When the Arenacross Tour gets underway at Manchester next year on Saturday January 2017, the Kawasaki team will be under the direct control of Kawasaki UK with a fully-prepped Team Green set-up. Steered by the company’s racing and marketing guru Ross Burridge, with popular Scotsman Bryan MacKenzie as team-manager, the fact that the team will be run by an in-house crew and owned by the Japanese marque is significant.
The news is also ground-breaking in that Team Green Kawasaki will field a rider in every AX class, making it the first-ever manufacturer team to do so. As recently announced, the British motocross number one, and former World number two, Tommy Searle is spearheading Kawasaki’s AX campaign. He’ll be paired with AX regular Jack Brunell, who he last raced when they were both schoolboy competitors. Twenty-six-year-old Brunell kicked off the 2016 series with a podium at the first round at Manchester, and then again at Newcastle, but a broken foot put paid to the rest of his championship charge, so it’s a safe bet that he’ll be going for gold in 2017.
Team Green’s Pro Lites rider will be Dylan Woodcock, a former Arenacross 85cc SW champ. Woodcock celebrated his 16th birthday with a first-time out podium position at the final round of the 2016 AX championship at Wembley and he is already a fully-fledged Team Green rider. He’s spent a good deal of time training over in the States which is sure to stand him in good stead for what is already panning out to be an explosive 2017 Arenacross.
2016 AX Super Mini runner-up Kacey Hird will again contest the BW85 category with an eye firmly on the number one slot this year, and young Bobby Bruce is likely to contest the SW85 Youth class.
Burridge is the driving force behind this innovative Team Green initiative but confirms he has the full support of KMUK boss Howard Dale. This is going to be one to watch!
Clearly delighted with the vote of confidence portrayed by this latest development, AX promoter Matt Bates said: “The fact that Kawasaki is putting such an incredible level of support behind Arenacross is a true testament to how it values the series. We know Arenacross is one of the best motocross championships around and, to my mind, Kawasaki’s endorsement underlines that belief. We’ve got some big rider announcements to make over the next few weeks and can’t wait for it to all come together in January.”