The stage is set at the historic circuit of Hawkstone Park. Following some heavy rain earlier this week, the promoters have been hard at work and created a perfect battleground for the second pre-season international of the season. Is it going to stay that way? No more rain is forecast this evening or on race day, so everything appears to be positive.
It seems as though cutting straight to the point would be the best move. Is the hill going to be in place tomorrow? A decision has not yet been made, as it is still up in the air at this stage. Even that is positive, however, as it is usually quite clear that it needs to be ruled out. There was a tractor up there today prepping it, which is again positive. Keep your fingers crossed. A final decision will be made at seven on Sunday morning, so stay tuned to our social media for a final update. We will be at the track at that point and unable to update this site.
Speaking of that, our connection was also tested today. It worked in spots, which was a good start, but there was no one around and that obviously drastically impacts the quality of the network. We are going to do everything possible to provide live updates tomorrow and usually find a way, so make sure that you tune in on Twitter to follow the racing. It will be the only way to keep up with the action as it happens. But, once again, it all depends on what kind of connection we can get trackside. There will be plenty of post-race coverage on MX Vice anyway, to ensure that you have your Hawkstone fix.
The entry list for the event is stacked, put simply, but a handful of guys have had their issues in recent weeks. Here are some rapid-fire updates to keep you up to date.
Ben Watson suffered a small setback in the off-season, as he hit his head on the handlebars and had to take ten days off. That was not an issue when he rolled into Riola Sardo last weekend, however, as he ran inside of the top five and challenged for a spot on the box for a lot of the race. A clutch issue eventually caused him to withdraw, hence why he dropped outside of the points towards the end. Most were concerned that he had suffered an injury, but that was not the case and he is raring to go this weekend. It is going to be extremely interesting to see how he performs.
After overcoming a rather serious shoulder injury last year, Vsevolod Brylyakov returned to racing at Riola Sardo and also raced a Kemea Yamaha for the first time. The other two riders on the team, Ben Watson and Jago Geerts, are racing at Hawkstone Park this weekend, but Brylyakov will focus on refining his craft elsewhere. There are no issues to speak of though, as he’ll be behind the gate at LaCapelle Marival next weekend.
When Jeffrey Herlings hit the dirt in Italy last weekend, most feared that he had sustained an injury that would derail his MXGP campaign. There was no significant damage, however, except for a cut back. Herlings even managed to complete his regular testing sessions this week, which proves that there are absolutely no problems there. Is he going to be on the top step of the podium tomorrow afternoon? There is no doubt that he is the favourite, but Max Anstie will be nipping at his heels all day long.
Glenn Coldenhoff may not meet expectations tomorrow, as he is currently dealing with a small hand injury that was sustained a couple of weeks ago. No details have been confirmed at this time. However, the fact that he is racing through it indicates that it is nothing too serious and that he should be close to one hundred percent at the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina. Coldenhoff hovered on the cusp of the top ten at the opening round of the Internazionali D’Italia series last weekend.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX