The opening round of the 2017 Michelin supported MX Nationals had been set to take place on the first weekend in March, but owing to a waterlogged venue & the cancellation of that event Round 1 will now take place at Preston Docks on April 1/2nd
Our annual visit to the North West venue on the banks of the river Ribble, always produces some great racing. We are pleased to have an amazing line-up of riders for you to enjoy across 2 days action. Over 280 riders have registered for the series across 7 classes & the first race of the day gets underway on Saturday with our youngest riders in our combined 85cc youth class.
As they take to the line, the fastest small wheel rider in qualifying will get first pick on the line but who will that be? .Defending small wheel champion Ike Cater will not defend his crown in 2017, the new campaign sees a number of debutants in class with ones to watch likely to be Alfie Jones, Harvey Cashmore, Charlie Heyman, Oliver Barr & Ben Kennedy.
Bobby Bruce & Louie Kessell are likely front runners in the big wheel category. These two have spent the winter battling indoors at Arenacross having finished 2nd & 3rd in the series, as well as our SW championship standings in 2016. Kylie McNicol will be looking to move up the standings after his 6th place in last year’s standings.
Our Combined MXY classes sees the 125cc 2 strokes (MXY1) taking on the 250cc 4 stroke (MXY2). Many riders have moved up from the 85 classes & will race on 125 machines for 2017; therefore picking a winner is a tall order.
Outgoing 85 BW champion Joel Rizzi could be one to watch & has shown good form in the Dutch ONK series, SW Champion Ike Carter has shown good speed on his 125 in the two events building up to the first round of the Nationals.
In MXY2 Lewis Hall is the one to watch, Lewis used the latter part of the 2016 season to acquaint himself with a 250 machine in readiness for a title challenging year, as proven at the opening round of the British championships. He certainly won't have it all his own way with Keenan Hird, Joe Cadwaller, and Jake Edney also likely to be near the front of the Pack.
2017 sees not one but two Elite clubman classes at the Nationals featuring both MX1 & MX2 categories. Both classes will produce some top class action as these guys & gals get to battle it out in 4 races per class across the weekend. In MX2 keep an eye out for Tony Cadman, Jack Colley, Brad Thornhill & our 3 female competitors of Gabbi Hamlet, Amie Goodlad & Sophia Levell. In MX1 those to watch are Danny Townsend, Lee Tolan, Darrell Sims & Jamie Aitken.
Both Expert classes this season now come with official ACU British Championship status and with some hoping to use the class as a route to soon racing in the professional classes.
Defending MX2 champion Henry Williams will be out to defend his crown this season but won’t have it all his own way. Charlie Hamlet showed some good speed at the Hawkstone International & should feature well but is like to be battling season long with Josh Coleman & Luke Mellows . These 3 will be hard pushed by Jason Mera, Simon Booth, John Waghorne & Charlie Putnam.
In MX1 Luke Parker returns to defend his title but will be pushed all the way as the top 5 from the 2016 standings all return & will be hoping to take his title from him. So with Shaun Southgate, Brad Cavill, Ben Cole & Adam Day already looking to push Parker all the way could there be a dark horse to look out for. Lewis Trickett will be racing a 250cc 2 stroke in preparation for a full campaign in the new British Championship 2 stroke class.
If all that racing wasn't enough, we add something to the mix on a Sunday, with two Pro 30 minute plus 2 lap motos that we call the 'Fastest 40'. Defending MX1 Champion Graeme Irwin returns to defend his crown but sees his Buildbase Honda teammate & defending MX2 champion Marin Barr also on MX1 machinery. Graeme will be looking to keep the momentum going after placing second overall at the opening round of the British championships, whilst Martin will be looking to have a better day after racing for most of his first Moto of the year without goggles. These guys are joined by 2015 champion Kristian Whatley on his Apico Husqvarna. 2016 Round 5 double race winner Jake Shipton (Rob Hooper Racing Cresent Yamaha), Gert Krestinov (Phoenix Tools Honda), 2015 Mx2 Champion Steven Lenoir (Hobbs Racing Kawasaki) who took the final place on the podium at the opening round of the British. Elliott Banks Browne (Geartec Husqvarna) & fans favourite Brad Anderson (Verde Sports Racing) have shown they will be at the front of the pack at the Docks. Ashley Wilde (RFX KTM) & the two Cab Screens Husky boys of Dan Thornhill & James Harrison will be looking for top five positions.
If that wasn't enough then the MX2 class is just as stacked with Marin Barr now racing MX1 the other two guys on the 2016 championship podium will be hoping to take his crown. Lewis Tombs (Lings Husqvarna) & Liam Knight (Hobbs Racing Kawasaki) sure won't have it all their own way as the other young guns will be out to claim a step on the podium. Mel Pocock (Revo Husqvarna), Jake Millward (Verde Racing KTM), Josh Gilbert (Dave Thorpe off Road), Nathan Dixon (RFX KTM), Dylan Woodcock (Team Green Kawasaki), Jamie Carpenter (Revo Husqvarna), & the list go on.
So why not come & join us, racing gets underway on Saturday at 11am & Sunday at 9.30 am.
Sundays Pro Fastest 40 races are scheduled for 12 & 3pm. Weekend Tickets are priced at £10 per adult over 12 years & children under 12 are free. Tickets can be purchased on the day or via www.mxnationals.co.uk