In terms of the British Championship, Conrad Mewse has been almost unbeatable winning five moto’s from six so far. It means the Hitachi KTM UK rider has a 21 points gap at the top of the championship standings.
Mewse is incredibly talented and started the season on fire, he sat fifth in the MX2 World Championship after the first four rounds which shows just how good he was feeling. However, since then he’s been dealing with personal issues and has been struggling but the last two rounds of the series we’ve started to see glimpses of the real Conrad Mewse again. If he rides like we know he can at Desertmartin then he’s going to be very hard to stop.
Last year at the event was a great day for Martin Barr as he went 1-2 to win the overall in front his home crowd. This year Barr has switched from the Buildbase Honda team to the Revo Husqvarna and started the season in great form in the EMX250 Championship. Barr had the championship lead up until two rounds ago but bad qualifying has led to bad starts and you can’t afford them in the EMX250 series.
In terms of the British Championship, Barr has been playing catch up ever since round one after a crash and picking up a DNF. However, he’s already back up to fifth in the championship and there’s every chance he can be top three after Desertmartin. After winning the event last year and having a few bad weeks coming into Desertmartin this weekend, he’ll be more motivated than ever to win in front of his home crowd.
Barr’s team-mate, Mel Pocock might be riding without a thumb but he’s not letting that affect him. Pocock also had the EMX250 Championship lead earlier in the year but now sits second and has a real chance of lifting the title. In the British Championship he currently sits third after the last round didn’t go according to plan but since then his speed has been good in the EMX250 Championship so he’ll coming into the event feeling confident.
Perhaps the story of the MX2 series so far this year is Josh Gilbert. Gilbert started the season with the Honda Adventure Centre setup but with Josiah Natzke recently leaving the Buildbase Honda team, Gilbert has secured that ride for the rest of the season.
Gilbert has been in great form in the British series as he sits second and only twenty one points behind Mewse, he’ll want to maintain this form for the rest of the season. Will he be able to deal with the pressure of the Buildbase Honda team? Time will tell but it shouldn’t be a problem. Gilbert rode the MX2 World Championship at Matterley Basin and Saint Jean d’Angely picking up eleven points over four races – he was knocking on the door for the top fifteen which shows just how fast he’s going this season.
Another rider that’s stepped up to the plate this season is Liam Knight who actually won a moto during round three of the series at Blaxhall. Knight has been switching between the MX1 and MX2 classes this year depending on the championship but in the British Championship he’s decided to focus on the MX2 class once again which is a good decision.
Knight sits fourth in the series after the first three rounds and only a point separates him and Pocock for third in the series, he’ll be looking to beat him at least this weekend as that’s important for his championship chase.
He’s been in the paddock for a while now but Josh Spinks seems to be really coming of age this year! So far this season the EMX250 Championship at Matterley Basin is the highlight as he got on the box which is a great achievement.
So far this year in the British Championship he’s been solid but a DNF at the first round has cost him points. He sits sixth in the championship but will be looking to move up the standings as the season progresses. Desertmartin seems to be a good track for him as he ended up fifth overall last year, he’ll be looking for even better this weekend.
Last year at Desertmartin, Micky Eccles was really impressive as he actually led the races at times. He ended up on the box with a 2-3 scorecard and it was a good weekend for him.
However, this season hasn’t gone according to plan for him just yet as he sits seventh in the standings but he’d have been looking for more than that and he’s certainly capable. He’ll be hoping for a good result this weekend to kick start his season and it might just prove to be the turning point of his season.
Last season was really good for Todd Kellett as he ended up fifth in the MX2 British Championship and thirteenth in the EMX250 Championship. 2018 was expected to be even better but unfortunately, Kellett picked up a serious injury at the end of last season breaking multiple vertebrae’s in his back.
Due to the injury, Kellett wasn’t in great shape at the start of the season and understandably so but he’s showed signs of improvement during the last few rounds of the EMX250 Championship on his Verde KTM so he’ll be looking for a good result at Desertmartin this weekend.
After signing with the I-Fly JK Yamaha team, Brad Todd was coming into the season with high hopes. However, like Kellett he picked up a pretty serious injury after breaking his C6 vertebrae – he was even told he was lucky to be walking!
Todd faced a lengthy spell on the sidelines but made a return during the last round of the series picking up twenty-five points. The rest of the season is all about building for the young Brit after missing a large part of the season.
As for the local riders taking part in the MX2 class, Glenn McCormick is an MX2 regular and has picked up five championship points so far. At a track he knows and races a lot at Desertmartin plus the home crowd behind him, he’ll be looking for his best result yet.
Young James Mackrel has made the switch from KTM to Yamaha for this year and seems to be loving it. He’s had some success at the previous round of the U21 Championship winning the overall so he’ll hope to carry that form into his home round of the MX2 British Championship this weekend.
Jake Sheridan made a great start to the season winning the first round of the Ulster Championship at Desertmartin so it’s a track he goes good at! Unfortunately, he did pick up an injury there earlier in the season as well but he’s back and motivated for his home round.
Last but not least is Jason Meara who is focusing on the Ulster, Irish and MX National championships this year but he’s secured a wildcard ride for his home round of the British Championship. Meara feels like he’s riding the best he ever has at the moment so don’t be surprised if he’s running in the top fifteen if he can take a good start.
Article: Andy McKinstry
Pics: Scott Dunne