The Rob Hooper Racing Yamaha Motocross team got down and dirty at rain and wind battered Hawkstone Park in Shropshire at the annual Hawkstone International Motocross yesterday.
Pictures by Warren Kee
With the team fully assembled for their 2020 debut, hopes were high of some good results to carry them into the forthcoming domestic season, but with the track a wholesale mud bath it was a case of gritting their teeth and making sure that man and machine were in one piece at the end of each moto.
The rain hammered down as the first MX2 race got underway with new recruit Sam Nunn impressing with 22nd among a top-class field of racers. Howard Wainwright picked himself up from a nasty fall to finish 25th while Taylor Hammal pulled out after seven laps having also crashed out early in the moto.
Wainwright would sit out of moto two, feeling the effects of his race one floor excursion, and Hammal would struggle as he did in race one, but Nunn was to pitch in with a super 11th position which was enough for a very credible 15th overall.
Support rider Tony Craig would finish the day in 25th position in a star-studded MX1 class.
Team Boss Rob Hooper said of the day “It was a case of survival of the fittest really today and I am glad we came away from the meeting relatively unscathed in terms of our riders and machinery. Young Sam Nunn rode very well; I was really impressed with him. I think he can improve quite dramatically this season. Howard decided wisely not to aggravate the thumb he hurt in his first race so didn’t go out in moto two. Taylor was out of sorts all day and just couldn’t get going so we hope this is a one-off and he can back to his best at Matterley.”
The next outing for the team will be the MXGP of Great Britain at Matterley Basin in Hampshire where Hammal will be making his MX2 World Championship debut and three times Australian Women’s Motocross Champion Maddy Brown will be riding an RHR Yamaha in the WMX races.