The Arenacross UK tour arrived at the LG Arena in Birmingham on Saturday for round three of the high-octane series. It was a mixed weekend for Buildbase Honda riders, Elliot Banks-Browne and Brad Anderson, and Dave Thorpe Off Road Centre contenders, Angelo Pellegrini and Luke Arbon, all of whom compete aboard the Honda CRF450R.
The qualifying sessions on Saturday afternoon went well for the Honda contingent, with all four riders making good progress on the hard-packed clay surface track. Banks-Browne posted the fastest time to go pole, while Anderson produced some solid lap times and both Pellegrini and Arbon showed increased confidence on their Honda machinery.
In the Arenacross format, the qualifying heats for the Main Event are divided into four races with each rider taking part in two apiece. Banks-Browne and Pellegrini finished both their races inside the top five to transfer directly to the Main Event. Unfortunately for Anderson and Arbon, their results were not enough to see them transfer and they were both forced into the Last Chance Qualifier in a fight for the final two spots in the main race. Anderson took second place in the LCQ to secure his place, but it was the end of the road for Arbon, who crashed out of contention.
The final race of the night was the Main Event and as the gate dropped it was Pellegrini who got the best start for Honda, heading into the top five at turn one. Banks-Browne and Anderson both had bad starts from outside gates and by the halfway point Banks-Browne had suffered a heavy crash that forced him out of the running. Pellegrini continued at a steady pace to finish in seventh place ahead of Anderson in 10th.
Meanwhile in the Rookie class, Honda rider Todd Kellet – who was victorious at rounds one and two – continued his winning streak in Birmingham, topping the qualifying timesheets and taking the final race win to make it three out of three.
Arenacross UK moves on to the Liverpool Echo Arena this Sunday (2 February) with the Buildbase Honda and Dave Thorpe Off Road Centre riders aiming to come back fighting and reclaim ground in the championship standings as the tour passes the halfway point.
Elliott Banks-Browne – Buildbase Honda
I am feeling totally frustrated and a bit sore at the moment. I showed that I had the speed in the qualifying session and took Pole, but I didn’t manage to turn that into a good result. Conditions were much better than Belfast but still difficult to ride. My hand will be OK and the changes we made to the bike were good, I just need to practice my starts this week and put it all together in Liverpool.
Brad Anderson – Buildbase Honda
Saturday was not the best of nights for me at the Arenacross. The track was very slick and technical to get on with. The main thing is that I made the Main Event and I’m in one piece and ready for this coming weekend in Liverpool.
Angelo Pellegrini – Dave Thorpe Off Road Centre
This weekend at Birmingham was much better than Belfast and I’m happy to have made the Main Event. The track this week was very hard packed and was difficult to pass on, but it was the same for everyone. Next week is a new race and I hope to get some better starts and get closer to the front.
Luke Arbon – Dave Thorpe Off Road Centre
I had a good pace during the qualifying sessions but I messed up the heat races and then in the LCQ I crashed on opening laps, so I missed the Main Event which is a bummer. The track this weekend was much drier and better than Belfast. Now it’s onwards to Liverpool next weekend and getting into that Main Event once again.
Dave Thorpe – team manager
This weekend has been up and down, it started really well with Elliott topping the timing sheets, then in the evening we suffered for bad luck in the Final. It was good to see Pellegrini make the Main Event after the disappointment of the first two rounds. Next week we head to Liverpool and Elliott will be back and looking to get back to the front of the field, along with his team mates.
1) Fabien Izoird
2) Daniel McCoy
3) Kristian Whatley
4) Cyrille Coulon
5) Loic Rombaut
6) Romain Biela
7) Angelo Pellegrini
8) Neville Bradshaw
9) Steven Clarke
10) Brad Anderson
DNF Elliot Banks-Browne
DNQ Luke Arbon
1) Izoird 66 points, 2) McCoy 52, 3) Clarke 51, 4) Rombaut 47, 5) Whatley 43, 6) Coulon 42, 7) Bradshaw 35, 8) Banks-Browne 29 (HON), 9) Anderson 28 (HON), 10) Law 22