Courtesy of Youthstream Media Service Team
While the Grand Prix of Great Britain in a weeks time might not have MXGP World Champion Jeffrey Herlings on the start gate, the local fans will have a good share of British riders to cheer. Both in MXGP and MX2 there are a good supply of leading GP riders, capable of top three finishes.
Max Anstie, Shaun Simpson, and Tommy Searle are all multiple GP winners. Tommy Searle with 14 in the MX2 class, Max Anstie with six also in MX2, and Shaun Simpson with four in the MXGP class.
Currently ranked seventh (Searle), eighth (Simpson) and thirteenth (Anstie) in the MXGP points, the three 450 riders have some good form, and all three are capable of a podium at Matterley Basin. Who knows, with a little luck, and some home fan support, a victory isn’t out of the question.
Just ask Anstie, who turned the circuit on its head at the 2017 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations. On that wet and muddy day back at the end of 2017, the young British rider shocked the world to go 1-1 at Matterley Basin, and it is a memory he will never forget helping Team GB onto the podium.
“It was unbelievable,” Anstie remembered. “I felt like the last part of that season with my team every week we are pushing and pushing and getting stronger, I always had it in the back of my head with the last few GPs getting on the box (at the MXoN). It was awesome, the first race was something special, the crowd were so loud, and I had too much time to think. The guys rode amazing, I have to give it up to Mark Chamberlain, the whole week was stressful, probably the most stressful week of all of our lives. But we made the best of it, we kept solid and it’s an amazing feeling to be on the podium.”
As for Simpson, the lone Brit to win in the premier class knows that this season could be a special one, and as he has shown in the past, winning a Grand Prix can come at any time.
“I feel so relaxed on the KTM,” Simpson said. “The bike suits me and we haven’t squeezed everything out of it yet and I don’t think we are far off, and once we do that, it will just be about clocking laps off. I feel I can get a bit faster on it, and the key to my season will be starts and we need to work on those starts. If I can start in the top five, some weeks I might lose some places, but if I can start top five on a track I am enjoying, then I can be pushing up to second or third. Romain is out, Jeffrey is out, and sure Antonio is there, but guys like Desalle, Paulin, myself, we are thinking, you know what, there is a shot at a championship, a GP win or a podium. Jeremy Van Horebeek is also riding well. I know, I am a top class motocross rider and on my day I can race with anyone in the world.”
When you add the names of MX2 riders Ben Watson, Adam Sterry, and Conrad Mewse a again, three riders capable of getting on the podium, or even getting a surprise victory. In the MX2 points these riders are ranked sixth, ninth, and eleventh similar to the MXGP boys.
Photo Copyright: Elliot Spencer Author: Geoff Meyer