BETTER DAY FOR HM PLANT KTM UK IN ITALY
Happier times for HM Plant KTM UK as a warm Grand Prix of Italy saw Elliott Banks Browne pick up his second biggest points haul of the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship and Natalie Kane celebrate another podium result with third overall in the third round of the FIM Women's series.
The ninth outing of seventeen on the motocross calendar travelled back to Maggiora; a memorable venue in the sport's folklore and now in the international spotlight for the first time this century and with a renovated facility. The sweeping hills and turns of the circuit drew a massive 38,000 crowd and created yet another superb Grand Prix atmosphere as the sun cooked the paddock and the fans all weekend long.
The layout and terrain itself was difficult to judge. The MX2 class benefitted from track maintenance before both of their motos on Sunday meaning that they did not suffer the worst of the hard-pack ruts but still faced a bumpy and slippery surface, particularly after watering.
EBB was 13th in the final ranking for the Grand Prix. The British Champion worked hard through the motos to classify 14-13 in the two 35 minute and 2 lap outings. The overall result meant 15 points, only bettered by the 17 he totalled at Qatar for the championship opener. EBB holds 20th in the MX2 standings after an inconsistent campaign so far but enters the second half of the season with renewed purpose.
Natalie Kane is third in the FIM Women's World Championship by just one point after toasting her second podium of the year with her 250SX-F. The Irishwoman improved on 6th place in the first moto to record 2nd position in race two after a long fight with former world champ Steffi Laier, was able to taste champagne once more. Kane will face four more events in Croatia, Slovakia, Britain and Czech Republic.
HM Plant KTM UK will travel back to the UK and prepare to face the next round of the Maxxis British Championship which will take place in the loose terrain of Desertmartin in Northern Ireland. A three round expedition of the FIM Motocross World Championship will then follow with Grands Prix in Sweden, Latvia and Finland.
Elliot Banks Browne: "A lot better this weekend. I finished both races and I felt pretty good. My position could have been better but my speed was really good today. At least we have something to work on now, we know where we need to be now we just need to work on a few things and keep racing and bring my speed up. Looking forward to the next Grand Prix and hopefully we can improve on what we've done today."
Roger Magee, Team Owner: "It's been a good Grand Prix for the HM Plant KTM UK team today; Elliot has shown what he formerly had at all the Maxxis and British Championship meeting this year. His lap times were really good, he has certainly improved and the times were actually enough to be among the top ten. So we're looking forward to the next round of the British championship next week and hopefully we can carry on like this in the three GPs we have in a row – Sweden, Latvia and Finland. The team was also pleased to see Natalie Kane finishing on the podium and she is third in the championship just one point behind the Australian Megan Rutledge but also Steffy Laier is coming up behind us; it is very close."