A line up of pro riders from 12 countries, including two former British motocross champions, will line up as the 2018 UK Arenacross Tour kicks off on Saturday January 6 at the Manchester Arena. Former British MX1 champ Evgeny Bobryshev and double MX2 champ Elliott Banks-Browne will line up alongside current British two-stroke champ and former EMX300 champ Mike Kras. Former MXGP hotshots will be mixing it with championship-winning supercross specialists.
With three all-British Pro teams chomping at the bit, there’ll be plenty for a partisan home crowd to cheer when the AX start gate drops on Saturday evening. Team Green Holeshot Kawasaki will field Adam Chatfield and Jack Brunell, the highest-placed UK riders from the 2017 Tour; Matt Bayliss – 10th last year – returns with his own Wooldridge Demolition team with AX newbie Jake Millward joining him in the Pros, and brother Chris in the Pro Lites; and heading up his own Geartech Husqvarna outfit will be that former British MX champ, Elliott Banks-Browne alongside young team-mate Luke Norris.
These guys will all be eager to stem the French invasion, but that won’t be an easy task as three-time Arenacross Pro Champ Thomas Ramette has been on form throughout 2017 and has the advantage of running with the same Suzuki machinery, SR75 team set-up and team-mate that take took him to those three title wins. Also Suzuki-mounted, and with a tremendous year under his belt, Cedric Soubeyras makes his way to Manchester as the reigning French Supercross champ – he has scores to settle and will be mega-hungry for the Pro class crown – with Welshman Ashley Greedy joining him in the Fro Systems camp, anything could happen. MVR-D’s Adrien Escoffier can’t be discounted and must be viewed as a real title contender – he won three Main Events and finished fifth overall last year – and he has the support of an inspirational British team.
The 2018 AX podium is set to be groaning with the weight of talent as, when you get the calibre of MXGP race-winning class acts such as Bobryshev and 2017 AX runner-up Angelo Pellegrini competing together under the RFX Suzuki umbrella, you can be confident they’ll be right up front. Bobryshev, who will ride for the Neil Prince-managed team all year, is said to have turned down a last-minute offer to ride for HRC Honda in MXGPs to race in the UK this year.
Other riders battling to prove their speed will be Aussie supercross-ace Dan Reardon and American Collin Jurin, who showed just what he’s capable of at the 2017 final at Wembley last year when he took the MotoHead Husky to third place, and is sure to be fired up.
The other categories, namely, Pro Lites for riders aged 15-to-23-years, SuperMinis for 10-to-15-years and Youth 65cc 7-to-10-years will all enjoy packed grids when the action gets underway at Manchester. They may be younger, but with a fearless never-say-never attitude they’ll be ready to kick dirt.
The FMX line-up includes the very-best athletes from around the world all eager to pull out the biggest and baddest tricks out of the bag. Banana-faced X-Games medallist Edgar Torronteras is ready to do what he does best – show off; Czech giant Petr Pilat and award-winning German Luc Ackerman are preparing for back-flipping battles; Aussie Ryan Brown is gearing up to impress the UK crowds; and the Brit pack of Nez Parker, Dan Whitby, Arran Powley and Samson Eaton are all determined to rule the ramps.
AX doors open at 6pm on Saturday, and the word is that the opening round of the 2018 Power Maxed Arenacross Tour at Manchester is anticipated to be a capacity affair. Tickets are available via the Manchester Arena on 0844 847 8000 or website www.manchester-arena.com. Further event information is available via www.arenacrossuk.com
|1||Thomas Ramette||SR75 World Team Suzuki||FRA|
|7||Cyrille Coulon||SR75 World Team Suzuki||FRA|
|2||Angelo Pellegrini||RFX Suzuki||ITA|
|777||Evgeny Bobryshev||RFX Suzuki||RUS|
|3||Cedric Soubeyras||Team FRO Systems||FRA|
|33||Ashley Greedy||Team FRO Systems||GBR|
|4||Adam Chatfield||Team Green Holeshot Kawasaki||GBR|
|6||Jack Brunell||Team Green Holeshot Kawasaki||GBR|
|5||Adrien Escoffier||MVR-D St Blazey Husqvarna||FRA|
|14||Nique Thury||MVR-D St Blazey Husqvarna||GER|
|114||Jordan Booker||MVRD Husqvarna||GBR|
|259||Julien Lebeau||I-Fly JK Yamaha Racing||FRA|
|122||Dan Reardon||I-Fly JK Yamaha Racing||AUS|
|10||Matt Bayliss||Wooldridge Demolition Honda||GBR|
|303||Jake Millward||Wooldridge Demolition Honda||GBR|
|44||Elliott Banks-Browne||Geartech Husqvarna||GBR|
|173||Luke Norris||Geartech Husqvarna||GBR|
|55||Mike Kras||GL12 KTM||BEL|
|200||James Dunn||GL12 KTM||GBR|
|225||Charles Le Francois||Buildbase Honda||FRA|
|871||Fabien Izoird||Buildbase Honda||FRA|
|8||Hugo Basaula||Shocktech Kawasaki||POR|
|476||Collin Jurin||Shocktech Kawasaki||USA|