MX big-hitters Mickael Pichon, Stefan Everts and Joel Smets head-up the foreign invasion for the pre-season international at Hawkstone Park on March 2.

Pichon, the double world 250cc champion, will go against six-time world champ Stefan Everts and four-time champ Smets in what’s being billed as a sneak preview of this year’s MXGP world championship. But they aren’t the only class acts who’ll be in action…

Among the other top foreigners signed up are Marnicq Bervoets, Pit Beirer, Andrew McFarlane and Kenneth Gundersen while British-based stars include Jamie Dobb, Gordon Crockard, Paul Cooper, Carl Nunn and Glen Phillips.

And the 125cc class is almost as star-studded with British 125cc champ Stephen Sword and team-mates Matt Winstanley and Tom Church preparing to bang bars with GP rivals including Erik Eggens, Marc de Reuver and top American Jeff Dement. Even Jeff Perrett – dbr’s very own Rear Gunner – is hoping to get a piece of the action (although we don’t recommend betting too heavily on him).

Both classes get to race twice and there will be a combined final race when the top 20 on the day from both classes come together for a super-final with the eighth-litre pilots getting a five-second head start.

Qualifying gets under way at 9.15am with the first race due off the line at 11.30am. Hawkstone Park is situated off the A53 Market Drayton to Shrewsbury and A49 Whitchurch to Shrewsbury roads.