Kullas takes centre stage as national motocross comes to Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 07:48 10 April 2017
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
Before this weekend Harri Kullas had never seen the Cadders Hill venue - but it is obviously to his liking.
The Finnish-Estonian stormed to victory in the two MX2 races, eclipsing championship leader and pre-race favourite Ben Watson on both occasions.
It was Watson who had posted the fastest time in qualifying on his Hitachi KTM UK machine and he duly set the pace on the opening lap of race one to head Martin Barr on the Buildbase Honda and Bury St Edmunds’ Lewis Tombs, riding for Lings Husqvarna, with Kullas down in fourth.
By mid-race the eventual winner was in the wheeltracks of Watson and just one lap later he made the pass to take over at the front. He then held the position through to the chequered flag at the conclusion of the 25-minute plus two laps race distance, with Barr rounding out the top three.
At the second time of asking it was Watson who once again headed the field as they charged into the Lyng countryside, with Kullas struggling to force his MVR-D Route 77 Husqvarna through the traffic.
Once clear of the pack the flying Finn chased down the pole man and with just three laps remaining made the decisive pass to take his second win, and close down the gap in the championship standings. Mel Pocock had a terrific ride on the Revo Husqvarna to climb from seventh to make the last step on the podium.
Ipswich’s Jake Nicholls had the pick of the start gate in the MX1 class after outgunning his rivals by over half a second in qualifying. Riding for the Hitachi KTM UK team, he made the most of his earlier efforts by leading from start to finish in race one.
Frenchman Steven Lenoir looked set for a comfortable second before Graeme Irwin nipped past with two laps remaining, to the delight of his watching team manager, former multi world champion Dave Thorpe.
Race two went the way of Estonian Gert Krestinov on the Pheonix Tools Honda, with the top four staying in the same positions for the entire 14 laps. It was anything but dull though as all four tried every line available of the by now challenging track. Irwin again took the runner-up spot, with Nicholls third.