The 2013 MX1 Maxxis British Championship promises to be one of the most competitive for quite some time. There has been a lot of talk surrounding the various foreign riders that will be travelling over to the UK next year, with guys like Steve Ramon, Tanel Leok and Jonathan Barragan set to contest the series, the hype is well justified. However, it seems as though a few of the top British riders, namely Brad Anderson, have been forgotten about in the run up to 2013.
Brad Anderson has enjoyed a successful career thus far. Although Brad has spent almost his entire career on the UK domestic scene, there is no question that he has the speed to match some of the best riders in the world. Perhaps because Anderson has only ever contested the various British series, most forget just how fast he actually is? Of course, Brad did have one ill-fated attempt at proving himself in the FIM Motocross World Championship on the now defunct Swift Suzuki team in 2008. Aside from that year, Brad has never had a chance to complete a full year in the MXGP series, surprisingly.
Of course, Brad Anderson did venture outside of the UK in 2012 as he tackled the Monster Energy MX Nationals in Australia. One of his reasons for going was that he felt as though he had done everything he could do in the UK, and he needed a fresh challenge. Evidently, the grass is not always greener on the other side; Brad is now set to try and reclaim the Maxxis MX1 British Championship title aboard a Maxxis Kawasaki by LPE. But, can he return to his form of 2011?
The competition will undoubtedly be the toughest it has been for quite some time, as I have already stated. So, because Brad Anderson does not have the same accolades as his rivals at world championship level, does that mean they will be considerably faster? I highly doubt it. What most forget is that in his most recent appearance in the MXGP series (as a wildcard at the 2011 British GP) he was top five, clearly he has the speed to challenge the established GP stars. The fact that he hasn’t had another chance to complete the full MXGP series is because a good opportunity has never presented itself, it is not because he isn’t capable.
Some are questioning whether or not he will be as fast as he was in 2011; Anderson didn’t have a great deal of success in Australia. Although Brad did capture a handful of moto wins, and one overall win, most were expecting him to be a title contender. But honestly, he was never in a position to challenge for the title. Prior to Brad travelling over to Australia, I was worried that because he was on the other side of the world, he would be out of sight, and out of mind. However, the British Championship paddock clearly continued to believe in his skill level, a lot of teams were trying to acquire his signature for the 2013 season.
It will be definitely be strange seeing Brad Anderson aboard a Kawasaki; after four years on a Honda the transition to the green bike will undoubtedly take some time. However, it seems that most riders universally agree that the Kawasaki is a great bike, which is easy to get along with. It seems as though Brad has already got accustomed to the Maxxis Kawasaki by LPE, reports suggest that he is extremely comfortable on the bike already.
The fact that Brad Anderson already knows the tracks and the type of format that the Maxxis British Championship run will be a massive advantage for him next year. The schedule at the Maxxis British Championship is quite rushed; there is not a lot of time for the riders to learn the track. Therefore Brad and all the other British riders, will undoubtedly be able to put their previous knowledge from contesting the series for many years, to good use.
Foreign riders often dominate the MX1 class in the Maxxis British Championship; Brad Anderson is our greatest hope of a British rider clinching the MX1 title in 2013. Although Brad might be overshadowed by the GP winners travelling over to contest our domestic series, you can bet that he will be in the thick of the title fight when the series arrives at Farleigh Castle in October. ‘Ando’ always seems to fly under the radar, but he often delivers. It certainly would not be surprising to see him hoist a number one plate above his head at the end of the year.
Words by Lewis Phillips