British Championship RD6: The Preview
Round six of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship will take place next weekend at Blaxhall, Suffolk, July 17th, where we get ready for what is perhaps the most exciting part of the season.
Things are starting to heat up, particularly in MX1, as Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle, the most recent round winner, scrambles to peg back the valuable championship points he lost at the fourth round of the series, Desertmartin, last month. Meanwhile Hitachi Revo Husqvarna’s Jake Nicholls has joined the party and is now battling for race wins with the two main protagonists, Shaun Simpson and Tommy. Speaking of Wilvo Virus Performance KTM’s Shaun Simpson, he has been struggling with a broken hand for the majority of the season, which has made life a little difficult for him. Nevertheless, he has continued to race and is soldiering on in hopes of defending his MX1 title.
Meanwhile in MX2, things are tighter than ever with only 7 points separating Apico Husqvarana’s dynamic duo of Steven Clarke and Bryan MacKenzie, while splitting them, in second place, is Buildbase Honda’s Martin Barr, who is on the same points as MacKenzie, 175. Furthermore, only 8 points back on MacKenzie, in third, is the winner of the last two rounds, Wilvo Virus Performance KTM’s Adam Sterry.
But back to MX1 for a minute… the favourite for Blaxhall is bound to be the local, Hitach Revo Husqvarna’s Jake Nicholls, who will be gearing up for some home cooking next weekend. Jake has won 2 races so far this season, with his win in Race 1 a couple of weeks ago at Leuchars, being the most monumental. “I live 10mins away from Blaxhall so I am really looking forward to it”, he said. “I really like the track, as an adult I have raced there for the last 10 years, I never did school boys there, but I am really looking forward to it and hopefully they do a good job to the track, they normally do, and that the weather is on side and get a good crowd and then it will be a good day. “
Another name that is going to billboard on the run-up to Blaxhall is Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle, as the most recent round winner and a rider who is hoping to be at the top of the table at the end of the series. As it stands now, Tommy is the most successful rider in MX1 with a 50% win rate. Although he has won 5 out of 10 races, he has had a few ‘moments’, a couple were rider error while one was a mechanical, and that has cost him the Red Plate. “I’m looking forward to going to Blaxhall,” Tommy said, “I went there at the start of the year and it was nice, so it should be a good weekend.”
As for the Red Plate, it still belongs to the defending champion Wilvo Virus Performance KTM’s Shaun Simpson, who is on the bounce back from injury after breaking his hand a couple of months ago. With the FIM Motocross World Championship taking a break, Shaun has the time to let his hand heal a little more and should be back to full strength in Blaxhall, which should mean that there will be a ‘real’ race on the cards.
Meanwhile Buildbase Honda’s Graeme Irwin is waiting for his big break. The Irishman has had some extremely spectacular moments this year, but on the other hand has had some daisy downers. As it stands, he is fourth in the championship, 20 points behind Nicholls, but only 8 points clear of his Buildbase Honda teammate Kristian Whatley in fifth so there is bound to be some crazy good racing between those two.
In MX2, the racing has been awesome with four different race winners and only 15 points separating the top 4 in the championship. Apico Husqvarna’s Steven Clarke still leads after a mediocre day in the office last weekend. He is 7 points clear of Buildbase Honda’s Martin Barr and his Apico Husqvarna teammate Bryan MacKenzie who is on the same points as Barr, in third.
While it’s mega tight between the top three, the trio is coming under some serious pressure from Wilvo Virus Performance KTM’s Adam Sterry who has won the two most recent rounds. Sterry now trails Clarke by 15 points, and Barr and MacKenzie by 8.
As for the young guns racing in the MXY2 class, it’s clear the mega talented Scotsman Alexander Brown is the kid to beat. Out of the six races he has entered, ‘Alex’ has obliterated the field in five, with P & H Motorcycles Michael Ellis being the only rider to have beaten him fair and square, once. The young Apico Husqvarna star, Brown, had to miss a couple of rounds of the series due to injury which is why he is only in sixth place in the standings, but bounced back last weekend at his home round in Leuchars, Scotland, with a double moto victory. Ellis, on the other hand, is running second in the championship behind Holeshot Motocross’ James Carpenter. Carpenter has a pretty solid lead, 47 points on Ellis, which means he just has to be smart over the next three rounds.
RFX KTM’s Henry Williams is third in the championship trailing Ellis by 6 points, while Husqvarna UK’s Dexter Douglas is only 3 points back on him, in fourth. A further 15 points back on Douglas, and wrapping up the top five is Carl Nunn KTM’s George Grigg-Pettitt.
Practice starts at 09:00 on Sunday, 17th July at Blaxhall, Woodbridge, Suffolk, with the MX2 riders on track first.
MX2 Race 1 will kick off the racing at 11:55am. You can find the circuit at IP17 1LG
See you all there!