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Opinion: Britain is well overdue another Motocross World Champion

Opinion: Britain is well overdue another Motocross World Champion

As I write this in the discomfort of DBR/TMX Towers (which you may or may not have heard was rocked by an act of terrorism last Thursday lunchtime when three unmasked men helped themselves to Allan’s bicycle from the bike shed) it’s exactly 30 years since Dave Thorpe clinched his third 500cc world title. A little over a week ago and it was the 40th anniversary of Graham Noyce clinching his crown too…

What’s bonkers is that since Thorpe took that 1989 title there’s only been one British World Motocross Champion since and that was Jamie Dobb. What’s even more bonkerers than that is the fact that when Dobb won his one and only in 2001, the gap between his title and Thorpe’s was 12 years – it’s now 18 years since then and so we’re well overdue another…

But who and how long will we have to wait? That’s a tricky one and it’s hard to pick a future world beater from our current – and currently growing – crop of talent. It seems that unless you can consistently show world championship race winning pace by the time you’re 15 then there’s little to no hope.

Being realistic Tommy Searle was the last British youngster with that kind of pace and qualified for and scored GP points as a 15-year-old, won a GP moto at 16 and his first GP overall at 17. It’s almost scary to consider that Searle’s now entering the twilight of his career at 30, a three-time runner-up in the MX2 world championship.

Both Ben Watson and Conrad Mewse still have a shot but injuries have blighted both their MX2 careers so far. Beyond Conrad there’s Joel Rizzi who shows promise on a two-smoker but he’s not yet consistently running up front in the EMX series like you’d maybe hope him to. He has a strong team around him though and there’s still time for him to figure out the puzzle…

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