Motocross

Columnist: Tom Grimshaw – World MX2 call-up was really special and fighting off bad guys

Tom Grimshaw

Tom Grimshaw

What a roller coaster of a ride I have had since my last column, starting with the Wednesday evening race at Wattisfield Hall.

Short, sharp motos were the order of the night with some great racing against top local centre boys.

I had some good races with Jake Nicholls and my HCR Yamaha team-mate Sam Nunn and dad was also racing as well – although for safety reasons he rode in a different class. He did get a chance to qualify for the main final but he failed!

Then it was the MX Nationals at Canada Heights where I finished sixth overall in MX2 before moving on to the Maxxis at Hawkstone Park. In race one a big rock smashed my goggles in the closing stages and I lost several places as I struggled with vision but was able to nurse it home for 14th.

Mum patched me up and I raced to a great ninth place in race two for 12th overall. Next up was the Eastern Centre Championship round at the fantastic Blaxhall.

I was really looking forward to this event as I always enjoy the track and all the friendly faces. However, the weather wasn’t very kind and the club cancelled the meeting on Saturday night.

As we were packed and ready we headed instead to a Luton club race which turned out to be mint. I raced the new 450 Yamaha and with my uncle Steve also racing that day it was a good family affair.

On Monday night we set off for a week’s riding and chilling before the EMX250 race at Lommel. We were on a late train so one hour up the road from Calais we stopped at our normal truck stop with other campers to catch a few hours’ sleep.

Dad was sleeping behind the driver’s seat and was woken by a noise – someone with a torch was looking in through the windscreen checking out the dashboard for valuables.

Dad saw red and jumped through into the front and then went mental when he found another guy in the driver’s seat. I slept all the way through it!

Over two days of riding I manage to break both bikes so by Wednesday afternoon I had nothing to ride. Roland was coming out with new parts later in the week but it was very frustrating.

We were back at the campsite when dad received a call from Claudio saying JK Racing Yamaha needed a stand-in rider for the MX2 GP class.

JK would supply everything – two bikes, a mechanic, hospitality etc – so dad got off the phone and said to me that I had two new Yamahas for the weekend but there was a catch. I was riding MX2 at the hardest GP on the calendar!

Sure enough, within an hour we had a meeting with the team and the next day Fabio the mechanic turned up with a bike at Honda Park for testing.

What a great experience with a fantastic bunch of people and a special thanks to team boss Riccardo for giving me a chance. I found it very hard and suffered with heat exhaustion in the last moto but it was a great experience and I loved every minute of it.

The team has asked me to race the remainder of GPs for them including China but I will see how this weekend’s MXGP of Italy goes. It took me a whole week to recover from Lommel before heading to Foxhill for the penultimate round of the Maxxis.

The track was mega after a much-needed revamp and I had a great day, recording seventh overall and hoisting myself back to 10th place in the championship. I’m now just five points off seventh place so there’s everything to play for at the last round at Landrake.

A special thank you to Eamon Cullen and Scott Stevens for their backing and to everyone who sent me so many kind messages. I am humbled by the amount of people who say they read my column and give me support.

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