MX1 British Championship – Wide open!
During the 2016 British motocross season, Tommy Searle, Shaun Simpson and Jake Nicholls were the strongest riders throughout the series. Simpson isn’t competing the series this year as he moved to the Wilvo Yamaha outfit. Defending champion, Searle picked up an injury during pre-season and only just got back on the bike last week. This weekend comes too soon for him but we might see him make a return to the series at round four.
As for Jake Nicholls he dislocated his hip during round five of the MXGP World Championship and without even crashing! This rules him out of action for quite a while and he might not even return to racing this year.
This leaves the MX1 class in the British Championship absolutely wide open. After this weekend a new rider will grab the red plate for round four, so who’s the most likely? Graeme Irwin goes into this weekend second in the standings and just thirteen points behind Nicholls, he will be looking to grab the headlines and is certainly very capable. He’s one of the favourites to take the win this weekend.
Steven Lenoir has made the switch to the Kawasaki machine this year and it seems to suit his style. He is currently third in the standings, nineteen points behind Nicholls. If he can gain more than six points on Irwin this weekend then he will be take the red plate heading into round four.
Fourth to ninth position in the series is extremely close as only nine points separate them. The experienced Brad Anderson sits in fourth just ahead of Gert Krestinov, it’s unlikely they can take the championship lead this weekend but they can definitely gain points in the championship race as it starts to hot up. Krestinov is very capable as he put in a surprising ride at round two winning the second moto so he should be feeling confident for the weekend ahead.
Apico Husqvarna rider, Kristian Whatley has won the title before but hasn’t had the best starts to the season as he signed late with the team. However, now he has seen Nicholls get injured he knows that the championship is up for grabs and that should help motivate him. A motivated Kristian Whatley might just be the guy to watch in the championship chase.
Banks-Browne is sitting in eighth position in the series but his speed has been much better than what the championship standings show. He unfortunately picked up a DNF at the first round that has cost him but he has showed some good speed. Moving forward he will hope the results improves as he can make a push to break into the top five of the series.