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Maxxis British championship Preview: MX1

There is going to be some great racing in MX1 this season!

Kristian Whatley, the defending champion, has some new competition in 2014. The MBO Yamaha rider will have to be on his game to battle the new wave of riders coming in ready to steal his crown.

Whatley though is ready for it and will do everything in his power to hold onto the title that means so much to him. In terms of raw talent, Whatley might just have more than anyone else on the gate, so don’t be surprised to see him running with and beating the GP boys.

MX2 Champion Elliott Banks-Browne moves up and will ride for Buildbase Honda meaning both champions from last year will go head to head. That alone is an exciting prospect! Banks- Browne has been impressive in Arenacross and many feel he is more suited to a 450.

Graeme Irwin was also in MX2 last year but showed some scintillating pace on the 450 Suzuki late last season and especially at the MXDN. He makes the move to the 450 full time in 2014 and wants to win, badly.

Then you have the British GP boys back in the game. Both Jake Nicholls and Shaun Simpson are back in the British championship and both will be expecting to win the title.

Nicholls isn’t a fan of the 20 minute motos but he is happy to be back in Britain and, despite still having pain his back, will be hoping to stay in contention at the first round before picking it up for the rest of the season when he is fully healthy.

Shaun Simpson is the man on form coming into round one after two good performances at the first two GPs. Simpson seems at home in the HM Plant KTM team and is carrying the confidence of a GP winner.

Former British champion Brad Anderson shouldn’t be too far away either and the Phoenix Tools Honda squad of Luke Hawkins and Alex Snow could spring a few surprises during the season after looking good in the races so far.

Nathan Parker ended the season strong last year but injury will keep him out for the first round.

Oakleaf Kawasaki are the official Kawasaki team and Shane Carless and Priit Ratsep will be looking to put the green machines on the podium and both are capable of doing so if they get the right start although Ratsep will have to adjust to the UK tracks.

Gert Krestinov is back with LPE  Apico Kawaski and again will be one of the leading contenders but whether he can challenge for a championship is another question.

Nathan Watson moves up to the 450 class and could do some damage on the Dantec Husqvarna. Watson really impressed last year and will be expecting to take another step forward again this year even though the MX1 class is very competitive.

Irishman Stuart Edmonds broke his wrist last year at Foxhill while running third and was ruled out for the season. It was a bad injury but Edmonds is back for more on the CCR team this year but will ride a Suzuki instead of a TM.

Jamie Law is capable of top five results on the Dyer and Butler KTM and is often overlooked but could be a strong contender this season.

Talon Kawasaki field Yentel Martens and Dorren Coutts, both riders are fast when they are on form and you can bet Martens will be extremely quick in the sand!

Lanes MVRD Honda have the surprisingly young Alfie Smith and the ultra talented Scott Elderfield. Both riders have a lot of experience despite their youth and will not be fazed if they find themselves at the front.

We also have the return of Ray Rowson who will ride for Rob Hooper on a Suzuki. Rowson is a former youth prodigy but injuries have blighted his adult career. It will be good to see the very fast and very talented Rowson back out there.

As you can see the MX1 class is particularly competitive this year and some well known riders may not be in the top ten – it’s going to be frantic!

Article: Jonathan McCready

Picture: Youthstream

MX Vice Editor || 25

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