Up and running!

Dedication is what you need!

Well, all said and done, what an excellent start to the Maxxis British championship season at FatCat Moto Parc this weekend! Bright blue skies, a healthy crowd and a track that certainly didn’t give any rider anywhere to hide – it was beautifully brutal, certainly from our side of the fence anyway 😉 Arguably there wasn’t any real surprises with the overall victors of each class but you could argue there was with the remaining places on the box.

In the MX2 class it was Monster Energy/ Bike it/ Cosworth Yamaha rider Zach Osborne who took the red plate with his usual swashbuckling effort. With Osborne taking the win you’d expect to see his sublime teammate Arnaud Tonus stood next to him on the podium in second, because lets be fair these two are the dominant force in MX2 Maxxix British championship motocross, but it wasn’t a Osborne / Tonus 1-2 this time.  Mel Pocock stepped up to the plate in some fashion with a brilliant performance to still make it a Monster Energy/ Bike it/ Cosworth Yamaha 1-2, much to the delight of boss Steve Dixon. It was a Yamaha sweep on the podium and it wasn’t the defending champion Tonus rounding out the box. No, it was one of our riders of the day, Ulsterman Graeme Irwin on his Samsung/RFX Yamaha who bagged third with a typical gutsy performance that put a huge smile on his face after missing most of last year with a broken back but also his boss Roy Emberson. What a great return to the Maxxis British championship for them both.  Tonus finished fourth on the day with two calculated race wins and an uncharacteristic DNF in the second moto. There’s still a lot of work ahead for them and the rest of the field to catch Steve Dixon’s boys though. The writing on the wall for the rest of the field in the MX2 class was that on the last lap of the final moto Tonus and Osborne were 15 seconds faster (yes, 15!) than their nearest rival and no matter which way you package that it’s an ocean apart from the chasing pack. It’s early days but you’ll be a brave person to bet against it not being a two horse race for the MX2 title again this year.

Graeme Irwin looks tired and disgruntled after three grueling motos. He was tired, but not disgruntled!

Kevin Strijbos certainly made a statement in his Maxxis British championship debut on the HM Plant KTM. To say it was a polished performance was an understatement. He topped super pole qualifying and led every lap of all three motos looking super smooth and completely unflustered when any attack came his way. Methodically he just ground out laps like a robot and pulled away at the front, much to the delight of his mentor – 3 times World champion Harry Everts. Strijbos has always been incredibly talented but you could almost see the Everts influence starting to take hold. Coming in second behind the Belgian was Gert Krestinov on his Maxxis British championship debut for Route 77 Energy/ MVR-D Honda. That may have been a surprise to some but not us at MX Vice. Remember Gert was ever improving and strong last year and he has won a GP in deep sand. No doubt about it, the Estonian’s confidence is growing and he’s got himself off to a great start. Latvian Mattis Karro rounded out the top three, much to the delight of his travelling fans. Mattis is yet another rider who has switched teams for 2012 and Steve Turner must be happy with his return so early on. The STR KTM rider was really the only rider to put a challenge to Strijbos, finishing second in motos 2 and 3, if not for a mistake in the first moto which put him down to eighth he had the obvious speed to make it a KTM 1-2 but it wasn’t to be. Mattis didn’t seem too disappointed though, grinning like a Cheshire cat after the race like he usually seems to be.

It's now wonder Kevin Strijbos is smiling after the final moto. You'd be too if you swept the day by leading every lap.

Karro's fans seemed happier than Mattis himself - and he always seems to be happy! Must be something in the water in Latvia...

Some of the Veteran class riders must have asked themselves why they’re still racing at the end of the day. The FatCat track was savage enough for blokes in their 20’s, let along blokes in their 40’s! To say there were a few tired bodies and souls out there at the end of their second moto is probably an understatement and no doubt they’ll be feeling it this morning!! ‘Factory’ Phil Mercer may well ache like the others but at least he has the satisfaction of having the series leader red plate. Phil took both motos with two solid rides and was flanked either side of the podium by Greg Hanson and Gary Hoptrough. At 47 years old Greg is still as smooth as silk on two wheels and it was good to see Gary back on the track again after falling into motorcycle stunt work (excuse the pun) when he finished his British championship career first time around. He’s probably thinking this morning after the brutality of yesterday’s race he’ll return to it!

So there you go. The first Maxxis British championship down and seven to go. It was a belting start to the championship and you’ll be able to see for yourself if you missed it when our video goes up on this site tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that. Now really looking forward to the second round at Canada Heights on the 1st April. You’d be a fool to miss it (see what we did there!)

Maxxis British Championship – Round #1 Results – FatCat Moto Parc

MX2

1338Zach Osborne69222522
2119Mel Pocock58162220
35Graeme Irwin51182013
47Arnaud Tonus502525
5272Neville Bradshaw48151815
6685Steven Lenoir41101516
7114Jordan Booker40121612
844Elliott Banks Browne382018
99Stuart Edmonds36141111
10121Bryan MacKenzie297814
11711James Cottrell251114
12131Nicolas Aubin231310
1399Nathan Watson22139
1466Lewis Tombs17296
15321Bradley Pocock13121
1668Shane Carless13310
17871Connor Walkley12552
18177Sunny Thompson1064
1912Luke Hawkins927
2051Alan Keet99
2124Luke Remmer88
2287Michael McCammond817
2350Sean Mitchell88
24200James Dunn743
2573Luke Norris615
26811Adam Sterry66
27303Jake Milward44
28153Hamish Harwood33
MX1
122Kevin Stribos75252525
237Gert Krestinov58202018
391Mattis Karro57132222
424Shaun Simpson56221816
550Martin Barr50141620
617Jason Dougan45181215
78Stephen Sword43151513
825Jamie Law35121112
9701Dorren Coutts329914
1042Nathan Parker3281311
11212Marc De Reuver301614
1236Mathew Moffat241068
1331Alex Snow21759
14227Kristen Whatley21687
1541Alfie Smith201010
1638Daniel Hutchinson18576
17180Maarten Cremers1111
1826Aston Bird8143
19295Ross Rutherford734
20438Jackson Evans7421
21704Ashley Wilde55
22700Sam Simmons312
235Josh Waterman33
2435John May22
Veteran’s
1200Philip Mercer502525
21Greg Hanson442222
38Gary Hoptrough361818
446Terry House352015
522Paul Coward321616
620Darren Scott291514
7307Scott Hayworth261313
82Brian Wheeler241212
97Steve Elford211011
1017Adrian Bradley2020
11712Peter Taylor20146
1272Jonathan White19118
1374Garry Jones1477
1428Phil Lewis1385
1567David Dunn1010
1626Richard Brown1064
1710Dave Thomson99
1827Colin Thomas99
1992David Hopkins743
204Alan Eaves752
21120Robert Glynn431
2264Paul Curtis22
23351Neil Graham11
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