Back in 2004, Greg Minnaar took delivery of his European race bike, the Honda RN01, and went to a local race in Spain. It was a round of the Andalucian Cup held in the southern coastal town of Motril. The race was covered by Dirt Magazine and it was there that the Honda won its first race outside of Japan.
Fast forward 4 amazing seasons later and Brendan Fairclough finds himself racing the Honda RN01 for the last time, and it’s once again in Motril, Spain, for a round of the Andalucian Cup.
The race took place last Sunday in sunny 20 degree temperatures with more than 200 other competitors, including reigning European Champion David Vazquez of Barcelona. Motril has become a true center for downhill racing in Southern Spain and his home to one of the country’s top young riders, Ruben Garcia.
Like most races in Spain, there is a morning race followed by one in the afternoon, with the faster of the two races counting as the rider’s result.
In the first race, British rider Tom Deacon, who lives in Spain, took the win by half a second ahead of Fairclough and then Vazquez. However in the second race Deacon had a problem and wasn’t able to improve on his time, whereas Brendan pushed the Honda to find another two seconds on the rocky and dry 2 minute course, and in so doing, won the race and picked up a handy $600 in prize money.
Brendan said: “That was a lot of fun that race. I don’t get to race on that type of surface often. The locals here are really into their racing which is great to see. It’s hard for me to imagine that this was the last time I will ride the Honda. It has been an amazing experience this year and I’m really happy to have been part of it”.
David Vazquez said: “Damn, Brendan smoked me today! Actually, the times were all really close and you couldn’t make a single mistake on this course. I had a great run in the second race and just enjoyed being down here with all the crazy Motril guys, they’re so cool. I love it when I come down here, I might have to look for an apartment here; it feels like home now!”
Brendan Fairclough 2m 15.172secs 2m 13.188secs
David Vazquez 2m 17.172secs 2m 13.579secs
Ruben Garcia 2m 18.406secs 2m 14.672secs
Tom Deacon 2m 14.812secs 2m 23.829secs