After the dry, slick, hard-pack which prevailed at Bevercotes, the riders contesting the 2017 AMCA British Motocross Championship face a totally different challenge during round 5 of the series powered by Datatag and supported by Dunlop. This coming Sunday, July 2nd its sand tyres at the ready as they travel to the grand old former GP track of Hawkstone Park. Even for the fittest of riders, the tough, rough, unforgiving Shropshire circuit can be very daunting, so throw into the mix the fact that several leading contenders are either currently carrying or returning from recent injuries then another intriguing AMCA event looks to be in store! Indeed if those injured stars fail to shine, the Championship tables could have a rather different look on completion of the Hawkstone proceedings.
In MX1 though, defending Champion Luke Burton is still very much on course for yet another title. Having never finished lower than 3rd spot in any of the 11 completed moto’s, Burton is currently a big 143 points clear of his FUS teammate James Dodd. At present, Dodd, Gary Gibson, Shane Carless and Ryan Crowder have been in that injured bracket so the likes of Paul Neale, John May, Ben Saunders, Ashley Thomas and Luke Meredith will be looking to poosibly take advantage and thus improve their own Championship table standing. Just outside that top ten there’s also the likes of Andrew Smart, Richard Cannings and Ed Briscoe who all certainly enjoy the sandy going!
After a massive recent crash, MX2 leader Luke Dean looks likely to be a non-starter at Hawkstone. At present, Luke holds a 52 point advantage ahead of Ray Rowson with defending Champion Josh Waterman a further 13 points in arrears. Despite suffering from a slight knee niggle, Rowson is a proven sand track Expert and will certainly fancy his chances of taking control of the MX2 standings come Sunday evening. Also definitely looking forward to the sandy Hawkstone challenge are Jack Cox, currently in 6th and James Wainwright in 8th. Completing the MX2 Championship top ten are Clinton Barrs (4th), Bradley Tranter (5th), Lewis King (7th), Jansen Day (9th) and Luke Mellows (10th). After suffering a nasty elbow injury and missing round four at Bevercotes, TMC Kawasaki ace King will be hoping to return to action this weekend and climb back up the standings.
In what as been a thoroughly exciting 2T title chase so far, Brad Turner (7), Sam Smith (2), Jordan Saunders and Jason Kenderick have all recorded moto wins. Hampered by a couple of punctures and crashes, Turner at present leads the standings 43 points clear of Bradley Doyle with Smith in 3rd and Bevercotes overall winner Saunders in 4th. In a class full of quality, James Lane, Tony Griffiths, Sean Eckersley, Ashley Beniston and Shaun Buchan round off the top ten but there’s also plenty of other riders more than capable of earning a podium slot. In the separately scored 2T MX2 class, Nathan Bache leads the way from Jamie Comley and Rob Jones.
Four rounds down of the Vets Championship and it’s been the same old three riders dominating the podium on each occasion, James Russell, Simon Lane and Terry House. So far Russell the series leader has bagged 9 out of 11 moto wins and holds a 60 point advantage over Lane. In the opening three rounds, 4th placed Richard Chinn campaigned aboard a 2T TM before going 4T at Bevercotes. Chinn is 95 points behind House with Gary Jones, Brian Staples, Darren Bennett, Sean Smith, Martin Atherton and Stephen Marlow completing the top ten. In the separately scored Over 50 Vets class, it’s House from Brian Staples and John Heath.
The Hawkstone Park circuit will be signposted off the A49 Shrewsbury to Whitchurch, A53 Shrewsbury to Market Drayton and A442 Telford to Whitchurch road with the local postcode being SY4 4NA. The action should be underway by 10.30am to get yourself there for a great day of AMCA Championship action.Words and pic by Mike Wood.