‘I CAN honestly say that I haven’t enjoyed a motocross race as much as that in a good couple of years,’ is something I unexpectedly uttered to Hank and Sean as we hightailed it out of Hawkstone Park on Sunday afternoon.
As days out go it was an absolute stonker and hill or no hill, Hawkstone Park was at its absolute brutal best, the racers put on an awesome show and the overall ambience was just absolutely amazing.
Putting on an outdoor event of this size in the depths of the British winter really takes some doing and it was clear from the moment of arrival that there was a huge level of investment put into this event both in terms of money and man-hours.
It was money and time well spent n’all as – from the outside at least – things seemed to go pretty smooth! So well done to everyone involved…
Meanwhile, down in Barcelona, Toni Bou was blowing minds with his ridiculous skills in the X-Trial season opener – the things that this man can do with a motorcycle are totally amazing.
Finishing 16 marks clear in an eight-section trial just proves how far ahead of the competition he is.
Although I’m not losing any sleep over it, the fact that the leading five trials riders – Bou, Raga, Cabestany, Fujinami and Fajardo – have been the leading five for over a decade is slightly worrying.
More worrying, though, is the fact that the leap from the second tier of the series to the elite group has proved to be a step too far time and time again and with World Trial Championship riders now officially classified as an endangered species the future of the sport – at world championship level at least – is not looking all that good.
My hope is that the appointment of a series promoter will help the development of that next generation of talent as without them the WTC and any revenue opportunities for the promoter will be dead in the water.
It’s something Youthstream has had to do with motocross and I’m sure Sport 7’s Jake Miller has a plan in place to grow the series – hopefully he’ll spill the beans when Dicko gets hold of him for a no-holds barred sit-down in the next week or so.
That will make for some very interesting reading.
One of my friends from back home posted a picture on Facebook recently of a road sign marking the boundary between Pott Shrigley and Kettleshulme.
Nothing exciting about that you might think except for the fact that it showed the access road to Further Harrop Farm – aka the old home of the Northern Experts Trial – amongst other off-road events.
Now, when I was a wee nipper I’d regularly get dropped off or cycle up there whenever there was a trial on and spend an afternoon watching all the action so that photo brought back some real positive memories.
Those ancient thoughts – along with something Dicko once said about the lack of severity in world rounds held back in the day – made me wonder if a more traditional approach to section layout is one answer to the declining figures.
It might not be so thrilling for spectators but surely the trials industry would rather have a starting list of 180 over one that’s just 15-strong.
Feel free to tell me what’s wrong with that idea at firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh, and the Johnston Press profanity filters are fairly tight so try and hold back on the insults…