Paul Irwin (MX Nationals UK director) on the 2021 series

The Michelin MX Nationals director, Paul Irwin is already focused on the 2021 season and making the season even better. This year the series managed to hold four rounds behind closed doors and it was good to see them put such a big effort in for racing in the UK to happen.

The Michelin MX Nationals British Motocross Championship sounds like it’s going to be even better in 2021 with some big plans in progress. 

Irwin discussed the 2021 series recently and explained some of the changes for next year. 

On dealing with COVID-19..

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There’s going to be a massive change going into next year, we will still be living with it. We are going to carry on like this year, we will have a lot of the same measures, face masks will still be around I’m sure and we’ll continue to build on how we ran the series this year.

The idea behind running on bank holiday’s and running 3-4 day events..

A lot of the dates that we’ve selected for next year are bank holidays which will give us the opportunity to run a lot of different formats and race days, straight rhythm – there’s a million ideas that we’ve got. We will announce them as we go.

The thinking behind the pro racing on a Saturday..

I’d like to see the pro’s racing racing for two days and I’d like to see the experts and pros get the chance in their own capacity. The 250cc pro guys have a hard time in the fastest 40 class, quite often they’ve won a race and you don’t even notice they’ve won. It’ll be good to see them in their own capacity but just on a Saturday, I don’t want to lose the fastest 40 class. It’s been fantastic racing all year.

On reducing the classes..

Next year is all about quality over quantity. We had a lot of classes this year and we were running against time to try and fit the racing in. If we had any hold up’s or needed any track work we were up against time and it’s very difficult to fit it in. To give everyone the quality they deserve we are cutting back, there’s only six groups which means we have more time to make sure the track is as safe and as raceable as it can be. It also gives us an earlier finish so it just takes so many boxes.

On the 85cc class..

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We want one premier 85cc class, I think it’s going to be a majority of big wheels. It is open to small wheels if they’re fast enough and feel they want to race with the big wheels but it’s open – the same as they have in Europe. We are very much a stepping stone into Europe and into the next classes up. The tracks are super tough and I think some of the small wheels struggle with the amount of riding and the level of the riders.

The idea is for the riders to race rough tracks to improve their skills..

Absolutely, we destroy tracks and they get very very tough. You see at the end of any MX Nationals that they’ve had a hard weekend. I think for a championship it’s tough for the young small wheel riders, I’m not sure they’re ready for the level of tracks and racing but there time will come.

How the pro expert class will work on a Saturday with the pro’s and experts together in the same race..

So, pro riders will register as pro riders and experts will register as experts. On Saturday there will be an MX2 qualifying and an MX1 qualifying which will decide the grid position on Saturday. The expert and pro’s will then ride together in there capacity classes but Sunday will go back to the normal fastest 40 format. Points from both days will qualify for the championship. Pro’s will score four points scoring races in a weekend and experts the same. The races will be 20 minutes plus 2 on Saturday so they’ll be slightly shorter. Obviously 4 25 minute moto’s is a tough ask every weekend so 2 20 minutes plus 2 on Saturday and 2 25 minutes plus 2 on Sunday for the pro’s. The experts will have 4 20 minutes plus 2 over the weekend.

Pic: MX Nationals