Rob Hooper Racing’s MX2 racer Taylor Hammal made his mark on the European 250 Motocross Championships at the weekend with two gritty from the back races at the MXGP of Great Britain.
The Matterley Basin circuit was in prime condition and with the weather good, British fans were out in force to cheer on their riders, and with Taylor being a local lad the support was fully behind him.
Just to qualify through to the main races was a task in itself with over 90 riders having to be whittled down to 40. Taylor put in a good time to qualify out of his group in 17th and take his place on the start line for the first moto, with only three other Brits making the cut.
His race couldn’t have got to a worse start, with his machine failing to fire into life as the gate dropped, leaving him 10 seconds behind the field from the outset.
Taylor is a battler though, and his raw speed shined through as he sliced his way through the pack and up to an incredible 18th place.
Luck was against Taylor again in Moto 2 as on lap one he got caught up in a crash, placing him at the back once again. After moving up to 22nd in the first two laps, a rider fell in front of him forcing him to take an off-track excursion, losing a number of places in the process, the hard work began again.
Never one to give up Hammal set about making the deficit up once more and again rode like a hero to come 19th, with in turn gave him 18th overall, and the second British rider in the standings.
Team boss Rob Hooper was impressed with Hammal’s performance “I was really pleased that he did it, I think it would have given him a bit of a boost. He was the next best Brit after Josh Gilbert by a good old way. He rode aggressive, he wasn’t messing about with people, he was catching them and passing them, and he rode very well”.
Taylor also came away from Matterley happy with his performance “The weekend was good in some ways for me as I felt like I rode well and my speed was there, I just had a bit of bad luck. I qualified through to the main races on my standard practice bike which I was pleased with. I went out on my race bike for the races, and unfortunately, it didn’t start on the line. It started, and I was roughly 10 seconds down from last and made good passes up to 18th to score some points. In the second race, I crashed twice but managed to get back to 19th. Overall I am really pleased with my riding, its just my starts that let me down”.
The next meeting for the team is at Culham in Oxfordshire for the first round of the Bridgestone British Masters on the 7th April.
Pictures by Ray Archer