Following the unfortunate cancellation of Canada Heights, the Maxxis British Championship will head to the well-known Lyng circuit for the third round of the series this weekend. Now, three weeks have past since the first round at FatCat Moto Parc. So, hopefully the weather will be kinder to us on Sunday. Lyng has been a part of this series for many years now; most of the riders on the starting line this weekend will be familiar with the track having raced on it previously.
Fortunately, we will be treated to a wildcard appearance from two of our greatest riders in both the MX1 and MX2 class. Interestingly, Tommy Searle will lineup again this weekend on his CLS Kawasaki. It is starting to look like Tommy may be interested in doing the full series, but it is unlikely. Obviously Searle will be the favourite for the victory, just like he is every time he lines up behind the gate. He is head and shoulders above his competition; his ride at the first round serves as proof of that, barring any issues he should sweep all of the motos.
In the MX2 class, Jake Nicholls will fill the wildcard spot; this will be his only race over here before the British GP. I am certain that Nicholls will be riding a wave of momentum heading into Lyng this weekend, following his first podium in the MXGP series last weekend. Jake is no stranger to the circuit, as he has clocked many laps around there in the past. I would not be surprised to see the two wildcards (Searle and Nicholls) sweep both classes on Sunday. It definitely adds something to the series having these two on the gate.
Jake Nicholls will face some fierce competition from Elliott Banks Browne, who always seems to find an extra gear when he returns to the Maxxis British Championship. Currently, Elliott is the series leader; it will be interesting to see if he tries to fight Nicholls for the win or not. He may settle for second knowing that Nicholls is not a threat for the title. Although he does not have to worry about Nicholls, he has to be concerned about how close some of his title rivals were to his speed at round one. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds on Sunday.
Steven Lenoir was the rider that was closest to Elliott at FatCat, surprisingly. However, since then he had a lackluster performance at the GP of the Netherlands. I am not sure whether or not to consider him a title contender because of this. Lenoir has shown that he can challenge for the win though, this will surely give him some confidence heading into Lyng on Sunday. It is almost certain he will be upfront off of the start, his Evotech KTM looked strong at the first round.
Graeme Irwin is another MX2 rider that looked very good at the opening round; can he jump up to the battle for the lead? There are a handful of riders that will be looking to improve on their current ranking, namely Bryan Mackenzie and Stephen Sword. It is important for these two to post some consistent results at the weekend, before they have too much of a deficit to overcome. I am sure that Neville Bradshaw will be looking to edge closer to the podium, also.
Honestly, I would not be surprised to see Tanel Leok push Tommy Searle in the MX1 class. I was not too impressed with his performance at FatCat; however he rode very well at the GP of the Netherlands, beating Tommy. Although he did not make it onto the overall podium at round one, I believe Tanel to be ‘the best of the rest’ behind Searle. He will want to make up some of the points he lost at round one; the Route77 Energy MVRD Honda team enlisted his services to capture them a title, so that is what he will be looking to do. The participation of his teammate, Jason Dougan has come under question, as his shoulder injury from a month ago is still not one-hundred-percent.
What about Jonathan Barragan? The Spaniard showed some flashes of raw speed at FatCat that matched the pace of Searle, believe it or not. Obviously, the Lyng circuit is new to him; but so was FatCat Moto Parc and that did not seem to affect him at all. Jonathan is still a bit of an enigma to me. You see although he showed great speed at round one of the series, he still seems to struggle in the FIM Motocross World Championship. Which Jonathan Barragan will show up this weekend? Your guess is as good as mine.
What about Kristian Whatley? I am looking forward to seeing what he can do this weekend, the MBO Sport Yamaha rider is riding very well at the moment. The Buildbase Honda riders, Nicolas Aubin and Steve Ramon will be looking for some better results this weekend; at the first round they were able to put some solid results on the board though. I’m sure that Brad Anderson will be looking to have more of an impact on the racing this weekend; he needs a good showing on the Maxxis Kawasaki by LPE.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Elliot Spencer