Ryan Houghton battled through the pain barrier to finish a fantastic 7th at Lyng in the 2nd round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championships for the Rob Hooper Racing Yamaha team.
After suffering from a painful rib injury last week at Culham in the Bridgestone British Masters, there were doubts about Ryan’s fitness coming into this event. But he showed grit and determination to power out 6th in qualifying before holding out for ninth in Moto 1 and a tremendous fifth in race two which gave him 7th overall, and leaves him 6th in the series standings.
Ryan said of his weekend “ It went better than I expected to be honest. When I woke up Friday I wasn’t even sure if I was going to race or not. But I went out on Saturday and did some practice starts in the garden, and took a load of painkillers and it wasn’t too bad, it was obviously sore, but I knew I could get through the weekend. I knew I wasn’t going to be on it, I haven’t practiced in the week now for three weeks, I had a little niggling arm injury then last week I broke three ribs, so it hasn’t been ideal. I know I have the capability, and the bikes good, and that I just needed to get good starts, put my head down and get on with it.
“In the first race I gated about eighth and I kind of felt pretty good at the beginning of it, but where I haven’t ridden for so long, I sort of tightened up a bit. I didn’t get arm pump, I just wasn’t fluid, so I ended up dropping back to ninth which was where I finished.
“Race 2 I made a good start and was in third. I dropped back to 4th which was where I was for 4 laps, which was good. I knew I had to go, so I put my head down and got myself a big gap from me to the guys behind. But obviously my ribs were hurting and things, and I didn’t feel that great out there where I haven’t ridden, but where I built up the gap, I ended up 5th in that race and 7th overall which was really good.”
Team Boss Rob Hooper was very pleased with Ryan commenting on his weekend “Considering Ryan came into this meeting not having ridden in the week he did very well. In light of him riding with the pain and with that discomfort, I think he has had a fantastic day. He made two really good results, with two typical gusty determined rides. The second race was particularly good. He had a good start, and he rode really well.”
The weekend didn’t work out as well for young Taylor Hammal in the MX2 class. His speed was evident from Qualifying, but luck hasn’t been on his side at all this year. He was taken down at the start of the first moto leaving him over a minute behind the closest rider in front of him, but showing remarkable speed and determination he worked his way right up to 17th and only four seconds off of 14th position. With lap times on par with the top 6 in race one, hopes were high for Moto 2, but a mechanical issue meant a DNF and a meeting where you wonder what could have been.
“Today was probably one of the most frustrating days racing I’ve had in a while,” said Taylor after the meeting. “ I felt really good all day on the track, and my speed was there to show in the first race after crashing on the first lap, then, unfortunately, the bike stopped in the second race. I felt like I could have had a really good result, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I just have to move onto the next one and look for a good result there.”
Rob said of his young rider “Taylor is riding fantastic, but we had a mechanical problem in the second race, which we need to find out what it is, but it has caused him a problem. He got taken down on the first lap of the first race, which messed up what could have been a fantastic result. The speed on him was up there with the top 5 or 6 riders. He needs to get a good start, and race with those riders at the front that he is as quick as, and he needs to get used to it. But at this minute it’s just not happening for him. Everyone around him and a lot of other people can see the potential is there and it will come to the forefront for him very soon I am sure. I am really disappointed for Taylor that he hasn’t gone home with the bagful of points that he deserves, but onto next week and let’s put it right.”
This weekend is a busy one for the team as they head to Marshfield to take part in the Huck Cup, which is part of the Mike Browne Memorial Meeting on Good Friday before they return to Hawkstone Park on Easter Sunday for the second round of the Michelin MX Nationals.
Pictures by Elliot Spencer