The Grand Prix of Great Britain, round nine of the FIM Motocross World Championship, marks the start of a hectic period for those contesting the series. After escaping the spectacular circuit in the United Kingdom, the Grand Prix contingent will head straight to France for round ten and then venture into Italy the following weekend. The month of June is a taxing one for all involved.
Thankfully, it seems that the three-round run will begin with some pleasant conditions at Matterley Basin. An event in Britain is always risky, no matter the time of year, as poor weather is likely to strike. Although the forecast has been a little erratic in recent weeks, it seems as though there will be no major problems this weekend. There is actually no precipitation in that forecast at all! Temperatures should hover around twenty-two degrees, so it will be a pleasant weekend and perfect for riding. It will actually be interesting to see how this layout develops without any rain.
Speaking of the track layout at Matterley Basin, it has not changed at all since the Motocross of Nations. The elevated start straight is still in place, which will please most fans, as are the new turns and jumps that were placed on the first half. Based on what happened in qualifying at the last event that was held here, which was the only time that this layout has been used in pleasant conditions, the racing should turn out to be pretty good. All of that could change though, based on who rockets out front with the holeshot. It will be tough to beat Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado if they both manage that!
Jeffrey Herlings could actually break a personal record this weekend. The Grand Prix of Germany, which he won, marked the ninety-ninth podium finish of his career. If he slots into the top three this weekend, it will obviously be his one hundredth! What is remarkable about that? Well, he has won seventy-three rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship at this point and that means that he has only stood on the second or third step twenty-five times. There is no doubt that statistic says the most about what he has achieved throughout his career and offers a reminder that he is quickly establishing himself as one of the greatest riders ever.
There is actually a lot to remember this weekend, as the last fourteen days have been hectic for some riders and teams within the paddock. One of the established teams in the paddock, 8Biano Racing, is no longer running and their riders have been forced to find new homes. It seems as though the changes that Brent Van Doninck and Iker Larranaga Olano have made have been seamless, thankfully, as they have moved to the Diga Process Husqvarna awning and are still working with familiar companies, such as WP and HGS. It is rare for a mid-season change to be as pleasant as what they have encountered.
Michele Cervellin, on the other hand, has hopped off of a Honda for the first time in ten years and will now pilot an SM Action Yamaha. Although that may seem like a pain, it was a self-inflicted move as he opted to move away from Martin Racing Technology. Cervellin was supposed to make his debut in blue at a round of the Italian Championship last weekend, but contract issues stopped that. It seems as though that has been overcome now though and he will race a YZ250F for the first time this weekend.
It almost feels like the Grand Prix of Great Britain is a breath of fresh air, with all of the aforementioned points. History could be made this weekend, after all, and there are also some new things to watch out for. One of those is the custom Fox gear that Max Anstie has, which should please British fans.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX