It was a tough night of racing in the Sheffield Arenacross for the new four-strong X Bladez/ WD-40 Husqvarna team, backed by MotoHead magazine. Three new riders joined the team as the UK Arenacross tour rolled into Sheffield at the weekend – two American riders in the Pro class and a British youth in the 65cc class.
They were joined by the team’s regular rider, Danish teenager Frederik Hojris in the Pro Lites class, in the packed house at the Motorpoint Arena. The team and their bikes were the stars of the behind-the-scenes tour and track walk for VIP fans.
No stranger to the UK or the XBladez team, Collin Jurin was keen to return to the UK Arenacross scene after he was forced to miss several rounds last year through injury. His pace proved he has what it takes to finish on the podium as his times were on a similar pace to the top three.The first heat race saw Collin jump out of the gate in fifth, then quickly grab fourth and had a podium finish in his sights.
He was smooth and in control until the rider in front made a mistake which left Collin hitting the dirt. Dusting himself off for the second heat race, he pushed into fifth and then a costly mistake meant he finished up seventh overall.
Dylan Schmoke, the other addition to the XBladez/WD40 Husqvarna Pro team, was struggling in his first time in the UK and on the 350 race bike. He showed moments of speed and focus but it was clear to see he was beginning to struggle as the day went on. Despite this, Dylan was resilient but didn’t make it to the main event. With a bit more time and training in the UK this week, he’s aiming to be in better form in Wembley on Saturday for the series finale.
Pro Lites rider Frederik – nicknamed ‘Frank the Viking’ – was on a fast pace at Sheffield and was riding the best he has done through the whole series. In his first race Frederik moved into third and was making a push for second until the race was red flagged due to a downed rider. In the restart, Fredrick grabbed the holeshot but he miss-timed a section which left him fourth at turn two. Fred regrouped but lost control in a rhythm section and crashed. He got back up and straightened the bike but it left him further back in the pack. Fred had a great start in the second race again but unfortunately a mechanical fault meant he had to retire from the race early.
Alfie Osborn, our rider in the 65cc class, showed great promise for a young rider. He has been introduced to the team to gain experience as it is Alfie’s first time racing on a geared bike.
Team manager Dave Willet summed up the racing: “Today we showed great promise but unfortunately we didn’t have the luck. We have the talent for the job in hand which is a little frustrating when things don’t go your way.
“I’m happy as the riders showed commitment and are respected on and off the track. I’m sure Dylan and Collin have much more to give and they are both hungry for it which is a pleasure to witness.
“I’m disappointed for Fred as it should have been his night as he rode awesomely but he made one mistake too many.
“What an experience the team has had, though. It’s the first time we’ve run as an official team and it’s great to see the team moving forward since the first round. The VIP treatment was great as it’s a lot of hard work running a team, so to see our efforts getting recognised by the Arenacross promoters and the fans is great. Redemption will come in Wembley.”