The motocross season gets back underway tomorrow at the Hawkstone International event which is always a good one for the British fans as they get to see plenty of Grand Prix talent on show. We’ll take a look at some of the riders you should look out for over the course of the weekend that might just surprise you.
He’s been focusing on Enduro for the last few years but put Nathan Watson on a sand track like Hawkstone and he will be fast! It was a shame when he made the decision to go to Enduro as he could have had a bright future in motocross but that’s the way it goes sometimes. He will be looking to run at the front on his KTM this weekend banging bars with some of the worlds best!
It’s for the first race of the season for British Champion, Graeme Irwin and he’s back in orange colours for the season ahead. It’s going to be a long season for Irwin as he’s racing the World Championship and the Maxxis British Championship. Irwin will want to get his season off to a good start at Hawkstone this weekend so he’ll know where he is going into Argentina and will know what to work on.
One of the biggest talents in the UK paddock is certainly Kristian Whatley. He’s not yet lived up to his talent because has has everything to be a top Grand Prix rider. However, he’s made the switch back to Yamaha for 2018, a bike that delivered him a Maxxis British Championship title. Also, if anyone can get the best out of him then it’s Rob Hooper and the pair will work together for the season ahead.
Racing last weekend in Italy, Glenn Coldenhoff wasn’t his usual self and because of that will want to put on more of a show this weekend. ‘The Hoff’ did have a crash a few weeks ago which he struggled with last weekend but he will be hoping to put that behind him this weekend. The Dutch rider in sand always has the potential to put on a good show.
Making his debut for the LRT KTM team this weekend is Davy Pootjes. The Dutch rider was very highly rated back in his 85cc and 125cc days. However, since moving up to the MX2 World Championship, injuries have clearly hampered him. He will be hoping to stay fit for the entire season to show us all what he can really do. He has been on the podium at Hawkstone before so don’t be too surprised if he does the same this weekend.
Danish talent, Mikkel Haarup had his first MX2 race last weekend after moving up from the 125cc. Haarup actually led on the first lap but then crashed – he was probably very excited! Being with the ICE ONE Husqvarna team means he’s been working closely with Max Anstie throughout the winter so he will have learnt plenty of him. He could certainly surprise people with his speed this weekend.
British talent, Conrad Mewse will make his racing debut with the Hitachi KTM UK squad this weekend. Mewse hasn’t rode much in the UK throughout his career but along with Hawkstone this weekend, he will also contest the Maxxis British Championship. There’s no doubt he has the talent and now with his rookie year behind him in the MX2 World Championship he will be looking for bigger and better things during the year ahead.
Whenever the Factory Kawasaki team decided they were pulling out of the MX2 World Championship for 2018, things weren’t looking too good for Adam Sterry. However, thankfully the F&H Kawasaki team decided to step up and that’s the awning Sterry is under for the year ahead. He will make his debut for the team this weekend and with being out for most the season last year he will make a return to racing which is important for him as it’ll help him prepare for Argentina. His team mates, Ruben Fernandez and Jed Beaton are also worth a mention, they will be quick too!
The Kemea Yamaha team will be present at Hawkstone this weekend with Jago Geerts and Ben Watson. With regards to Geerts, he is very talented, if he gets the start he could run with anyone so he could certainly be a front runner! Watson was flying in Italy last weekend as he was sitting in fourth until the last few laps when he had a technical problem meaning he had to DNF. At least he knows his speed is good and the hard work over winter has been going well, he will be hoping to get a good result this weekend.
Last but by no means least, look out for Martin Barr this weekend. He always seems to go well at Hawkstone. I have memories of him battling with Steve Ramon and Tanel Leok on his STR KTM. He’s back in the MX2 class these days though and after moving to the Revo Husqvarna team he might just be one too watch!