Team STR KTM joined most of the UK’s top teams, together with a selection of World Championship teams at Hawkstone Park in Shropshire for the annual Hawkstone International race yesterday for what was a none stop day of thrills & spills.
Karro quickly got into his stride in qualifying posting 4th quickest behind Desalle, Paulin and Schiffer, however Parker put himself under pressure after crashing on his first fast lap, damaging his hand and ribs. After taking some time out in the pits he decided to do one lap and see if he could post a respectable time and amazingly came across the line 14th quickest.
Both riders had good starts in race one, with Karro rounding the first corner in 6th with Parker just behind in 8th. Karro moved swiftly through to 4th but by mid-race he started suffering from arm pump and struggling to hold on, had to settle for 8th at the finish. After losing eight places when Sword crashed in front of him, despite the pain Parker was looking really good as he started to move back through the field but as he overjumped into the bomb-hole, landing heavily in the bottom and bashing his already sore ribs on his handlebars and was forced to pull out, his day over!
In race two, Karro made another great start in 5th and after a couple of corners he was up to 3rd behind Paulin and Desalle. The three of them immediately started to pull a gap on the rest of the field but as Karro started to press Desalle for 2nd he went down heavily in the bomb-hole, banging his head in the process. After restarting in 23rd he swiftly moved through to 14th but started to suffer from double vision and had to pull off.
After an hour to recover Karro decided he was okay to go out in the Super-final and thank god he did. The unique format of setting the 20 MX2 riders off first, followed five seconds later by the 20 MX1 boys makes great entertainment and after making another great start on his 350, Karro was soon reeling in the MX2 guys. Desalle was the leading MX1 rider, followed closely by Karro and the two of them carved their way through the field and by the halfway mark only Tonus was left ahead of them, however buoyed by his two earlier MX2 victories the Monster Yamaha rider held his own to take a well deserved win. Desalle had to settle for 2nd ahead of delighted Karro in 3rd.
Matiss, “ First race had decent start and soon got up to 4th and started to catch Simpson but got arm-pump and couldn’t hold on so dropped back to 8th. I wasn’t happy with that but was really happy with my speed. Second race was better start in 5th and soon got through to 3rd, caught up with Paulin and Desalle and was looking for sneaky line to pass but had big crash and hit my head. I went into the pits to adjust my levers and went back out again but started to feel dizzy and had to pull off, so DNF’d that one which I wasn’t happy with. I was really happy with my first few laps but need to learn from my mistakes and next time be more patient. Super-final was awesome, came through really good and just tried to keep with Desalle as he went through the pack. De Reuver was catching me but I found some better lines and pulled away to finish 3rd which I was really happy with. I was so happy to be on the podium and can’t wait for the next race”
Parker, “ I felt really good out there today but had a big crash in qualifying and hurt my hand and ribs. I decided to try and still have a go at setting a good time and did one lap which put me in 14th. I got checked out by the team’s physio John from Physio Worx who confirmed that nothing was broken and so I decided to give it a go in the first race and just see how it went. I got a good start, just behind Matiss but then Swordy looped out right in front of me and I had nowhere to go, so lost a load of places. I still felt good and was coming back through when I overjumped into the bomb-hole and bashed my ribs on the handlebars. I couldn’t breathe and had to pull out and call it a day. I’m still positive as I felt good and had good speed and I’m looking forward to the Maxxis at Fat Cat where I’m looking for a good result”
Team Principal, Steve Turner commented, “ There were some highs and lows today but primarily from my point of view there were a great deal of positives. Nez looked great on the bike and even when riding injured in the first race he still looked relaxed and fast. Matiss was a revelation. He got three great starts and was fast and aggressive all day. He loved his bike, which is great for the team and for KTM.”