Rob Hooper Racings Taylor Hammal showed exactly why the team have so much faith in him, by putting in a stunning performance at the first round of the Bridgestone British Masters at Culham yesterday, claiming 2nd in the Pro MX2 class.
The team went into the event hopeful of good performances by both Ryan Houghton in MX1 and Hammal in MX2. With Houghton not racing for almost a month, it was a good second in qualifying from him considering his lay off while Taylor qualified in 7th.
Poor starts from both of the riders in Moto 1 of the mixed Pro class meant the hard work had to start in earnest, and both riders did a sterling job, with Houghton weaving his way to 3rd and chasing down the lead duo and Hammal up to second. The fight to the front for both racers would be halted 15 minutes into the Moto with Ryan being awarded third relinquishing his chances of a race victory, while Taylor would disappointingly be relegated to third, with the result being called a lap previous to his pass on Martin Barr.
Keen to make amends for a poor start in Moto 1, Houghton came out of the traps well in Race 2 but went down hard early into the first lap, knocking the wind out of himself. Taking stock of the situation the tough as teak racer remounted and circulated for championship points which saw him claim 6th overall.
Taylor once again made his customary poor start but his speed is apparent to see, and he scythed through the field to work his way into second again just 8 seconds off of the leader and with a 3-2 scorecard he secured his first ever podium for the RHR team and second overall.
“It was a frustrating weekend in one way” said team Boss Rob Hooper “Both of our riders were going forward at such a rate in the first race, that I honestly feel that if the race could of run the full distance, Ryan would have caught the two leaders as he was lapping the quickest. Whether he would have passed them, I don’t know, and Taylor had already passed Martin Barr and was closing on the leader Ashton Dickinson, after coming from such a long way back. So the potential was there for both of the riders to have won their class, but then the race got red flagged, and they took the results back a lap which put Taylor back behind Martin Barr which was a bit a disappointing really after he did the hard work to pass him.
“In the second race Ryan was trying to put it right with a good start, but when trying to get into the lead, he had a big wipeout, which completely knocked the wind out of him. He got back on and rode as Ryan does because he is as hard as nails.
“In all, it was a bit disappointing for Ryan for what could have been a potential win for the day, and again Taylor had to come through a lot of riders, MX1 and MX2 to get to second on the track. I am very impressed with the young lad, and again he has shown he has immense speed coming through the field”.
Taylor said of his weekend “Yeah the weekend was good. It started off slow getting a puncture in qualifying so had to go out on the practice bike. In both races, I got awful starts but managed to pass and get up towards the front. I passed into second before it was red flagged, but I got put back to 3rd, but in the second race, I finished second. Overall it was a really good weekend. My speed was there, the Track was rough and technical, and the bike was working really good”.
The team now move onto Lyng in Norfolk this Sunday for the second round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championships.
Pictures by Lee Ashby