The Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean officially hit the halfway mark at Desertmartin at the end of June so now’s as good a time as any to take a look at the state of play.
So far we’ve raced Culham, Canada Heights, Blaxhall and Desertmartin and we’ve got Duns, Hawkstone Park, Foxhill and Lyng still to come. Four mighty tracks down, four mighty tracks to go.
Let’s start with the MX1 top five.
It looks likely that Tommy Searle (Bike It DRT Kawasaki) is going to wild card at every remaining round. That puts an over-sized cat among the pigeons but take him out of the equation and it’s still a level playing field and right at the front is…
1st Jake Nicholls (Buildbase Honda)
The 28-year-old has never won a major adult title. Hard to believe but he’s always chucked himself down the track racing GPs. He did pretty much the same at Desertmartin but, fortunately, he managed to walk away in one piece. Currently 19 points ahead, Jake’s the man everyone’s shooting at.
2nd Evgeny Bobryshev (Lombard Express Suzuki with PAR Homes)
The big Russian, champion all the way back in 2010 with CAS Honda, is a machine and his GP credentials – he’s currently 11th in the world – are an advantage. If you’re racing Jeffrey Herlings most weekends it can only make you faster.
3rd Graeme Irwin (Hitachi ASA KTM UK)
The defending champion, Graeme won the opening round but has since discovered that there’s some truth to the saying that it’s easier to win a title than to defend one. He showed what he’s made of at Blaxhall when he raced with severe burns and was second at his home race at Desertmartin to reduce the gap to the leader to 29 points.
4th Elliott Banks-Browne (Geartec Husqvarna)
A two-time MX2 champion, EBB has suffered more than his fair share of injuries since trading up to a 450 but this year he’s fit and he’s flying. He hasn’t won a race so far this season but he’s got podium-topping pace…
5th Ivo Monticelli (iFly JK Racing Yamaha)
On his day the 23-year-old Italian has top-10 GP pace and has impressed in his debut Maxxis season. A second-placed moto-two finish at Desertmartin helped him to his first overall podium so there’s no doubt about his speed.
Okay, now let’s check out the MX2 top five…
1st Conrad Mewse (Hitachi ASA KTM UK)
Conrad is the man on a 250F in the UK at the moment. He’s won seven out of eight races in his first full Maxxis season and is showing no signs of stopping. As long as he stays upright – and barring any mechanical problems – he’s a shoo-in for the title.
2nd Josh Gilbert (Buildbase Honda)
Laidback and affable, Josh has been a revelation this season with three overall runner-up finishes so far. Mewse and Martin Barr have kept him off the top step of the podium but the young Cornishman is perfectly placed to pounce if the series leader slips up.
3rd Mel Pocock (REVO Husqvarna UK)
The rapid redhead has been championship runner-up twice in his career and would love to go one better. Currently second in the EMX250 title chase, Mel knows it’s time to pick up the pace if he’s finally going to claim that elusive Maxxis crown.
4th Liam Knight (Pope Racing KTM)
After finishing fifth in 2016, the Hampshire rider had a bad year in 2017 but he’s back to his best this season with the highlight being a fantastic opening moto win at Blaxhall.
5th Martin Barr (REVO Husqvarna UK)
Overall winner at Blaxhall, the super-experienced 30-year-old from Northern Ireland is as tough as they come. His championship got off to a terrible start at Culham where he crashed hard and picked up an injury and he’s suffered some bad luck this season but he’s not a man who gives up and will push hard until the chequered flag drops on the final moto of the season.
Picture © Image Rich Media