2019 Maxxis British Motocross Championships – THE OUTSIDERS!
Jeff Perrett is Fatcats bound tomorrow for the first round of the 2019 Maxxis British Motocross Championships, but before he left, we gave him the floor to reveal the riders who he thinks are going to stepping into the breach and challenging the front runners this year.
Images courtesy of Dave Rich and X-Cast Media
We all know who the main challengers are, but here are my outside bets on riders not to win it, but who will maybe grab a podium, a top 5, and really put themselves in the mix in 2019.
Starting with MX1, although he is a front runner I would say, Ryan Houghton. He is getting more mature and refined, and I think Ryan will have a pretty strong year. The first round is at Fatcats, and he is excellent in the sand, so I expect him to break into the top 5 and be in the mix. He could well be in the top 5 at the end of the year, as we have a lot of sand tracks to go to this year, so he will be good.
More of an obvious one going on last week’s performance at the MX Nationals, but a rider who is coming back to Britain on a new team and being a bit of an unknown quantity in that respect is Harri Kullas. He got off to an absolute flyer last weekend with two brilliant starts, and that’s going to be a big thing for him at that level, and he looks really confident, so I think he will be totally in the mix.
Some of the more genuine surprise packet racers, which I think will be able to turn some solid motos and could scrape into the top five are riders like Luke Burton, Elliott Banks-Browne’s teammate on the Geartec Husqvarna who looks strong. Dan Thornhill is another young rider who just keeps getting better and better. He is on the Cab Screens – Deos Group Racing Honda Team, and he has had a few years there and knows his way around the team. The thing I noticed last week about him and Kullas, was that they were both dynamite out the gate. Obviously, the bikes are working well for that team, so that’s positive for them.
A name we have seen up there in and around the top 4 before is Lewis Tombs, and because he is filling in for Jake Nicholls at Buildbase Honda, he will have that extra support. I think Lewis Tombs might be higher than he has ever been before by being on such a big team and maybe a big bike will suit him, so I expect him to be in around the top places and pushing for podiums.
There’s a bunch of second-year Pro’s in the MX2 class who I expect to be busting into the top 5 and causing a threat to the front runners and maybe even do better than that.
Taylor Hammal looks really good on that RHR Yamaha and its really good that he has ended up on a team. He just looks fitter and stronger than he has ever been before, so I am expecting him to do really well. Lewis Hall and Keenan Hird came out at the MX Nationals and showed they have really good speed. They didn’t have much luck at Sherwood, but Lewis qualified in second and Keenan in fourth, with Martin Barr sandwiched between them, so that tells you everything you need to know where they’re at in terms of their speed. They just need to get good starts and turn that into race trim. Like a lot of Pro’s, both of them have done a lot of laps around Fatcats, and Lewis in particular as it’s like his home track, so if he can keep it on two wheels I expect him to have a really good weekend.
Michael Ellis was blinding last year, he got good starts and was consistent as a second-year rookie. He is not on the ASA team this year but he is doing his own thing, and it looks like he has a good set up so I would expect him to be there or thereabouts as he is such a good starter.
Then there is Adam Collings a young kid who is doing it right, training in Holland and America. He has been over and done EMX races, he is no slouch, particularly in the sand, having done a lot of races in Holland. So I think he will bust into the top ten and maybe even higher.
There’s no such thing in MXY2 as a guy who is going to surprise anybody. There are a ton of genuine names in there, and it’s going to be such an excellent class to watch.
Joel Rizzi is going to be right at front whatever he rides, 125 or 250. He may stick on the 125 as he is doing the EMX on it, but also he has been training and riding on the 250 so he may rock out on that.
It’s going to be great between this lot, all of the riders I am going to mention are going to keep it close. Ike Carter proved his worth at the MX Nationals last weekend taking the overall win ahead of Kacey Hird, so these two will be in the mix. Kyle McNichol has come on strong, going up to the 250 on the Manchester Motorcycles Husqvarna. He was quick last weekend as well. There’s Sam Nunn, who I think is sticking to the 125 on the Hardcore Racing Yamaha. Then there’s Dom Lancett who I think is riding injured on the Verde Substance KTM as he was a bit lacklustre at Hawkstone and at Sherwood last weekend, so I’m not sure if there is a confidence issue or he is injured, but he has had such a stellar couple of years before that. Jack Grayshon, I haven’t seen him ride this year, but he has a great skill set and won the British Youth Nationals on the Big Wheels.
It’s going to be great to see the big names in MX1 and MX2, but it’s great to see the youngsters at 7 of the 8 rounds as I feel they are going to offer up some of the best racing of the series.