Parker Proves Podium Potential For Boost Energy KTM
The morning's qualifying session went well for the team; rider Martin Barr scored pole from the outset with a time that no-one was able to better throughout the entire session. Team-mate Nathan Parker qualified fifth for the MX1 class. The first race saw a change in the waiting zone; the format for gate positions changed from the previously used MX2, then MX1 format to an alternating format, which gave the team's riders a good chance at getting the gate pick they wanted.
Barr put this to the test soon after with an astonishing holeshot around the tight 180 degree start turn, leading the way for the rest of the pack. He was forced to relinquish his lead to rival Brad Anderson several laps later, but continued to push hard until disaster struck. Two-thirds into the race, a throttle malfunction forced Barr to pull back, costing him his hard-fought second place, and progressively slipping backwards through the pack to the bitter end in fifteenth place.
The second race saw Barr get around the first corner in second behind Anderson, a position he defended from MX2 rivals Elliott Banks-Browne and Neville Bradshaw. The resulting second place combined with the first race position gave Barr an overall seventh place on the day, but with Anderson taking two wins the gap between the two has widened to fifty-six points.
For Parker, the day turned out to be the best he has had all year. Although he got off to a slow start in fifth, he soon worked his way to third, and in the closing laps of the race progressed to second place, leaving nearest rival Josh Waterman far behind in the process. The second race did not progress as smoothly as the first, but a solid performance throughout whilst attempting to displace Gert Krestinov, gave Parker the points needed to not only join Anderson on the podium, but do so in second place! This stunner of a result has also given Parker the points needed to be in touching distance of third place in the championship.
Commented a very pleased team principal, Steve Turner:
"It's been a pretty good day for the team again, really good for Nathan with his first overall podium of the season. Second in the first race and fifth in the second race was enough to give him second on the podium, which is his best ever result by far. He's really pumped and two weeks in a row he's had good results, so it's really good for him.
"A real shame for Martin; fantastic first race until he developed a bike problem. He nursed it home for points. Went out in the second race and was second behind Brad and rode really strong again. It's just a shame, he should've been on the podium as well, it should've been both our riders up there, but we'll take one each week and just keep the momentum going."
"The day started off good, went fastest in qualifying but it was really close, the first six of us. The first race started off really well, pulled the holeshot and took the lead; I was pulling away and the bike started losing power. Eventually I just kept dropping back further and further and upset the team. It cost me a lot of points in the championship, but that's racing, and anything can happen. I was pretty disappointed with that. In the second race I got another really good start to get into the lead around the second corner. Brad and I were going at it and he just had better lines than I did and he started pulling away from me towards the middle of the race, and I eventually finished second. I'm very disappointed not to be on the podium and obviously losing a lot of points on Brad, but we still have a few rounds left and I'll give everything I have."
"Today didn't start off too good, I got a fifth in qualifying and I'm not a massive fan of the track, so I struggled with it and thought it'd be an average day. In the first race I went around the outside and got a pretty good start, and then just picked them off. A few people had problems and crashes, and I ended up second. It's the best result of the year so far in the Red Bull. In the second race, tried the same tactic again on the outside, and it sort-of didn't work. I didn't get a big enough jump, but I just kept pushing all the way to the end and ended up fifth in the MX1. It was good enough to get on the podium, so I'm really happy with that result."