I’ve invented a new game to eat up the motorway miles. Next time you’re driving down the M6/M5/M4 etc keep an eye out for the most desolate, wind-blown god-forsaken shithole you can find. Now build an MX track and then hold a round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship there.
Hilton Park is not a British championship-standard track. In fact, it’s disrespectful to the riders and teams who work so hard to roll out a super-pro appearance to expect them to race there. Or even park there. The common consensus among riders was that the track stunk worse that the brain fart behind the decision to hold the opening round of this year’s championship there. The porta-poopers provided more passing places. I’ve seen more lines on freshly-botoxed butt cheeks (come to think of it, an ass-crack pretty much sums up the amount of lines on offer). It really was that bad.
Sadly, this year’s opener will be remembered not just for some great performances but for the horrendous hand injury sustained by Mel Pocock (Monster DRT Kawasaki) in the first MX2 race. It would be wrong at this time to speculate on potentially just how bad it is – Mel, we’re all rooting for you mate.
If you’re looking for positives to come from today – and at the moment we badly need a few – then Hilton Park marked the coming of age of the next generation of racers in MX2. Ben Watson (Hitachi Revo KTM UK) smashed out a pair of wins – the 17-year-old bossed the abbreviated race programme and if it hadn’t been for some sucky luck Adam Sterry (Wilvo Forkrent KTM) would have been right up there too.
Sterry was docked a bunch places for failing to slow down ‘sufficiently’ when yellow flags were out in the restarted first moto. He didn’t close on Watson so he must have dropped his pace to match the leader and, anyway, how arbitrary is that decision? I mean, who decides what’s ‘sufficient’? In the second race he threw his chain while leading so all-in-all a very bad day in the office for the 18-year-old.
With Sterry out second place went to feisty Frenchman Steven Lenoir (Dyer & Butler KTM) with everyone’s favourite skinny Scot Bryan MacKenzie (Pendrich Kawasaki) doing it for the old-timers in third.
MX1 was swept by Shaun Simpson (Hitachi Revo KTM UK) who ran 1-1 – despite getting t-boned by a lapper in the second moto. Woody from Toy Story is world-class in sand and resisted pressure from second-placed Tanel Leok (LPE Kawasaki Racing) with bruising Brad Anderson (MBO Power ASA Yamaha) third.
The over 35s Vets kicked off their championship n’all and it was the evergreen Ryan Voase who brought it home from Brian Wheeler and Factory Phil Mercer. Next stop on the Maxxis calendar is Lyng in Norfolk on April 5. An awesome old-school circuit, this place is everything Hilton Park isn’t.
While the Maxxis riders were settling down in the Midlands mud on Saturday night the rock stars of racing – the AMA Monster Energy Supercross Championship riders – were getting lairy in Indianapolis at round 11.
Series leader Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM) took his third win on the bounce to stretch his advantage in the 450cc class to 45 points with six rounds to run. This one’s his to lose now. Down in the 250cc East Region class it was Marvin Musquin who nailed a hat-trick of his own and he now leads by 16 with four rounds to go.
Words: TDD Images: © Red Bull Media House