Without a podium since Sweden, Ben Townley was looking for some more GP wins before his move to the US, and found on the Isle of Wight the perfect conditions to claimed his fourth MX1 GP victory of the term. Messing up his start in the opening heat Ben had to come back strongly to the front and ended the race fighting with Mickael Pichon. Second behind Steve Ramon during the entire race, the Frenchman made a mistake in the thirteenth circulation and finally beat Townley by less than a second! Ben made a better job of the second start and swiftly dethroned Jussi Vehvilainen from the leadership. He then embarked on a perfect race and controlled the fight back from countryman Joshua Coppins, who produced an impressive spurt in the last fifteen minutes. Josh had technical problems and missed the top three in the opening moto but took his revenge in the second outing and came back from fifth to second, sandwiched between Townley and Pichon. It was not enough to secure him a GP podium but he regained eight points over Stefan Everts who was twice fifth and kept some chances to defend the title even if Stefan still leads Josh by forty-five points with two more rounds to go.
Coming back to the GPs after four months of recovery from a damaged knee in Namur, Tyla Rattray got the overall win in the MX2 class with podiums in both heats. Local star Billy Mackenzie got the full support of the fans when he took the lead in the opening race and got his third win of the season after Spain and Japan. He beat Rattray and Antonio Cairoli, who fluffed the start and twisted his ankle during the race, while Andrew McFarlane (engine failure) and David Philippaerts (crash) retired early. Cairoli got the holeshot in the second heat but he also suffered from engine trouble and pulled out on the eleventh lap while leading! Philippaerts and Christophe Pourcel, who was far behind at the start in the opening moto, battled for the heat win until the finish flag; finally Philippaerts defeated Pourcel by one second but the French teenager got his third GP podium of the season alongside Rattray (winner) and Carl Nunn (third overall).
Ben Townley: “It has been a goal of mine recently to go after the last three Grand Prix victories and I have got one so there is two more to go. I am riding good at the moment and we have some good tracks to end the season; I can’t wait. They did a good job with the track today considering that it was over-watered this morning. They got the diggers out and corrected the mistake so I want to congratulate them. I work hard on my starts during the week but I guess I have to keep on working! I battled hard with Stefan in the first race, I caught Josh and it was pretty good racing out there. In the second moto I made a push for the lead on the first lap and was able to get my times down. Half way through I thought I had over-done it because I was making a few mistakes but I settled down and finally took the victory so I am really happy.”
Tyla Rattray: “I am really happy to come back and win. I have been working so hard both on and off the bike recently and it feels great to come back like this; I think this win feels better than the double at Zolder. The track was awesome and I take my hat off to the organisers. In the second moto I had a little crash around the back because I started to feel a little tired after about twenty-five minutes. I knew I was in the position for the overall win so I settled for that and let Christophe and David get away from me. I want to go to Lierop and win two motos there now!”
Info Mediapress – Photo copyright Ray Archer