Quick thoughts: Belfast Arenacross
The British Arenacross series kicked off in style in Belfast with two nights of racing in front of a packed stadium and British stars showing their indoor skills.
The decision to be British only certainly worked with high status riders like Tommy Searle, Shaun Simpson, Jake Nicholls, Conrad Mewse and Josh Gilbert facing off alongside indoor specialists Joe Clayton, Adam Chatfield and Jack Brunell. Names the crowd recognise, former GP winners, former and current British champions alongside local men, Martin Barr, Jason Meara and James Mackrel. Barr and Meara doing superbly on Friday night, going 4-7 in the main event respectively. Barr even had a late shot at the podium with Gilbert in his sights, giving the local crowd excitment until the end.
The racing was good, the battles intense, but there was a certain respect the riders had for each other, with take-outs generally being avoided, with some riders maybe wishing they had made a harder move! The vibe in the pits was friendly but when it came to main event time, the focus was there, the likes of Searle and Mewse doing their own individual warm-ups, very focused and preparing for the impending battle ahead.
The big stories on Friday were Tommy Searle’s perfect night with the reigning British outdoor champ looking flawless from practice to the chequered flag, Searle looks right at home on the Kawasaki, and ready to fight for every title. On the other side of the coin, the crash between Joe Clayton and Jack Brunell while battling for the lead in the heat race, will be imprinted on everyone’s mind, such was the violent and sudden nature of the explosive mid-air contact.