2021 British motocross championship preview

It’s been a long wait for the first round of the British championship in 2021 and with no championship at all last year tomorrow marks the first race of the series since 2019!

The MX1 class is stacked with talent of GP level and Tommy Searle and Shaun Simpson lead the line as the pre-season favourites. Both are former British champions and both know how to get the job done but will racing the GP races work in Simpson’s favour or will the lighter British only schedule help Searle during the year?

Dylan Walsh is motivated to win the title this year telling us anything less will be a disappointment. Intimated by no-one, Walsh has proven his speed on the 450 at British and world level and is very happy to be back with Revo and comfortable on the new Kawasaki. Teammate James Dunn will be an intriguing prospect as he comes back to the top tier of British racing have had a year out, his style is super smooth and the 450 should suit him.

Walsh image: Elliot Spencer

Evgeny Bobryshev is back for another run at the British title on the PAR Homes Husqvarna and if he can stay off the ground and get the starts he should be a major contender. Adam Sterry should also have the title on his mind on Roger Magee’s Hitach Fuelled by Milwaukee KTM, he has a year of GP experience under his belt on the 450 and a title challenge at home will be expected.

Martin Barr has switched from KTM to Kawasaki and, although the switch was late, the winner of the last MX National of the year in 2020 is feeling good about his new machine and is going for consistent podiums to give himself a shot at the British championship he still craves.

This article continues below
Barr Image: Maurice Montgomery

Jake Nicholls doesn’t have much luck as the injury prone Crendon Honda rider won’t be behind the gate tomorrow after a practice crash a few weeks ago but when fit and firing Nicholls is a potential race winner, however this latest injury must be a bitter blow for the pre-season title contender.

Elliot Banks-Browne can’t be counted out either on the Oakleaf Honda, he has championship winning experience and if he finds his groove should be a regular podium contender. The same can be said of Harri Kullas in the Cab Screens Honda, Kullas is fast and consistent and is never far away from the podium. He should be a sneaky title contender in 2021.

Jason Meara didn’t get to show what he could do last season on the Phoenix Tools Kawasaki and will be hoping to fulfil his considerable potential with a full season on a top team. He will be joined by his Irish counterpart Stuart Edmonds who is brimming with confidence in the Apico Husqvarna after three months in Spain and Meara’s long-time rival in Ireland, Glenn McCormick, is moving up to MX1 on the Chambers Husqvarna, the technical rider should suit the bigger machine. Meara and McCormick usually find each other on track and push their speed to the next level, which could help each considerably in such a competitive MX1 class.

Add in a rapid Jake Milward, Jake Shipton, Brad Todd, Luke Smith, Richard Mckeown, Liam Knight, Dan Thornhill, Josh Spinks and Ross Rutherford to name a few and getting into ten will be a huge accomplishment! This should be a fantastic season if everyone can still healthy.

MX2 is headed by Conrad Mewse. The blisteringly fast GP man is capable of running at the front at world level so another British title should be firmly on his radar but teammate Bas Vaessen shouldn’t be underestimated. The Dutch rider is more capable than he probably gets credit for and if he has a good start to the year and gets his confidence high, he could will be a big thorn in the side for Mewse.

Bas Vaessen

Bike it Kawasaki rider, Wilson Todd, should be a contender too if he can stay fit. The Aussie has good pace but doesn’t have the experience of the British tracks like Mewse and even Vaessen, however Australian riders aren’t usually intimated by much and he will be expecting to be a front runner. Teammate Taylor Hammal is fast at home and with a fast bike under him will also expect to do some damage in his home tracks.

Steven Clarke will be on ASA United Gas Gas ride this year and is always there or thereabouts when it comes to championship contention. He will be expecting to push the GP riders hard and isn’t one to give up easily. The face of Gas Gas in the UK, this is a big year for Clarke to shine.

Steven Clarke on the ASA United Gas Gas machine Image: Architech media

Replacing Clarke at Honda is Jay Hague, the youngster has shown good speed over the last two years and deserves his chance in such an elite team, but now it’s to deliver the results under pressure and expectation having one of the best packages on the line brings with it – but he has the ability to be top five/podium man.

This article continues below

John Adamson, Lewis Hall, Carlton Husband, Brad Anderson, Jamie Law and well as Florian Milot will all be worth keeping an eye on as well as will youngster Bobby Bruce who could be the next big thing from the UK and MX2 will really give the talented youngster a great insight into the speed he needs to find to run GP level.

Don’t forget you can’t watch all the action live online here.

Words: Jonathan McCready

Lead Tommy Searle image: Adam Duckworth