Nicholls fights to fourth in Hawkstone International Superfinal

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It was a gruelling start to the 2024 motocross season for the Crendon Tru7 Honda team at the hardcore Hawkstone Park circuit on Sunday but both Jake Nicholls in MX2 and Callum Green in MX1 battled through all their races where many lesser riders and machines didn’t go the distance. In front of a massive…

It was a gruelling start to the 2024 motocross season for the Crendon Tru7 Honda team at the hardcore Hawkstone Park circuit on Sunday but both Jake Nicholls in MX2 and Callum Green in MX1 battled through all their races where many lesser riders and machines didn’t go the distance.

In front of a massive crowd, Nicholls was the star performer of the team, taking a solid fourth place in the MX2 class in the combined MX1 and MX2 Superfinal. With the track at its roughest, Nicholls mixed it up with the GP regulars and despite his goggles getting broken early on, he pushed hard right to the finish on his Honda CRF250R.

After retiring from full-time professional racing following an injury in 2022, Nicholls contested several one-off races in 2023 but is now back to race again in the British MX2 championship. He made a solid start in the first MX2 moto, chasing the leading pack which included GP and European championship riders including current world champion Andrea Adamo. Really enjoying his racing again, the Suffolk star pushed right to the end of the heat to take seventh place in the rutty conditions. He was close to the two riders in front but broken goggles meant he couldn’t make a challenge to pass.

Then in moto two he went down hard on the opening lap and came around in last place. Digging deep in the gruelling conditions, he made pass after pass as he carved through to a commendable 12th place – setting lap times that would have seen him comfortably in the top ten. That ride saw him finish eighth overall and seeded him through to the Superfinal.

This time he escaped trouble on the opening lap and came around ninth at the end of the first lap, mixing it up with the cream of the 450 riders. But early on his goggles got damaged and he had to take them off, so struggled to keep up the pace while getting roosted by the bigger bikes. He crossed the line in 16th spot overall, but that was fourth in the MX2 class and the best result by a British rider.

Nicholls said: “Hawsktone is tough going and it’s a proper man’s race. It was extra hard with the weather we’ve had. I really had a good time and I really enjoy riding the 250, even on such a brutal track. It was heavy going on the bikes – power-sapping all day.

“In the first race I think I could have got through to fifth but my goggles broke with four laps to go. I felt good but that was frustrating.

“Then in race two I crashed on the second straight and got nailed by another rider while I was on the ground. I was dead last and ended up 12th so that was good from so far back. Then in the Superfinal I finally got a good start and on lap two, my goggles broke again. I was gutted. When the 450s came through they were filling me in. I survived and kept on. I’ll be sore tomorrow!”

In the MX1 class which was stacked with GP riders including former world champions Jeffrey Herlings, Romain Febvre and Pauls Jonass, Crendon Tru7 Honda’s Callum Green had a promising start in both motos but almost immediately clashed with GP riders and ended up towards the tail of the pack.

In the first moto he came back through to 25th spot, setting decent lap times as he worked his way past rivals. In the second moto he got barged by Febvre off the start which lost him some places. Once again he regrouped and rode his CRF450R with determination to pick off riders in front as he finished a creditable 18th place. But it meant he missed out qualifying for the Superfinal by just two spots.

Green said: “I have to take away the positives and that was I had two really good starts – better than I’d had all last year. The focus on developing the bike for 2024 was to help me get out of the gate and it really seems to have worked. So I have to be pleased with that.

“After a top-eight start in the first moto I got wiped out by Brent Van Doninck so that wasn’t great. Then in race two I got an even better start and Romain Febvre came right across my line and that put me back down the field again. But I did enjoy starting the racing season in such a big international event that I have never been in before.

“But I’m leaving uninjured and the bike is really good so I’m looking forward to the season ahead.”
The team’s two other riders, MX1 champion Conrad Mewse and Taylor Hammal, are set to make their race debuts next month.


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