The Arenacross Tour heads to one of the riders’ favourite venues in Birmingham this weekend. It’ll burst into the impressive Genting Arena on Saturday the 20th of January for its 40th birthday and, once again, will be ready to entertain the masses.
The 2018 AX storyboard has already thrown up a few surprising twists and turns, with leading Pro contenders finding themselves in the dreaded last chance saloon, aka, the Head-to-Head. Who would have thought that the opening round would see French protagonists Thomas Ramette (SR75 Suzuki) and Cedric Soubeyras (RFX Suzuki) both at the bottom of the pile, together with Brit faves Elliott Banks-Browne (Geartech Husqvarna) and Adam Chatfield (Team Green Holeshot Kawasaki)? And then, again at Newcastle last weekend Chatfield, the 2013 AX Pro champ, was once more in the eliminator but this time he didn’t make a safe passage through to the Main Event.
Looking ahead to the weekend. Team FRO Systems will be on a positive charge and is the only team to support a rider in each class. Currently second in the team standings, but leading the Pro class with Soubeyras and second rider Ash Greedy (who is rapidly losing his bad boy rep) in a solid eighth; the West Midlands-based team is full of anticipation for its home round. “We’re in it to win,” said boss Mark McCann. “We don’t settle for less and we’re certainly not in AX to make up numbers. In Cedric we have a champ, not just because he can win races, it’s more than that. It’s his won’t-give-up attitude, his desire to succeed and do the best he possibly can – he oozes commitment. And, with Ash we have a rider who has grown in maturity and gives a hundred per cent to everything he does. He’s lost weight, has been out to America training and is up running at 5.30am every morning before going out to his day job working for a coach company. It’s clear to see that we have a team dedicated to AX, and that’s why I’m confident we have the winning team!”
Over on the Pro Lites front, there is little between the leading trio of Joe Clayton (Team Green Holeshot Kawasaki), Chris Bayliss (Wooldridge Demolition) and Jason Meara (I-fly JK Yamaha). This super-aggressive class is an absolute breeding ground for semi-professional motocross race talent, and these guys are living proof of that. Each rider believes he can win the championship and, with five rounds still to go, there is much to play for.
In the youth ranks, 14-year-old Buster Hart had the Newcastle arena on its feet when, racing on home turf last weekend. Hart now leads the Superminis with Raife Broadley and Kai Tucker rounding out the top three. German-ace Carl Ostermann is back for round three though, and he’ll be going flat out to reel in the Brits. The youngest racers of the Tour continue to win hearts and enjoy close tussles. Team FRO’s Shaun Mahoney takes a strong lead into Birmingham with just a single point separating Jake Davies in second and Harvey Antrobus in third.
Away from the racing turf, the AX FMX crew will again be pulling out all the stops to take the King of the AX Trick accolade. Spanish FMX god Edgar Torronteras rejoins the British line-up of Dan Whitby, Samson Eaton and Arran Powley in the air, and they’re joined by Australian Ryan Brown, who is already winning an army of fans for his trademark ‘ruler’.
To witness the star-studded line-up of international front runners going head-to-head in a set of fast-paced and frantic races, get along to Birmingham this weekend. Tickets are available directly from The Ticket Factory on 0844 338 0338 or www.theticketfactory.com
For Power Maxed Arenacross Tour information check out www.arenacrossuk.com