The British Motocross community has been buzzing this week, after the ACU released the riders list for the 2014 Maxxis British Championship. It really is quite interesting to see who made it into the series, and who has to wait in a reserve slot. So, we asked Brian Higgins (of the ACU) for a statement regarding how he came to such a decision; he replied with the following.
With ACU Events having released the full list of registered riders for the forthcoming season, many would consider 2014 possibly to be the most competitive and open the MX1 and MX2 class have been for many years.
In our short story a week ago we mentioned that there were no less than four previous champions in the MX1 line up – Simpson, Whatley, Anderson and last year’s MX1 champion, Elliott Banks-Browne who has elected to go up to the elite class.
However, in addition to the above, MXGB considers that there are no less than thirteen other riders in the ultra competitive MX1 class who could stand on a step of the podium at least once during the eight round series. We have also identified another thirteen riders who are capable in their own right of standing on ANY step of the MX2 boxes during the season.
Believe me, at MXGB we are unbiased and equally respect all forty riders who will be on the start line at each of the 24 motos throughout the season (one more than in 2013), but we are prepared to highlight the names we feel could threaten the four big guns who will want to occupy the lions share of glory. Make no mistake, if any of the following four do not make a podium finish at EVERY round, their chance of overall championship success will diminish rapidly!
So we have established that we expect Whatley, Simpson, Ando and EBB to be there and we consider that if he can get his head around the three 20 minute moto format, Jake Nicholls has to be a threat in his first season with more power beneath him. Add into the mix Graeme Irwin, fast improving Luke Hawkins, Shane Carless, Nathan Parker and Alex Snow, Lewis Gregory if he is fit in his debut MX1 season, previous Belgian GP winner Gert Krestinov and a pattern is already beginning to emerge. But then we can add more names of the caliber of Ray Rowson this time on Rob Hooper machinery who is making a welcome return to the series, Nathan Watson, riding white machinery for the first time, Dorren Coutts and our two overseas visitors, Priit Ratsep and Yentel Martens who have yet to find out the depth of quality in the British Championship before they can even contemplate climbing onto a podium box.
Then we look at the MX2 class. After his strong performances in 2013 after missing two rounds of the MX1 formula through injury, perhaps Matiss Karro has to start as favourite, but equally Mel Pocock, Bryan MacKenzie and Neville Bradshaw will see 2014 as their big chance. Who will stop one of the above four from taking the title? We could turn to, Jason Dougan if he can stay fit, Martin Barr who goes into the start of 2014 knowing he has a contract, fast improving Lewis Tombs, the young guns of Adam Sterry, Jordan Booker and Ben Watson, whilst Stephen Clarke has the speed which he now needs to combine with consistency. The two foreign riders in the class are Frenchman Steven Lenior, who certainly has the speed and the unknown is Ryo Sato who finished fourth in the 2013 Japanese Championship.
With seven of the eight rounds already confirmed as Landrake, Lyng, Foxhill, Canada Heights, Culham, Drumclog and Fatcat there is an event near to everyone throughout the country. We understand that the eighth venue is likely to be in the North East, which will be confirmed shortly.
Series Manager, Brian Higgins commented, “We are delighted to be in a position to announce such a competitive list of riders in both classes. With the potential number of podium riders in both the MX1 and MX2 categories it is a good job that the mixed race formula has been dropped and we can look forward to twenty four exciting motos in each class. I am also pleased that we have been able to conclude contracts with some fantastic venues so early on in the off season which gives everyone time to be prepared for the season. Equally, I am delighted that we have renewed a further three year partnership with Maxxis Tyres as our valued title sponsor, which again brings stability and credibility to our Championship.
The opening round of the series is on March 16th at Landrake, just outside of Plymouth and within 500 meters of the A38 trunk road.
For more information on the MXGB series, head over to mxgb.co.uk.
Image: Kev Reid