Rob Hooper Racing Yamaha’s Taylor Hammal’s excellent week continued last night as he won the MX2 class in a good field of top riders at the “Rock it ’til Sundown” Midweek Summer MX Classic.
Pictures by Warren Kee
Hammal came into the Steel Hawk Motorcycle Club promoted event hot off the heels of a tremendous third place at the opening round of the MX Nationals at Hawkstone Park at the weekend.
Joined by teammate Sam Nunn, Taylor made a decent start in the opening MX2 moto, circulating in fourth place, but his speed was clear to see, and within a lap, he was at the front and commanding the race. Tom Grimshaw stayed on his tail for a few laps, but by the end of the moto, Taylor had stretched his lead to 12 seconds coming home with an impressive win. Nunn was outside of the top 10 on lap one and gained in speed as the moto went on finishing in 7th.
In the second moto, Taylor had a shock to the system and made the holeshot, something that is a rarity for the 575. Like in moto one after some early pressure from Grimshaw he eked out a 13 second lead for a classy and comfortable race win landing him the overall victory. Nunn battled hard in race two and finished in sixth position for seventh overall.
Next up was the Relax to Race Super Final where the top 20 from MX1 and MX2 went head to head for the main “Rock it ’til Sundown” title and hopes were high that Taylor had the pace to challenge the MX1 racers. Those hopes were dashed on the first lap when a crash and a collision with a marshall pallet put him at the back of the pack. With his machine stuck in 3rd gear, he still managed to make his way through the pack to 19th place. Sam was having a great race and was the second-highest placed MX2 rider up in ninth position but a fall with two laps to go relegated him to 24th.
“We are delighted that Taylor won the MX2 class this evening and that he actually made the holeshot in his second race”, said Team Boss Rob Hooper “I have always liked midweek racing, and so do many others judging by the number of riders who entered, and it was a well-organised event. Taylor is really starting to come of age now, and we are confident that he is going to be a real contender this year. Sam rode well tonight. I think he is a little low on confidence after Hawkstone, but he was riding better the more the evening went on and the more races he gets under his belt, the quicker he will get”
A beaming Hammal said of his night’s work “I really enjoyed the race. I much preferred the timetable this year having mx2 separate and then one super final mixed. It started to rain on the start line and all of the first race, which made it super slippery. I felt like was riding okay, not my best but I managed to pass the top 4 in two laps and then control the lead. In the second race, I had a massive shock and to many others as well, I holeshotted, which is unheard of for me. I rode a bit tight as I’ve never led a race really but managed to stay in front and win. The Super Final was frustrating as I had another good start but crashed hard on the first lap and was dead last. I couldn’t change gear so was stuck in 3 or 4th. Overall it was good evening of racing, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. Massive thank you to the Steel Hawk Motorcycle Club and all of their sponsors for putting the event on.”
Howard Wainwright missed the meeting due to an injury picked up at Hawkstone, but the full team is expected to be back on track for round 2 of the MX Nationals at Landrake in Cornwall on the 23rd August.