Hawkstone International: Preview
The motocross season got off to a start last weekend at the first round of the International Italian Championship. This Sunday many top GP teams and riders are heading to Hawkstone to take part in the International race there, it looks set to be a great event.
Here are some things to look out for this weekend.
Kawasaki and Suzuki MXGP to compete in first motocross race of the year
Whilst many of the top MXGP teams started their season in Italy last weekend this will be Suzuki’s and Kawasaki’s first motocross event of the year.
As far as Suzuki are concerned they will have Kevin Strijbos and Arminas Jasikonis competing. Both riders are very strong in the sand and will be motivated to put in good rides this weekend to head into Qatar with confidence of a good result. It will defiantly be interesting to see how Jasikonis does, a lot of people were surprised when Everts turned to him when Townley got injured but he grabbed the opportunity with both hands and put in some impressive riders. He now has a full season to show us what he is capable of, no doubt the young Lithuanian could have a bright future in MXGP.
Suzuki will also have their MX2 riders taking part this Sunday. Jeremy Seewer, Hunter Lawrence, Bas Vaessen and Zachary Pichon will all take part. Jeremy has the world title to think about in 2017 and is one of the heavy favourites going into the season. Hunter Lawrence was a rookie in the GP paddock during 2016 as he took part in the EMX250 series and he really impressed before an injury ruled him out for the season. Bas Vaessen showed last year in Assen that he can run top five in the MX2 class in sand so he should be fast this weekend. Zachary Pichon moves up from the EMX125 class for the season ahead and will compete as a rookie in the EMX250, it’s important for him to learn as much as he can in his rookie season in the class.
Kawasaki MXGP riders Jordi Tixier and Clement Desalle will be eager to put in a good show this weekend in Hawkstone. This time last year Tixier missed an entire pre-season due to an injury, he will be happy to have a full winters preparation behind him heading into this season. The ex MX2 World Champion could turn heads in the next year. Last year Clement Desalle won a moto at Hawkstone on his Kawasaki debut and looked good. Don’t be surprised to see him do the same this year as he will be motivated coming into the season with all the talk surrounding Herlings, Febvre, Gajser and Cairoli.
European Champions in action
It’s a new year which brings new goals for current EMX125 champion, Jago Geerts and EMX250 champion, Thomas Kjer Olsen. Jago Geerts moves up to the EMX250 class for the 2017 season and will no doubt want to challenge for the title as a rookie, he has the talent! He is very strong in the sand so it will be very interesting to see if he can run with the top MX2 GP riders this weekend at Hawkstone.
As for Thomas Kjer Olsen, he moves up to the MX2 World Championship after he inked a deal with the Factory Husqvarna outfit. He competed at two rounds of the series last year after clinching the EMX250 title and had top five speed. With a full winter behind him he should be even quicker, he could challenge for at least a podium this weekend. It’s also worth mentioning his MX2 team mates, Thomas Covington and Conrad Mewse will also compete this weekend in a strong MX2 class.
Shaun Simpson and Adam Sterry
Last year Shaun Simpson and Adam Sterry both competed in the Maxxis British Championship but unfortunately for British fans they won’t be doing the series this year. Simpson has signed with the Wilvo Yamaha outfit and Sterry makes the switch to Factory Kawaski in the MX2 class which means they will be focusing on the GP’s. This weekend will be a rare appearance they make in front of their home crowd and with no British MXGP round it could be the only chance the British fans get to see them. They will both want to put on a good show in Hawkstone knowing they won’t get to race in front of their home crowd all that often in 2017.
The club have put a lot of effort into making a success this year attracting lots of GP teams and riders, both classes are stacked. In MX2 top entries include Jay Wilson, Pauls Jonass, Thomas Covington, Freek van der Vlist, Jeremy Seewer, Jago Geerts, Hunter Lawrence, Bas Vaessen, Lars Van Berkel, Zach Pichon, Conrad Mewse, Adam Sterry, Ben Watson and plenty more top 250cc riders.
MX1 should provide some great racing with the likes of Arnaud Tonus, Max Nagl, Gautier Paulin, Kevin Strijbos, Shaun Simpson, Clement Desalle, Arminas Jasikonis, Jake Nicholls, Max Anstie, Jordi Tixier and many more! You can see the entry list by clicking here.