Connect with us
       

British Championship

Dissected: The Right Move?

A short-term fix or a great move?

Published

on

Implementing two-strokes in a professional series is an easy way to garner attention, which is something that most promoters strive for. We are, of course, discussing this on the back of the announcement from the ACU, which confirmed that they will be adding a two-stroke series to their programme next year.

Feedback has, for the most part, been positive online and I am certain that the powers that be are extremely proud of that. Rarely does the Maxxis British Championship bask in positivity, as controversial incidents have left the ACU in the firing line in recent years. I am sure that certain short-term goals have already been achieved too, as they have undoubtedly received an influx of queries and kudos. Making decisions that are based on achieving success immediately, rather than assessing the bigger picture, may not be the smartest move though.

When the VMX class was added however many years ago, it seemed like it would work brilliantly on paper. The fans would come out in droves to see the stars of yesteryear, right? Why would they not? The stars, which are arguably the most important ingredient, did not show up though and consequently the whole concept flopped. I fear that we may be sat in the same position with this two-stroke class, unfortunately, because the bikes that nostalgic fans are obsessed with are just a part of the equation.

Enlarge

Site-MXY2-Start
Two-strokes will be thundering up the Canada Heights start in 2017.

ConwayMX

A cluster of relevant riders must be piloting those bikes in order to ensure that interest will be sustained, because otherwise there is not really any kind of spark. To take that point further, even if just a few points separate four guys who are relatively unknown I would argue whether there would be any interest at all. What if I told you that the top two in VMX were separated by just three points in 2012? Does anyone remember that?

Perhaps the two premier classes are there to generate that interest and this support class is in place to simply please those who line the fences? There is the potential for that to happen, of course, but again big names are just so important. If you want to put Tommy Searle, Jake Nicholls and Elliott Banks-Browne on two-strokes then you are onto an automatic winner. If you have lesser names battling for the win, then it is going to be harder to sell.

That has obviously been considered, because the ACU have boldly stated that MX1 and MX2 riders can race both classes. Any rider who has a realistic shot at a title, however, will not waste time with that and those guys are the ones who fans want to see in person. Brad Anderson is probably the most likely to jump on a two-stroke, seeing as he is committed to the EMX300 division, but will that be enough?

Enlarge

Site-Lewis-Gregory
Lewis Gregory is obviously a favourite for the two-stroke class.

ConwayMX

There are various other issues to consider with a two-stroke class, such as the fact that you are alienating certain manufacturers who simply cannot contend. Should this go well, a marketing aspect will come into play and KTM will want to see their 250 two-stroke on top each week. Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki will be unable to join that party, however, and that may not be healthy. It is just a support class, so perhaps that is not even a concern for anyone involved? It is worth considering though.

I do think that a two-stroke series has its place, yes, but I do not necessarily think that it is alongside the Maxxis British Championship. Would a class like this not slot into the Michelin MX Nationals perfectly? I feel like that would be the perfect solution and strengthen the relationship between the two, seeing as the ‘Expert Cup’ is already working effectively. Whenever two-strokes are mentioned, you’ll always hear that they are easier for the average joe to acquire and maintain. The MX Nationals is the perfect platform for those riders, their bustling ‘Clubman’ class serves as proof of that, which is why I feel like that could be the right home for this class.

That would also eliminate the biggest problem with all of this, which is the fact that the MXY2 riders have drawn the short straw and, rather than compete at all eight rounds, they will be present at just five of them. The ACU are adamant that this does not alter their commitment to that class, but followed that statement up by proclaiming that they have “specifically targeted four high-profile venues” for the two-stroke class.

Putting two-strokes at Hawkstone Park is, of course, an obvious choice, but is it not best to allow the up and coming riders a chance to race the historic and, quite frankly, better tracks? Rather than tackle Hawkstone, one of the toughest tracks that the nation has to offer, the riders are restricted to a practice track like Preston Docks. Should MXY2 not be the priority when it comes to making decisions such as this? The ACU have made a good move by putting MXY2 at rounds one and two, as they need to be under the spotlight at those events.

Enlarge

Site-Jamie-Carpenter
Jamie Carpenter benefitted from a full MXY2 series this year.

ConwayMX

The greatest counterargument to all of this is that the MXY2 class at the British Youth Nationals is actually where the official champion is crowned. The class that runs alongside the Maxxis British Championship is not supposed to carry as much weight, for that reason. It is almost impossible to enforce that though, as those competing in the greatest series that Britain has to offer are seen by the most fans and sponsors.

A majority of fans can confidently state that Jamie Carpenter won the MXY2 class in the Maxxis British Championship, but could you really tell me who the BYN champion was? I highly doubt it. Heck, the riders in the BYN are not even seen by professional teams each week! Is that not the goal with this class? You need to be racing in front of the team managers, so that they can identify a flash of speed or potential.

One would presume that this move has been made as a result of the MXY2 series not generating enough of a return across eight rounds. I would argue that, rather than looking for an alternative support class, efforts should be put into promotion across social media to ensure that people do care and a return is there.

To bring this back around to my original statement about achieving short-term goals, to get the most out of series a long-term promotion plan must be implemented. It may not become something great overnight, but eventually it will work and help all involved. The promoters, sponsors, teams and riders would all reap the benefits, but instead we have another support class in place as a quick fix. What are the chances that we are all looking for another solution at this point next year?

British Championship

Andrew Short confirmed for the 2024 VMXdN at Foxhill

No Short measures for Team USA

Published

on

The promoters for the annual VMXdN Foxhill have announced that former factory HRC, KTM Factory Racing and Monster Energy Yamaha rider Andrew Short will be racing at the legendary Wiltshire Grand Prix circuit over August bank holiday weekend (August 22nd-26th) as part of the American squad.


Words: Press Release | Lead Image: Supplied


Short has had a stellar sixteen-year pro career, during that time, he earned over 50 podium finishes and nine wins, he is also one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet. One of his personal highlights was being part of the American Team that won the 2010 Motocross of Nations held in his home state of Colorado. 

After he retired from professional motocross at the end of 2016, Short then worked as a team advisor and brand ambassador for Factory Honda HRC before making a big transition to compete in rally racing and take on the ultimate rally race – the Dakar.

After a steep learning curve, he was able to become competitive in rally and even took his first win at the 2019 Rallye du Maroc, a leadup to the 2020 Dakar. He raced for the Rockstar Husqvarna team as well as the Monster Energy Factory Yamaha rally teams.

After a nasty injury while riding at home, he is now back to full fitness and bang up for the challenge that is Foxhill, the greatest 2-stroke event in the world. Short will race a 2002 YZ 250 built and maintained by the crew at DocWob. Team USA won the inaugural event in 2022 and finished 3rd behind Team GB and Team Northern Ireland in 2023. 

The race is already creating a huge buzz with new and returning legends being announced weekly, it really is a whos’ who of the sport through the golden heydays of the 90’s and 00’s era.

Labelled by RacerX magazine as “the Woodstock of two strokes” the event simply goes from strength to strength.

With ticket sales up year on year, the promoters have been blown away at the response to the event and are urging spectators to purchase tickets asap. Could this be the first outdoor motocross event in the UK to be ticket only? Camping passes will be capped at last year’s numbers as simply putting it – it was full!

Ensure your place at the most anticipated event on the British MX calendar by booking early.

Saturday, Sunday, Weekend and Camping passes are available at https://vmxdnfoxhill2024.eventbrite.co.uk

Keep up to date with all the VMXdN Foxhill news

www.vmxdnfoxhill.com 

www.facebook.com/vmxdnfoxhills 

https://www.instagram.com/vmxdnfoxhill/

Love what we do? Please read this article as we try to raise £30,000.

Continue Reading

Arenacross

Injury Update: Tommy Searle

Read here.

Published

on

Dirt Store Kawasaki star Tommy Searle has disappointingly been ruled out of the Belfast Arenacross due to a thumb injury suffered in the first round in Manchester. Here’s the post below.

More to follow. But in the meantime, we wish him all the best for his recovery.

Lead Image: Dirt Store Kawasaki

Love what we do? Please read this article as we try to raise £30,000.

Continue Reading

British Championship

Apico Veterans are seeing red for VMXdN Foxhill 2024

Read now.

Published

on

With the annual VMXdN Foxhill firmly entrenched as being the “must attend” meeting of the year, it’s no surprise that we are already getting news of team entries! The annual event takes place at the iconic Wiltshire GP circuit on the August bank holiday weekend (22nd-26th). 


Words: Press Release | Lead Image: Supplied


The first team to be announced in the Wright Engineering National Team Race is the Apico Veterans Squad, these guys are back in force and plan on building on their 2023 success. Now on Honda’s in their assault on the British Championships, we have heard they are building a few 2002 CR 250s as we speak in preparation for the event! 

Returning to the squad is Northern Ireland’s Martin Barr. Having raced all around the globe in an illustrious career which has so far spanned three decades. Barr has raced for world-leading manufacturers Husqvarna, KTM, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha since turning pro after leaving school at 16, having already won the British 85cc Supercross Championship in 2001. The victories and podium finishes have continued throughout Barr’s career with a win and second-place finish in the Red Bull Pro Nationals championships, a second and third place in the MX1 British Championship and 2nd in the MX1 Red Bull Pro Nationals Championship over the years. Barr has also represented Ireland 14 consecutive times at the MXON. A top geezer and first-class MX rider.

Jamie Law also returns to the Apico Veterans Team. JLaw, as he’s known around the paddock, is one of the most experienced riders at British championship level and a two-stroke advocate. After 20 years as a professional MX racer, JLaw took his first-ever British championship podium in 2022 at the series opener. He is still competing and training like he always did. 

The new boy on the squad is youngster Tom Grimshaw who raced in the 2022 and 2023 event but is now on the Apico Honda squad for his “day job”. After a successful youth career racing British, EMX & World Championships, Tom moved into the adults ranks again racing British Championships, EMX & World Championship events, proving due to his size he’s more of an open class guy as he can certainly ride one properly and his aggressive style will be a thing to watch on a 250 2-stroke in the natural valleys of the Wiltshire Grand Prix circuit. This team is packed full of talent and experience to boot, and they will take it to the line when the gate drops.

Dylan Brown will take the role of team manager. “I know the guys very well and for the most part the riders are Vets’ age. We’ve always had a family vibe at the racing with Martin & Jamie for many years and Tom fits right into our program. It’s a brilliant weekend to have the guys together with their families for a weekend of fun once again (though it does get serious when race time comes around lol). Again, we plan on raising money for the Air Ambulance, so please swing by the pits to view some special bikes on display under the Apico tent.”

“Team entries are coming in thick and fast and some of the names already signed up will be keeping our marketing department busy in the coming months.” Dave King – Promoter VMXdN Foxhill

With the increasing attendance in its first two years of the VMXdN Foxhill festival held over the August Bank Holiday weekend has advised that they must cap the quantity of camping slots available due to space and safety limitations, and they are anticipating that all camping passes will be sold prior to the event opening. 

“Last year we were almost at capacity and with the increase already we are expecting to sale out prior to the gates opening on August 22nd” explained DocWob – Promoter VMXdN Foxhill. “We expect the 2024 event to be ticket only, so it’s advisable to pre book to guarantee your place, you certainly don’t want to miss this one.”

Tickets for the four day festival are available from: https://vmxdnfoxhill2024.eventbrite.co.uk

Love what we do? Please read this article as we try to raise £30,000.

Continue Reading

Latest