Team Suzuki Press Office – February 27.

The Tyco Suzuki MX team left the first major event of the year with promising feedback as Stephen Sword and Stuart Edmonds used the Hawkstone International Motocross at the weekend to work on bike set-up and technique ahead of the first British Championship round.

Riding in new team colours for the first time outdoors this season, the pairing impressed early on with Sword setting a fast pace in qualifying, ending seventh quickest and Edmonds adapting to his new RM-Z Suzuki well with an eighth.

In a strong field of international riders, Edmonds showed great speed and determination in race one, riding from 15th on the opening lap to a solid top-10 finish in ninth, before showing further determination in race two to ride a gritty race from 25th to 11th.

Stuart Edmonds:

"I'm pretty happy with how it's gone so far. Hawkstone's a tough track and at the International there's some stiff competition too, but despite this I felt good on the bike and have left feeling positive about the season ahead. We treated the event like an extended test session, and while I plan to get some more time on the bike in before the first round of the British Championship, I'm quite confident we could start now and be somewhere near the sharp end."

In the MX1 class, Sword had a tough start to his day's racing after a tangle with Xavier Boog in the opening race forced him to restart his assault, but only after a return to the pits for a goggle change, ending the race in 16th. A better result of 10th followed in race two, with a rear wheel issue in the Superfinal.

Stephen Sword:

"Not the greatest start but then this event was never about results. I've had a few set-up issues with the rear end of the bike and with Hawkstone being such a tough track, we knew we could use this event to work on a few set-ups and see if I could improve the feel. Qualifying was actually quite positive and if you discount the first race mishap, in general we moved in the right direction this weekend. We're planning a few more outings before we head to the opening round at Fat Cat in a couple of weeks time."

Adam Lyons - Team Manager:

"We said before we went to Hawkstone that this was primarily a shakedown for the team and that's exactly how we treated it. Naturally as soon as the boys get to a track, their competitive nature comes out, but I was keen to treat this event differently and of course crucially leave with both riders fit and well. Stuart probably had the most adjustment to make as a rider, who has spent so long on a different make of machine, but we have no questions now on his comfort with the Suzuki; he clicked, pure and simple.

"Stephen's primary goal this weekend was to get better feeling from the rear end of the bike, so we concentrated our efforts on this and we've left with a better direction. We plan to get out again before the first round, so we can hopefully iron out any last niggles the boys have and come out of the gate at Fat Cat as strong as possible."

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