Thursday August 9, 2018 at 2:43pm
Following just a weekend’s break, the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean heads to the legendary Hawkstone Park for round six on Sunday.
Last time out at Duns was a wash-out with heavy rain and low cloud forcing organisers to pull the plug on proceedings. The conditions also made the racing a bit of a lottery so it’s unclear just how much you can read into the results.
Saying that, you can’t fault the performances of Evgeny Bobryshev (Lombard Express Suzuki with PAR Homes), Josh Gilbert (Buildbase Honda) and Jay Hague (JTL Scaffolding Kawasaki) who took the race wins. With the MX1 programme cut to just one rmoto it meant Bobby also claimed the overall while MX2 got both races and it was Mel Pocock (REVO Husqvarna UK) who came out on top.
In MX1 the result means that the Russian, champion in 2010 the last time he contested the series, has closed to within 12 points of series leader Jake Nicholls (Buildbase Honda) who took fourth after being forced to slow with an over-heating bike.
Bobby’s definitely in great form at the moment – a second-race 10th at last weekend’s MXGP of Belgium proves that. It also shows that he goes well in the sand but so does Nicholls so we can look forward to some great racing between the pair in the soft stuff at Hawkstone.
Despite a DNF at Duns when his rear sprocket was bent in a collision on the first lap, defending champion Graeme Irwin (Hitachi ASA KTM UK) still sits third. The title may be slipping from his grasp – and he now has to contend with Italy’s Ivo Monticelli (iFly JK Racing Yamaha) who was second at Duns and trails him by just nine points – but the Irishman is also in great form.
A career-best 13th overall at Lommel was an impressive performance by Irwin so expect to see him fighting for the podium and overall win on Sunday.
I know we say it every year but this season the MX1 class really is stacked with talent so don’t be surprised to see Elliott Banks-Browne (Geartec Husqvarna), Ryan Houghton (Rob Hooper Racing Yamaha), Gert Krestinov (Phoenix Tools Apico Honda) and Brad Anderson (Verde Substance KTM) – who was third at Duns – mixing it up near the front.
Then there’s also the not-so-little matter of Tommy Searle (Bike It DRT Kawasaki) who is the biggest threat to the top-three on Sunday.
MX2 series leader Conrad Mewse (Hitachi ASA KTM UK) didn’t have the greatest of days at Duns which allowed Gilbert to close by seven points but Mewse still has a 24-point cushion.
Pocock holds third and will be fired up after his EMX250 win at Lommel as he attempts to close the 13-point gap to Gilbert and pull clear of fourth-placed Liam Knight (Pope Racing KTM).
Martin Barr (REVO Husqvarna UK) is still playing catch-up after injuring himself at the opening round and is fifth, narrowly ahead of Josh Spinks (M Smith KTM). The pair tied on points at Duns with Barr getting second overall on a tie-break so there’s not a lot to chose between these two.
Hawkstone will also host round three of the MXY2 series which is currently led by George Sim-Mutch (Manchester MC Husqvarna) who moved to the front at Duns ahead of Rossi Beard (Putoline Planet Husqvarna) and Callum Green (Buildbase Honda).
Green won the opening round but was carrying a shoulder injury at Duns and ended the day in fifth as Joel Rizzi (RFX Crescent Yamaha) took the win and Ike Carter (GL12 Racing KTM) claimed fourth on his 125cc stroker.
The British Two-stroke Championship concludes on Sunday and it’s Dutchman Mike Kras (GL12 Racing KTM) who has a 21-point lead over Ash Wilde (RMJ Husqvarna UK) with James Dunn (GL12 Racing KTM) third.
If he brings his A game then Dunn’s probably the only rider in the field with the skills to take it to his team-mate in the sand.
Admission prices are £25 for adults and £5 for children aged five to 15 with a family ticket available at £45. Practice starts at 8.45am with the first race of the day at 11am. Hawkstone Park is located just off the A49 and A53 north of Shewsbury. Postcode is SY4 4NA.
Picture © Imagerich Media