Blaxhall’s immaculate circuit in Suffolk is the next stop on the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean calendar on Sunday. Jumped-filled and sandy, the track is the jewel in the Woodbridge club’s crown and always groomed to pristine perfection.
Jake Nicholls (Buildbase Honda) won both motos at Canada Heights a fortnight earlier and carries the series leaders’ red plate into his home round. The Ipswich-based rider has a seven-point advantage in the standings over rapid Russian Evgeny Bobryshev (Lombard Express Suzuki with PAR Homes).
Bobby, the 2010 champion, took second place in Kent on a tie-break with Elliott Banks-Browne (Geartec Husqvarna). EBB’s another Blaxhall local hero and will be aiming to capitalise on his home advantage.
Winner of the opening round at Culham at the start of April, defending champion Graeme Irwin (Hitachi ASA KTM UK) was left to count the cost of a stalled motor in the opening race at Canada Heights and needs to claw back the 15-point deficit to Nicholls.
Other riders you can expect to be challenging for a podium include
Brad Anderson (Verde Substance KTM), fresh from his EMX300 victory in Russia, Ryan Houghton (RHR Yamaha) – who podiumed here last year – and his team-mate Kristian Whatley along with exciting Italian Ivo Monticelli (iFly JK Racing Yamaha).
Former champion Tommy Searle (Bike It DRT Kawasaki) will spice things up with his second wild card ride in a row as he continues his recovery from a broken collarbone. Searle wasn’t up to full speed last time out but with another fortnight’s riding under his belt he should be back on the pace.
In MX2 it’s been Conrad Mewse (Hitachi ASA KTM UK) who’s set the pace from the get-go with four wins from four starts. The 18-year-old will certainly start Sunday as the man to beat but both Mel Pocock (REVO Husqvarna UK) and his team-mate Martin Barr, who’s the new EMX250 series leader, are in good form.
Josh Gilbert (Honda Adventure Centre) was a career-best second overall at Culham and while he didn’t enjoy the same success at Canada Heights he’s a man to watch while Liam Knight (Pope Racing KTM) and Josh Spinks (M Smith KTM) have shown serious pace this season. Todd Kellett (Verde Substance KTM) took a debut Maxxis win here last year but the West Country rider is still getting up to speed after a big pre-season crash.
Steven Clarke (Carglass Honda) – who won the second EMX250 moto in Russia – will also take a wild card ride and the track will suit his spectacular style.
In the first quadruple header of the season, both the ACU British Two-stroke Championship and MXY2 class will share centre stage with the main Maxxis races.
In the B2S class Mike Kras (GL12 Racing KTM) leads Ash Wilde (RMJ Husqvarna UK) and veteran Nev Bradshaw (272 Raceschool Yamaha) but James Dunn (GL12 Racing KTM) was back on form at Canada Heights and he won both motos at Blaxhall last year.
It’s the first round of the MXY2 so we’ll know more about who to watch at the end of the day but don’t be surprised to see Harry Kimber (HCR Apico Factory Racing Yamaha) and George Sim-Mutch (Manchester MC Husqvarna) near the front.