Swanepoel Back in British Championship Hunt After Skelder Banks Victory

Gareth Swanepoel has bounced back to take victory at round 6 of the Maxxis British Motocross championships held in Skelder Banks, North Yorkshire. The South African mastered his Molson Kawasaki to a 1-2 finish to take the overall win which now places him one point adrift of American, Mike Brown, in the British MX2 championship.

Swanepoel grabbed the hole-shot in moto 1 but was passed by Mike Brown three turns later as the crowd where in for a exciting duel. The 22-year-old kept his cool and set up the American on the third lap to take the lead. He controlled the pack as he went on to post the fastest race lap time. With two laps to go ‘Swanie’ hit a train of back markers allowing Brown to get close at the checkered flag however victory was sealed for the Molson Kawasaki team.

With fast approaching thunder showers threatening the start of the second MX2 moto. Swanepoel had some work to do after he clocked in fourth after the first lap. He kept his focus on the riders ahead and started picking them off one by one as he moved to the front. Championship rival, Tommy Searle, experienced misfortune with four laps gone — a damaged rear disc brake forced the young Brit to retire. With five laps to go, Swanepoel made his move on Brown to take over the lead. It looked like a double victory for the South African when the heavens opened, turning the clay based Skelder Banks circuit into a lottery. Taking no risks, ‘Swanie’ lost his lead to an experienced, mud riding, Carl Nunn and settled for a safe second.

“I was pumped with the hole-shot in moto 1. It got a bit close at the end when we hit a bunch of lapped riders but I managed to get by them and take the win. When the rain started to pour in the second moto I was leading and didn’t want to risk anything. Nunn was riding really well in the mud and got by Brown and me on the last lap — fair play to him. The championship is going to be a three way battle and with only two points separating the top three guys there is going to be some exciting racing. I’ve won four of the six rounds so far so just need to keep focusing on being consistent. commented an elated Swanepoel.

With two rounds left of the eight round series, Swanepoel will first have to contend three consecutive GP’s in Italy, Czech Rep and Belgium before heading to the penultimate British round in Brampton on the 12th of August.


Race results:

MX2 Race 1

1 Gareth Swanepoel

2 Mike Brown

3 Carl Nunn

4 Jason Dougan

5 Shaun Simpson

6 Martin Barr

7 Carlos Campano

8 Tom Church

9 Tommy Searle

10 Stephen Sword

11 Jake Nichols

12 Lewis Gregory

13 Kristian Whatley

14 David Willett

15 Jamie Law

MX2 Race 2

1 Carl Nunn

2 Gareth Swanepoel

3 Mike Brown

4 Shaun Simpson

5 Martin Barr

6 Tom Church

7 Stephen Sword

8 Jason Dougan

9 Jake Nichols

10 Lewis Gregory

11 Carlos Campano

12 Ray Rowson

13 David Willett

14 Elliot Banks – Browne

15 Scott Probert

MX2 British championship standings:

1 Mike Brown 268

2 Gareth Swanepoel 267

3 Tommy Searle 266