Motocross

Opinion: Team GB’s MXoN woes & rocking up at grassroots enduro

Ben Watson

Ben Watson

I’m not sure who Mark Chamberlain has annoyed but after he announced who Team GB for the Motocross of Nations would be on Friday afternoon (August 16) it took less than a day for Max Anstie to be hospitalised with a collapsed lung and just another few hours for Ben Watson’s season to be ended with a broken radius leaving Shaun Simpson as the last member standing.

This makes me think that Chambo is no Sci-Fi nerd because if he were he’d have followed James T Kirk’s lead.

What am I on about? Well, whenever there was a situation that required him to assemble a team, he’d initially pick a recognised cast member and two unknowns to send into the bound-to-be-dangerous situation.

They’d then be beamed down to a planet that needed exploring or whatever, at which point unknown guy #1 would suck in a poison gas cloud and #2 would get taken out by an alien wielding a rock. That’d leave Kirk (Chamberlain) and – for argument’s sake – Scotty (Simpson) to fight another day.

That ‘another day’ normally included a full line-up of recognisable cast members who’d kick ass and then get beamed back to safety.

So basically what I’m saying is that Mark should’ve initially picked two no-hopers and an established star to keep up pretences and then come out swinging with the big hitters when things really mattered.

Back to reality now and although the plan needs deviating from it’s far from being a total disaster. The chances are that Anstie will be recovered in time and Simpson’s still good to go so Mark just needs a new 250F pilot.

In all fairness this should probably be Adam Sterry – he’s had a very decent year in MX2 and can ride Assen well too (he led a GP moto back there in 2016 and was running a comfortable second until he binned it mid-moto).

The one thing that Sterry doesn’t have is the experience of performing in a high-pressure event such as the MXoN but there’s only one way you can get that…

So as frustrating as the situation is there’s really no need to panic – our B team is as podium-capable as the first selection and besides there’s still six weeks (and three GPs) until then so anything could happen anyway.

In other news I was out and about doing Sutty-style business on Sunday when I saw a sign. There were two of them actually in the form of little orange arrows which usually only mean one thing (although there was that time when I rocked up at a caravan rally and stomped around for half an hour trying to find the track) – dirt bikes!

In this case it turned out to be a hare n’ hound style enduro which was being run by Wayne Braybrook’s RAW outfit. It’s been a while since I visited a totally grassroots event and within minutes I was getting the itch to ride again as the course looked totally welcoming and the riders all seemed to be having a complete blast.

I tracked down Wayne and his lovely partner Donna who gave myself and my son Noah a Polo mint each (along with a complex that our breath must’ve been super stinky).

We also ran into Apico head honcho Dylan Brown who was out ‘marshalling’ on his 4RT and ace snapper Chris Hudson who was popping off killer shots like he were shelling peas.

All in all it was an amazing way to spend a Sunday afternoon and it was really invigorating to see so many people out in the countryside having fun on their bikes in a field. And that’s just one event out of loads of trials, motocross and enduros that were happening around the UK on Sunday afternoon.

So to everyone that was out there doing their thing whether it be staying feet-up, bashing berms, navigating a rutty bog or watching or marshalling any of the above I salute you all…

Next week I’ll get my wooden spoon out for more Maxxis British Motocross Championship mayhem. Until then, keep it dirty side down…

Latest News