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Apico go full retro for Foxhill VMNDN

This race weekend was a little different than usual, as Apico Factory Racing was a sponsor for Vets Motocross des Nations at Foxhill.  The Apico Vets team wore recreated, retro Apico clothing in the stacked Wright Engineering National Team Class. The Apico Hydration Station, something we have done at other offroad events, was there to raise funds for the Northwest Air Ambulance with the help of Ice Valley. We also had some of Rob Herring’s factory bikes from over the years as an Apico-sponsored rider on display.
As one of the U.K.’s hotly anticipated motocross events of the year, with a crowd well over 35,000, and online viewers of more than 150,000 across 40 countries, this was the event to be at in 2023. The 2023 lineup for the Apico Veterans included Matt Burrows, Jamie Law and currently Apico Husqvarna rider, Martin Barr. Martin was on a Stormworks Garage Husqvarna, with Jamie and Matt acquiring and building their machinery for the event.With the full team arriving on Friday, we all got together in the evening to share a meal like old times. The Apico Veterans were joined by Josh Spinks in an impromptu photoshoot in the restyled Apico retro clothing. After a quick pitstop in the beer tent, the team settled for an early night in anticipation of the racing ahead.The sounds and smell of 2 Strokes filled the air on Saturday morning, transporting everyone back to the 90’s and early 00’s. The bikes Dylan had worked on in the lead-up to the event were nothing short of special. All the bikes had been Rob Herring’s from the late 80’s – early 90’s as a sponsored Apico rider.  The oldest bike, one that had not seen the light of day since Rob Hooper formerly of Heron Suzuki had dismantled it all those years ago, was a 1989 RM250. With magnesium parts such as the wheel hubs, spindles and an aluminium factory tank, this bike was special. The specialist engine casings stamped RH-89-3 showed the real factory pedigree of this machine.Hi Res Images: Credit Free From Adam Duckworth & Haggis HartmanThe 2 Honda’s were from 1991 & 1992. The 1991 Silkolene Honda CR250 was described by Rob Herring as a missile. He also said this was his favourite performance-wise of the bikes. The 1992 Castrol Honda CR250 was a very attractive piece of history, one that adorned many a bedroom wall as a poster from DBR in the early 1990s. Both these Hondas had spent a good number of years as part of the furniture at Apico HQ. This was the first time in a very long time that the bikes had been to an event of such magnitude.
Saturday was somewhat of a special day as Rob Herring and his wife Amanda visited the Apico stand. Rob took the time to discuss the bikes and times from yesteryear. One thing that came across from Rob was his gentlemanly nature, a true ambassador for British Motocross and one we’d hope to see riding the event in 2024!It wasn’t all retro and just the Apico Vets we had to keep an eye on. There were a number of Apico-sponsored riders competing at the event including Carlton Husband (3 O/A National Team), Brad Todd (19th O/A National Team, with a DNS), Josh Spinks (18th O/A International Team Individual), and the Pococks. All 4 brothers raced in the event. The 3 youngest all raced the Ultra Open Class with Brett 10th O/A, Maff 13th O/A & Bradley 16 O/A. We have to give a special mention to Mel Pocock Jnr, who showed strength and determination by riding with a broken leg for pretty much all the races to take Team GB to the top of the podium!Danny McCanney, normally associated with Enduro racing competed for the Isle of Man in the International races. Some may have been surprised to see him finish top 10 in the International Team Individual scores, beating a few ex-British Champions along the way! The Isle of Man finished a respectable 8th in the International VMXdN Class.
Back to business with the Apico Veterans in the National Team Race and qualifying went well with Law 12th Barr 17th and Burrows 37th. This particular class was stacked with talent over the last 10-15 years of British Motocross Championship racing. It was certainly the racing to watch across the weekend.Race 1 was tough with Jamie Law making a start inside the top 10 and holding his position until a crash on lap 4. He remounted dropping several positions and crossed the line 13th on his 2002 Honda CR250. Martin made a steady start passing a couple of riders before crashing and damaging his Husqvarna. Determined, he remounted down in 27th and battled to the line for 26th. Matt was 30th and dropped to 33rd by the time the flag was out.Race 2 was the best of the team performances Jamie Law made a great start inside the top 4 and made his way to P2 by the end of the race. Martin Barr had a better start than in race 1, struggling as the front fender broke off on the first lap. This left him to face his own roost for the rest of the race to cross the line 16th. Matt Burrows had his best finish of the day in 24th place.Race 3 on Sunday saw Jamie dig deep putting in a solid performance, making a single pass for 6th at the flag and Martin having a relatively clean race to finish 15th. Matt was unfortunate to have a DNS due to a mechanical. This would be the team’s score to drop for the overall place in the National Team Event.Race 4 saw a clean start for Martin leading the Apico veterans in 6th as they dropped into the valley from the start with Jamie close behind in 8th. Matt was around 22nd at this point though managed to maintain a position within the top 30 by the time the flag waved. Martin hung on for a while before Jamie passed and finished 11th with Martin pushing the old Husqvarna for 15th at the flag.The team’s combined scores tallied 190 and 8th place finish in the National Team Event. Jamie Law had the standout result of joint 3rd overall tying on points with Apico-sponsored rider Carlton Husband. Martin finished 13th and Matt 35th respectively.

Dylan: “The highly anticipated ‘Motocross Event of the Year’ didn’t fail to disappoint, delivering on all levels. It was nice to see faces old and new and display some historic bikes associated with Apico. We met Rob Herring on Saturday and gained his insight into the times and racing back when Apico was starting in the off-road industry. The time we spent with Rob on Saturday affirmed that he is the great guy people remember from his heyday.It was nice to see the Apico Vets in retro Apico clothing, a nod to where the company initially started all those years ago. With the 40th anniversary of the company looming, it was a special event that meant something to Anna and I. It is not something we’re likely to forget for a long time.We’d like to give a special thanks to Ice Valley for supporting us in raising donations for the Northwest Air Ambulance Service. This is something close to my heart and an important self-funded charity when called upon by the offroad community. It’s not something we like to see attending an offroad event, though I am sure there are a lot of thankful people out there who have called upon Air Ambulance services over the years. This showed in the donations from the spectators and people from the industry. We have given back over the years at other events by running the Apico Hydration Station with Ice Valley. This year we managed to hit a record £2,000.00 in donations. I’d like to thank our staff and helpers for their efforts in raising the funds for the Air Ambulance this year on Apico’s behalf at the Vets Motocross des Nations at Foxhill.Congrats to the VMXdN team on putting on a fantastic event for the second year. It is truly one of the best events on the calendar. A special shout out to all our sponsored riders and of course Team GB on winning the International Race Overall. We look to this weekend as usual service resumes with Apico Husqvarna and Martin looking to finish on a high at the Michelin MX Nationals this weekend”.
Photos by Adam Duckworth and Haggis Hartman