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Motocross spectacular in Winchester
8:00am Thursday 22nd August 2013 in Sport
The best motocross riders on the planet come to Winchester in the World Motocross Championships from today.
Matterley Basin will play host to the British Motocross Grand Prix festival, in the penultimate round of this year’s competition.
A record breaking 524 riders will descend on the award winning circuit, where 11 different classes will battle it out for podium places over four days. Riders from all over the globe – 16 different nations from Brazil to Thailand – compete to decide who is the top rider in the world. Antonio Cairoli, who leads the MX1 standings, could seal a seventh world title this weekend with a victory. The last stop was at Bastogne in Belgium where several local riders have been in action. Winchester born, Max Anstie is currently riding the MX2 class and finished tenth on his Suzuki in the last race. The 20-year-old is currently sitting in ninth in the MX2 standings and has already ridden in America and France – and managed seventh place and a podium finish in last season’s tour. Hampshire’s Bethany Farmer has been riding since she was three-years-old. Now 17, she is going head-to-head with the best Women riders in the world. Brothers James and Ben Harrison from East Wellow will be riding in the youth championships at the festival, the latter competing in the amateur MX1 group and the former at EMX youth level. Shaun Simpson and Tommy Searle from Scotland and Devon respectively are among the British riders among the MX1 class, which is made up of the most elite riders on the planet.
Jamie Law, Alex Snow and Tony Craig are the others who will compete in the top class. Searle lifted the MX2 crown at the event last year and will be eager to prove his worth in the MX1 this weekend. The track was created in 2006 to host the British round of the tour and has become known as one of the best circuits on the series. In its opening year, the circuit welcomed an astonishing 80,000 spectators, which still stands as the biggest crowd ever for motocross in the UK. For the first time this year the event has been transformed into a festival, where spectators can enjoy four days of riding. The track is known for its extreme jumps and amazing race style and is considered one of the best prepared circuits on the tour. Leah Earnshaw from the Event Management team said: “The MXGP Festival has so much to offer, an experience you’ll never forget at a site renowned for the fantastic atmosphere and racing.
“There’s always something to watch with races comprising all ages, from the six-year future stars in the EMX65 category, to the well versed experience displayed in the Veterans category. “Buy your tickets now for special online discounts, or come along to the event and find out what it’s all about.
“There’s plenty of evening entertainment with bars, a funfair and a DJ set provided by Monster Energy until late. “We offer separate camping areas so all guests have the best experience possible, from Party Camping for the revelers to Family camping for a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. “Our popular VIP Package is still available, with VIP guests able to watch the weekend’s racing in style with an exclusive marquee.” So far this campaign, Italian Cairoli leads the MX1 standings and is expected to win the championships for seventh time at Matterley Basin.
And despite second placed Clement Desalle winning in his native Belgium last week – with Cairoli and Evegeny Bobryshev making up the other two podium places – the Italian is around 100 points ahead and is likely to triumph again.
Meanwhile, in the MX2 class, Australian Dean Ferris won his first ever overall race in Belgium.
Jeffery Herlings, who is two time MX2 world champion and races for Red Bull KTM, currently leads the pack despite being absent in the last stop on the tour. He likely miss this one too, due to a broken shoulder blade. Elsewhere, Slovakian Klemen Gercar leads the ranks going into the penultimate race and Chiara Fontanesi is leading the women’s event, which has two races remaining in the season.
The only British rider is a leading position is Mitchell Lewis, who is topping the Honda 150cc class. Lewis finished first in Germany on the Honda 150’s first stop last month and was once again on the podium, claiming bronze in Bastogne. Meanwhile, in the EMX125 and EMX250, Pauls Jonass and Valentin Guillod lead the way, the latter not finishing outside the top two for the entire season and the former in similar hot form. The veterans will open the competition this morning in their qualifying practice session before the amateur races get underway in the afternoon before the women’s event starts in the evening
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