Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee roared into another season of racing at the highest level at the weekend, as round one of the 2021 ACU British Motocross Championship was held at the old-school circuit of Culham.
The first round of eight was run without spectators and marked the start of a new era for the MXGB scene. Conrad Mewse, Bas Vaessen and Adam Sterry were on track for Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee.
Conrad Mewse was impressive from the very beginning of MX2 time practice – he posted the quickest time by a full second and entered moto one brimming with confidence.
A holeshot in that encounter set him up well but the moto was red-flagged very early on in order to allow the medics to help Bas Vaessen, who had crashed hard at the bottom of the circuit. Vaessen was taken to the hospital for further evaluation – an update will be published as soon as more information becomes available.
Mewse had another good start when the moto was restarted and moved into the lead almost immediately. From there, he was unchallenged and raced to a 48-second advantage at the chequered flag. An impressive start to the new race season. Mewse did not get out of the gate quite as well in moto two and started out of the top 10, but immediately put his head down and charged towards the front. Second was the position that he secured at the conclusion of the 30-minute moto — four seconds separated him from another victory. Mewse did claim the overall win and championship lead though – he is two points ahead of second place.
Adam Sterry started his day in a similar fashion to Conrad Mewse; he benefitted from a solid off-season and set the fastest time in MX1 qualifying. After starting on the cusp of the top five in the first race, he was struck by arm pump and opted to settle for fifth to put solid points up on the board. The second moto was another step in the right direction, as he made some quick moves early on to clinch fourth at the chequered flag and the same spot in the overall classification.
The 2021 ACU British Motocross Championship will continue later this month, as round two will be held at Lyng on May 23. The 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship is still scheduled to begin in Russia on June 13.
Team Owner Roger Magee: “The most important thing after today’s racing is the welfare of our rider, Bas Vaessen. His treatment at the circuit by the medical team was excellent and he has been transferred to the hospital at Oxford to be assessed by the doctors as to the extent of his injuries. The team will release an update as soon as we have the facts and we request that no speculation is aired on social media. BC (team manager) has just left his bedside and Bas is in good spirits.
“On the racing side, Conrad showed some of his true potential for 2021 and proved that he has put a lot of hard work and dedication into his preparations for 2021. The team’s aim was to come away from Culham with the lead in the MX2 championship, which we have done, and look forward to round two at Lyng in a few weeks’ time.”
Conrad Mewse: “Solid day today. It started off great with P1 in qualifying and then I got the holeshot in the first race, but unfortunately, my teammate had a crash. A massive get well soon to Bas. I had another great start when the race was restarted and made a pass for the lead early on. I rode a solid race, won by quite a margin and was just ticking my laps off. I did not get a very good start at all in the second moto. I was in 17th on the first lap and got to second, but the leader was almost 20 seconds ahead at that point. I was right on his back wheel with two or three laps to go but made some mistakes with backmarkers and could not make the pass. I still won the overall, with a first and a second, so it was a fantastic day. We got the job done.”
Adam Sterry: “Happy to be back racing at the British Championship after four years away! The day started off well with P1 in qualifying and I felt good on the bike. I got a good start in the first moto but made a few mistakes and had a bit of arm pump. My gate did not drop as fast as the others in moto two; I made some good passes at the start of the race though and ended up in fourth. It was a solid day, overall, and I know I have more in the tank. I am looking forward to the next round at Lyng.”