippings.

“I stalled as well later in the race, and tensed up also so I suffered with arm pump for a time,” he said. Still he got 15th.

After all of their adventures Banks-Browne was classified 17th on the day and Nicholls 19th. In the championship Nicholls is now 29th, one place ahead of Banks-Browne.

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