Mel Pocock has turned into a man. The ‘boy’ everyone saw chucked in at the deep end of FIM Grand Prix motocross in 2010 was lucky to pick up any points and was pretty intimidated by the speed and aggression of the ultra-hard MX2 category. Fast forward a year and after some tough races on the British isles and through hitting the gym with the same trainer that helped turned Tommy Searle into the GP powerhouse he is, Pocock is a different kind of creature, a different type of racer.
As it stands the recently turned twenty year old is notching the perfect season on his YZ250F Yamaha. Pocock aimed his sights for 2012 on the fierce European EMX2 series; the packed category of hopefuls from all over Europe who are vying for a Grand Prix ride for ‘13. Back with Steve Dixon with whom he waded through that difficult campaign in 2010, Pocock was sizing up his Euro rivals for the seven round challenge when he got the call. He was heading back in the FIM World Championship den to help the team with an injury crisis. At the first Grand Prix in the difficult sand of Valkenswaard in Holland hewent 8-12 in the motos and has been cresting a wave of confidence, strength and form ever since.
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From three rounds and six races in the EMX2 contest Pocock has taken the chequered flag in each one. Most of the time by a hefty margin but his last lap lunge in Russia six days ago demonstrated that this British kid is no lightweight and will push and fight until the final possible moment for those ‘25’ points. Another four meetings and eight motos remain and Pocock is so formidable that people are already talking about the ‘perfect season’.
The truth is that the Eastbourne-resident is forging lap-times that would easily place him in the top ten of the MX2 Grand Prix standings. As a sub for the injured Zach Osborne and Arnaud Tonus this is where ‘MP’ ran for most of the five GP outings he has made this year. It is not only on the international stage where he has been strutting his stuff. He is just eight points off the lead and the red plate in the Maxxis British Championship – widely recognised as one of the toughest nationals in Europe – as round six of eight forms up this weekend at Hawkstone Park in Shropshire. Pocock has been on the podium at all bar one event and has won two.
2012 is shaping into a helluva year and Mel could be one of the very few special recruits in the Monster Army to be in with a look of two titles in one term.
“In 2010 I was young and maybe wasn’t ready but I learned a lot from doing those Grands Prix,” he said. “I then went away and got my head together, trained with Kirk Gibbons and Tommy and it started to fall into place. I’m riding the Monster Energy Yamaha and Steve Dixon has made such a fast bike. So far all the things that need to come together are working out and I’m having a lot of fun out there.”
Get down to Matterley Basin and watch Mel in action at the British Grand Prix on August 18-19.