The 2014 season is literally just around the corner; it has crept up out of nowhere! If you’ve been following this weekly column, you will know what we are doing here. But, if not, allow me to explain. On each Tuesday for the rest of the month, we will be looking back on five of the more memorable moments from this year. So, here is volume three!
Nathan Watson and his Hawkstone victory:
Honestly, heading into the Maxxis British Championship this year, I did not think that Nathan Watson was going to win a moto, let alone an overall. But, from the very first round he came out and proved that he was capable of achieving such a feat. At Hawkstone Park, it was quite clear that he was the fastest guy; he ended the day with a second and two firsts whilst on his way to his first overall win in the series. In my mind, no one can discredit his victory. Nathan will go into 2014 as a contender for the title, thanks in part to his performance at Hawkstone Park.
Jeffrey Herlings’ Path to a Second World Title:
Jeffrey Herlings had a very successful 2013 season, it was near perfect; even an injury could not derail his hopes of a second world title. Overall, Herlings’ triumphant season led to a lot of memorable moments, whether it was his big crashes, long streak of victories, sensational return from injury or his second world title, the Dutchman dominated headlines around the world. Of course, it could have gone slightly better. But, despite the fact that he had to miss some rounds due to an injury, he was unchallenged. Although this meant that the battle for the race wins was sometimes uninteresting, we better get used to it – Jeffrey should be just as strong in 2014.
Battles at the Belgian MXGP:
One of the races that Jeffrey Herlings had to miss because of an injury was Bastogne, which was coincidentally one of the best races of the season. Bastogne marked the first GP win of Dean Ferris’ career, also, which undoubtedly pushed the Australian into the limelight. Dean was the most dominant rider in Herlings’ absence, as he won both motos at the Belgian GP, and then won one moto at the next round, also. Now that Dean has moved to the USA, it is more than likely that his Belgian victory will go down as the last GP win of his career, which makes it much more poignant.
The MX1 class was great at Bastogne, as well; it was undoubtedly one of the most entertaining rounds of the 2013 series. Both Clement Desalle and Antonio Cairoli had a very good battle for the win, with the Belgian defeating Toni, which is quite rare. In fact, it was the first time that Desalle has won his home GP. So, the results in MX1 and MX2 had an interesting story behind them, which added to the excitement of the round.
The British MXGP Festival:
Obviously, seeing as we are a British website, the British GP is close to our heart. The MXGP Festival is interesting, of course, as it is rare to see some of the world’s best amateurs, pros, and veterans in the same place! Admittedly, the second edition of this event wasn’t as good as the first, in my opinion. Perhaps the novelty had worn off slightly? It was still a great race though! Unfortunately, we did not have as many homegrown winners this year, but Conrad Mewse managed to win the EMX85 class, which was a highlight for most!
Simpson Tops the Podium at Lierop:
Undoubtedly, the way that Shaun Simpson sensationally won the MX1 season finale at Lierop was one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 season. No one expected Simpson to top the podium, hence why it is one of the most memorable moments! It looked like he was going to have to settle for second or third at times, but the Scotsman pulled through to take the first GP victory of his career. Shaun won the last MX1 GP ever on that day, as well, so he now has a place in history.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image: Yamaha Racing