The 2021 Revo ACU British Motocross Championship Fuelled by Gulf Race Fuels starts its long-awaited season this weekend at Culham in Oxfordshire (May1/2).
If you’ve already digested our 2021 MXGB season preview, then this rundown of the Pro stars is the perfect next stop for you — the moto geek — to, well, geek out!
There’s plenty to unpack, so let’s dig right in…
MX1’s movers and shakers
The premier class in the entire Revo ACU British Motocross Championship Fuelled by Gulf Race Fuels shebang is undoubtedly MX1. While no national championship win is easy, the title that people aspire to win, the big daddy of them all, is the MX1 class. And in 2021 we have no fewer than six former British champions lining up to attempt to lift the MX1 crown.
The Crendon Fastrack Honda team has two potential champions in its stable in the form of current champion Tommy Searle and the guy who should have been champion in 2018 but fell at the final hurdle – Jake Nicholls (update: Jake is sadly out for Culham with an injury). Both riders are well experienced and have been racing the British championship since the mid-noughties – that’s a decade-and-a-half ago – but show no signs of slowing.
In pre-season training, they’ve both looked sharp and fast and have to start the series as favourites. Incidentally, Honda has a very strong history in the MX1/Open British championship and have won half the championships run this century.
MXGP privateer Shaun Simpson is a two-time MX1 champion and has even more British Championship experience under his belt than Searle. He pushed Tommy to the very end in the 2019 series and is in a similar position to do so again. Now a master of his own destiny, Simpson has built the bike he believes can take him to the title and has the fitness and speed to keep up his end of the bargain.
Current MX2 champion Dylan Walsh returns to the British series with the Revo team although this time he’ll be riding Kawasaki machinery in the MX1 class.
Walsh spent some of 2020 racing in MXGP on a Honda and showed he had crazy amounts of pace but was prone to crashing. If he can keep it shiny side up he’ll win British Championship races in 2021 but can he hold it together long enough to challenge for the title?
He thinks he can but there are other more experienced riders he’ll have to overcome.
Perhaps one of the most experienced riders in the line-up is 33-year-old Russian Evgeny Bobryshev who is a two-time British champion having claimed the title in 2010 and again in 2018 when he snuck it from under the nose of the injured Jake Nicholls.
Bobby will be racing a PAR Homes Husqvarna in 2021 and is not only a genuine threat to take the title but also a great role model for many of the younger riders in the paddock.
The former GP winner will be concentrating on domestic action in 2021.
Hitachi KTM Fuelled by Milwaukee team leader Adam Sterry won’t have the advantage of being able to concentrate on the British championship in 2021 as like Shaun Simpson he is committed to the full MXGP tour. Sterry has been progressing well on the 450 and stuck in some great rides at the tail end of the season, almost breaking into the top-10 in the ultra-competitive MXGP class.
A former MX2 title winner, Sterry is another who could challenge for moto wins in 2021 and could be in the title hunt at the end of what will be a gruelling season both at home and abroad for the young Welshman.
Two-time MX2 British champion Elliott Banks-Browne lines up on a Honda with support from the motorsports-mad Anthony family and their Somerset-based building company Oakleaf. EBB avoided a return to the track in 2020 after the Covid-19 break but is a hardy veteran who knows how to win and enjoys doing so too – winning is in his DNA after all…
The Cab Screens and Crescent Yamaha teams joined forces in the off-season to become Cabs Screens Crescent Yamaha and will be a formidable force in 2021 with their ace in the hole Harri Kullas who’ll have Dan Thornhill share the team awning with him.
Harri has found great form in the UK over the past few years and should certainly not be discounted as being a title candidate.
Okay, so we may be hedging our bets there by highlighting so many potential champions but that’s the cold hard truth of it – it’s a super-stacked lineup. Other riders we expect to see up there include Apico Husqvarna’s Stuart Edmonds, BRT Kawasaki’s Martin Barr, Gabriel KTM’s Liam Knight, Verde KTM’s Jake Millward and Cumbria’s #1 Jeffrey Herlings impersonator Brad Todd plus all those guys we’ve really motivated by not mentioning them. Hi guys.
The MX2 crew
With current champ Dylan Walsh moving up to MX1, that leaves the MX2 throne uninhabited but fear not because there are a whole heap of hungry racers ready to step up and claim it as their own.
The most obvious favourite would be 2018 champion Conrad Mewse who returns with the team who helped him lift it first time round – Hitachi KTM Fuelled by Milwaukee.
Team boss Roger Magee is heavily invested in Conrad and has brought in four-time British champion Stephen Sword to help get him into that all-important winning mindset. Mewse has a great bike, good insight and enough speed to get the job done but like all the riders racing GPs will be in for a very busy few months. It will take its toll.
Bas Vaessen also stays with the KTM UK team and has proved he’s a potential champion too in what will be a very competitive class. Vaessen has run the red plate in the British Championship previously and is only getting better with age.
Also mixing MXGP and MXGB action will be Bike It MTX Kawasaki team-mates Taylor Hammal and Wilson Todd. Hammal’s made such rapid progress over the last 12 months it’s hard to say if he’s ready to challenge for the title yet or not. We expect 2021 will be a breakthrough year for Taylor as he’s maturing well and will be armed with one of the fastest MX2 bikes on the planet – if Steve gives him the good, good stuff.
Taylor’s Aussie team-mate Wilson Todd is in a similar boat in the sense that we’ve not seen what he’s fully capable of, yet. On paper, he could absolutely smash it and we hope he does because he was dealt some shifty luck in 2020 which stopped us from seeing him at his very best. Title contender? We will see very soon…
PAR Homes have signed 17-year-old former EMX125 front-runner Florian Miot for 2021 and armed him with a rather potent 250 Husqvarna. He looks quick but Instagram can often be deceiving and so like Wilson Todd we’ll know more after we’ve seen him at Culham. It does seem that we’ve got quite a few guys on the verge of breaking through to the big time though so it should be an entertaining season.
One guy who has been there and done that (but never quite lifted a British Championship title) is ASA United GasGas runner Steven Clarke who is now somehow the top side of 30 – how did that happen? The former 85cc world champion and EMX250 titleholder is not only fast and tenacious but tenacious and fast too and has a habit of pulling things out of the bag when you least expect it. At his most dangerous when he’s got a smile on his face, we’re picking up nothing but good vibes from Steve at the moment which is bad news for his opposition.
Dave Thorpe is confident that he can help former MX2 moto winner Jay Hague a more consistent front-runner as he takes him under the Crendon Fastrack Honda wing. Hague has always been a hard worker but never quite had the breaks with that single moto win at Duns being his most notable result in the British Championship so far. He looks settled on the Honda and is definitely enjoying having Tommy Searle as a training partner so 2021 could be a good year for him.
Another happy chappie is privateer Ashton Dickinson who is a young man who’s highly motivated to make it count. He raced a good number of MX2 GPs last year scoring a grand total of 15 points and improving massively along the way. He has good pace and can gate too which will help him massively in this highly competitive field.
There must be something in the water up Cumbria way as two of the county’s residents will be running 250cc two-strokes in the MX2 class this year. Two-time British Champion Brad Anderson is back for another title tilt on a Verde KTM while not quite so aged Apico Husqvarna teamster Jamie Law will be mounted on a, well, it’s quite obvious isn’t it?
There are so many fast riders in the MX2 class it’s difficult to pick out more names without mentioning them all. Good starts will be essential in a field this packed and ultimately that will play a huge part in who does well and who struggles to consistently score points.
It’ll be great to see how it all pans out…
2021 ACU British Motocross Championship
|May 1-2||Culham||65, 85SW, 85BW, MXY2, MX1/MX2|
|May 23||Lyng||85BW, MXY2, WMX, MX1/MX2|
|June 6||Canada Heights||85SW, 85BW, MXY2, MX1/MX2|
|June 12-13||Foxhill||85SW, 85BW, MXY2, MX1/MX2|
|June 20||Desertmartin||85SW, 85BW, MXY2, MX1/MX2|
|June 26-27||Little Silver||Auto, 65, 85SW, 85BW, WMX, WMX85|
|July 10-11||Whitby||Auto, 65, 85SW, 85BW, MXY2, WMX, WMX85|
|Aug 8||Blaxhall||85BW, MXY2, MX1/MX2|
|Aug 28-29||Duns||65, 85SW, 85BW, MXY2, MX1/MX2|
|Sept 11-12||Landrake||Auto, 65, 85SW, 85BW, MXY2, MX1/MX2, WMX85|