The Mallory Park track, on which the world’s leading riders will do battle during next weekend’s Motocross Grand Prix of Great Britain, received the all-important seal of approval during today’s media launch at the Leicestershire circuit.
A whole host of riders, including Stephen Sword, Graeme Irwin, Brad Anderson, Scott Elderfield, Mel Pocock and CAS Honda’s latest signing, Bryan Mackenzie, all got to check out the purpose built track for the first time today, and the overall feedback from all was extremely positive.
Although it wasn’t possible for the riders to complete a full lap of the track, as a number of sections are still under construction, they were able to sample some of the major features, on what is already been referred to as a very demanding track.
The KTM pairing of Stephen Sword and Graeme Irwin were the first out on track, putting on a display of synchronised whips over one of the doubles for the assembled photographers. While some riders were surprised at the number of jumps on the track, Irwin was in his element.
“The track definitely has some pretty sweet jumps,” declared the Irish KTM rider. “It’s the sort of track I like and some of it is great fun. I know some of the guys won’t like having so many jumps, but it’s good that it’s not such an easy track to ride. My aim is to get two top 20 finishes at the Grand Prix and I know it’s going to be really tough, but we’ll hopefully have the support of the home fans to help us along.”
Sword was very positive about the changes to the track compared to last year, and provided useful feedback on the overall design, which track builder Justin Barclay will take into account as he makes the final preparations in the run up to next weekend’s Grand Prix.
“There’s definitely been an improvement over last year,” said Sword. “We pointed out a few further ways in which the track could be improved, but I think Gareth Hockey and his team already had these planned over the next few days anyway. It’s not easy to build a track that the riders will like and the spectators will enjoy, but I have to say it’s looking nice and I had a great time out there today. It’s good that someone has taken hold of the Grand Prix and is doing such a mega job. Obviously my home race is very important to me, and it’s definitely one I’d like to win.”
CAS Honda Team Manager, Neil Prince, put in a few laps of the track, at a very respectable pace, before handing the bike over to Bryan Mackenzie, who will replace the injured Cedric Melotte in the team from the British Grand Prix onwards.
“Today was my first day riding the CAS Honda and I have to say I am very excited,” commented Mackenzie, after his first outing on the factory Honda CRF450R. “For me it’s been an interesting day, as it’s the first time I’ve really worked with the team, and the bike felt really good. I really liked riding the track, but I’m a little bit nervous about racing in front of the home fans, especially as this will be my first Grand Prix since Sweden last year. I know it will be a really good weekend and this is where I want to be I hope on my debut as a CAS Honda rider I can make the most of it and do a good job.”
The positive reaction of all the riders was good news for RHL Activities’ Gareth Hockey, who has been heavily involved with the design of the track since work started four weeks ago.
“The feedback from the riders today has been extremely good, and we’ll make some slight changes to the layout based on their comments,” said Hockey. “Generally everything seems to be working and looking good. The track at the moment isn’t quite finished, so by the time we’ve made a few small adjustments, added the top layer of sand and loosened everything up, it will all be far better.
“We had a good turnout from the media today, who all seemed quite surprised at the number of changes we’ve made since last year. Now we just need the weather to stay on side so we can complete the motocross track, before we start work on the dirt sections of the Supermoto circuit. Everything is coming together now and, all in all, it’s been very positive today,” concluded the RHL supremo.
The Motocross Grand Prix of Great Britain, which includes the British round of the World Supermoto series, is being held at Mallory Park over the weekend of 30th and 31st May. With the planned off-track entertainment and live music, not to mention racing from the very best riders on the planet, it’s shaping up to be a phenomenal weekend.
There are big savings to be made on advanced bookings for entry tickets and camping. To take advantage of these discounts then visit the official event website at www.britishmxgp.com, but be quick, as advance ticket sales end at midday on Friday 22nd May.