With the series now in full swing, the Maxxis British Championship heads to Lyng this weekend for round three of 2012. The Lyng circuit has been a firm fixture on the calendar for many years, often playing host to some great racing on what is a primarily sandy base. After one round of deep sand, and the other quite hard pack, the Lyng circuit almost meets in the middle, and will offer a different challenge to what riders have faced thus far.
After a month’s hiatus, the MX1 title chase will pick back up with Kevin Strijbos resuming his role of series leader. Having raced the first three rounds of the world championship series since Canada Heights, Kevin will now have a training program planned around forty minute motos, so the three twenty minute motos may not suit him and what he has now grown used too. Still, you would be silly to doubt him, as he proved what he is capable of in the sand in both the British and World series so far this year.
Matiss Karro – another strong sand rider – will also be looking for a victory at Lyng. Undoubtedly, Mattis is having the best year of his career with a victory and a podium so far, and he doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Lyng will most likely suit the Latvians style also, which means we could see some good racing as he hopes to cut down that sixteen point deficit in the championship.
Top Brit in the series currently is Shaun Simpson. Shaun hasn’t raced at Lyng in recent years, so will have to become accustomed to the track all over again, although it’s a challenge a lot of the contenders will have to face. Shaun seems to have been struggling with starts so far this year, and with the short twenty-minute moto’s a bad start will make things tough for Scot. However if he can get even an average start he is always a contender for the win, no doubt about it.
Stephen Sword will most likely have the most experience of anyone on the start line at Lyng. That may prove valuable by the end of Sunday, as he could maybe take his first British Championship victory of 2012. The Lyng circuit – a more natural circuit – should suit Sword and his riding style, which could come in handy at the end of the day.
There may be one rider who will have more experience than Sword at Lyng, veteran Carl Nunn. Having retired in recent years, Nunn will be making a wildcard appearance in the MX1 class. With multiple British titles under his belt, Carl undoubtedly has the potential to play spoiler and could mix up the points a little bit. This could be Nunn’s last British Championship race of his career, so it will definitely be one not too miss. Any chance to see one of the best British riders in recent years back in action is worth taking advantage of.
As the year progresses, it’s getting more and more critical that Marc De Reuver starts clawing back points in the title chase. With two non-points scoring rides already so far in 2012, Marc already sits a massive sixty-one points out of Strijbos and the championship lead. But, as everyone knows, Marc’s ability in the sand is unrivalled and if he comes to Lyng 100% ready and prepared, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him walk away with three wins in the bag, and a handful of points clawed back.
I feel as though we will see a different Nathan Parker in Lyng. Although his performances through the first two rounds were impressive, he will be riding a wave of confidence and momentum after some success in the GP’s in recent weeks. Whilst riding against world championship talent, Parker will undoubtedly have been pulled along a bit and by scoring his first GP points, that is enough of an indication to me that he may have a season best finish this weekend.
Aside from the riders already mentioned, only two others have climbed up onto the podium so far this year and both are more than capable of doing it again this weekend. Gert Krestinov has had two podium finishes so far in 2012, both coming in the deep sand of FatCat. With the series once again visiting a sand track this weekend, maybe he will be able to find the magic that saw him on the podium at round one. After scoring no points in one race at round two, he will need too in order to climb his way back up through the point’s standings.
Martin Barr is the other ride with a sole podium in 2012, his came in the third moto at FatCat. Again, maybe a return to the sand will see him find that form again? For the most part, Barr has been pretty consistent this year aboard his LPE Kawasaki and really is a dark horse for a few wins.
Whilst injuries have played a huge part in the MX2 series so far this year, a whole host of riders are looking to cease the opportunity and capture their first British Championship title. Mel Pocock currently leads the series standings, and has been incredibly impressive so far this year. Both at home and abroad, Mel has improved dramatically and that makes it seem as though he will be tough to beat.
Elliott Banks Browne will be desperately looking to take his second British Championship overall victory after taking his first back at round two. Unfortunately, EBB comes in with a few question marks surrounding him. Having torn ligaments in his thumb just one week ago, Elliott should be able to ride to his potential; however at the end of the day when the track is at it’s roughest he may start feeling the affects of his injury. Another question mark surrounding him is his machine; he has been plagued by mechanical problems all year long. With a bit of luck, those will have been sorted out by now because one thing is for sure, he can’t afford to lose any more points.
Neville Bradshaw sits closest to Pocock in the title chase currently, and really looks capable of taking a victory in Lyng. At round two, Neville looked incredibly fast, smooth and confident and if he can keep the ball rolling through to the weekend he could be capable of taking his first victory of the year. Bradshaw has been around a while, and his experience may come in handy late in the moto’s on Sunday. This looks to be his best chance at a title in recent years, and he looks as though he will take full advantage of it.
After a very hard crash at Canada Heights, Graeme Irwin looks to return this weekend in Lyng. Having had a month to recover since his concussion at round two, Irwin will be playing a spoiler in the title chase for the rest of the year. If it weren’t for his crash at Canada Heights, Irwin really could be in a position to battle for the title. If Irwin can regain his form prior to his crash, he may take his first British Championship overall victory.
Nicolas Aubin showed flashes of his former self at round two, and looks as though he is comfortable under the Buildbase Honda tent, and ready to make a run at the title. The only problem is he sits thirty-five points from Banks-Browne, so he’s going to have to start consistently reeling back the points. The last sand round – FatCat – Aubin struggled massively, although Lyng won’t be as deep as FatCat, he will have to perform a lot better if he is going to keep his title fight alive.
Steven Lenoir is a newcomer to the series this year, and has so far been impressive. The Samsung Yamaha rider has been solid, and his ability to string together consistent results can come in handy. Although, he was a lot more impressive at Canada Heights than FatCat, I still think he’ll be in the top five, as the Lyng circuit isn’t as deep as FatCat so should suit him a little better.
The action on Sunday looks to continue the trend of great racing we’ve seen so far this year, and if the bad weather stays away the third round of the 2012 Maxxis British Championship will be one not to be missed.