The Arenacross Tour presented by Fix Auto UK ripped through Belfast over the weekend with two evenings of full British Arenacross Championship race-action, ballistic Freestyle MX and plenty of family fun.
On the British Arenacross Championship racing front, the full-to-capacity Belfast audience witnessed 20 of Britain’s best Pro motocross riders lining up on the Arenacross start line for the first-ever officially-sanctioned British Arenacross Championship.
Before the racing burst into action, sports personality and six-times World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea, put his Kawasaki KX250 through its paces with a few laps of the challenging Belfast Arena circuit. Gordon Crockard, arguably Ireland’s most successful, motocross rider joined him on the Arenacross podium.
Reigning British Motocross MX1 Champion Tommy Searle, GTCi Revo Kawasaki, took round one glory, while the MX2 Champion Conrad Mewse, Crendon Fastrack Honda Racing, claimed the win and lifted the trophy in round two. Searle heads to rounds three and four at Aberdeen with a single point lead over Mewse; both riders scooped maximum points for the race win. Searle picked up two additional points for qualifying in first place after the completion of all heats on both nights, while Mewse was awarded an extra point for being the fastest qualifier in round two – a bonus granted to Joe Clayton (Mark McCann 64 YouTube Channel) the previous day. Josh Gilbert, Mewse’s Crendon Fastrack Honda Racing team-mate rounded out the Arenacross Pro Championship podium after a gruelling route through to both Main Event finals. In the first round, he won the Head-to-Heads, for which he collected a further point and finished third on the night. In the second round, however, he was truly tested by having to work his way through to the Last Chance Qualifier, which he won. Troy Lee Designs GASGAS rider Jack Brunell returned from injury to take an impressive third spot in round two.
In the closely-matched Pro Am class, Welshman Josh Greedy topped the championship leaderboard with two class wins. He didn’t have it all his own way though as fellow Welshman Sion Talbot also took a pair of race wins, with third-placed Travis Steels and Kyle Lane, in fourth, taking a win apiece.
The new-for-2023 Futures class was headed by two Belfast locals with 20-year-old Charley Irwin taking two wins to lead the championship into Aberdeen. He has a two-point advantage over Reece Ross who is two points ahead of Joel Fisher in third.
Isaac Ash from Exeter dominated the Supermini British Championship with an outstanding performance across both opening rounds. He won every class in convincing style – the only rider across all Arenacross groups to do so. He is in a enviable position of carrying maximum points to Aberdeen this weekend. Harry Lee, from Sussex, sits second in the championship followed by Omagh’s Lewis Spratt and York’s Austin Beasty who are joint third.
The T-Racers AX65 Youths, Friday night’s winner Casey Lister from Telford, leads the championship charge with Saturday night’s winner Ethan Gawley, a wildcard from Belfast in second and John Slade from Ashford in third. Lister’s form stands him in good stead for the rest of the series.
Another new and innovative aspect of the Arenacross Tour is the introduction of the inaugural AX-E5 Electric British Championship with machines supplied by KTM, Husqvarna Motorcycles and GASGAS. Each place in the first two rounds were filled by riders local to Belfast. While the bikes were the smallest, and the racers the youngest, they entertained and delighted the crowd as much as their faster and louder racing compatriots. The AX-E5 series will welcome a different set of riders to each venue, with the top four from Belfast, Aberdeen and Birmingham invited to compete in the final at Wembley where the 2023 AX-E5 British Champion will be crowned. The four competitors ranked through to the final from Belfast are Jax Knox, Max Jones, Jack McGrath and Matthew McGee. Every youngster in this class rode their hearts out on the very same track as the Pro racers, they all earnt the support and respect of the Belfast fans and are destined to be race stars of the future.
Prior to the opening of the show, visitors to the SSE Arena were treated to foyer activities including a Traxxas radio controlled have-a-go lap, displays of the KTM, Husqvarna, and GASGAS electric E5 bike range, rider autograph sessions and merchandise outlets. Then, once the T-shirt cannons and Mexican waves had been executed, the emotive show-opening was followed by a burst of Traxxas Freestyle MX activity and best whip competition featuring Europe’s best beat-boxing FMX-er Spaniard Edgar Torronteras, and the leading British FMX trick specialists Jamie Squibb, Dan Whitby, Arran Powley, Josh Morris and Ryan Powley.
Doors to round three of the Arenacross Tour will open at 6pm this Saturday the 28th of January at the P&J Live Arena in Aberdeen. The show gets underway at 7.30pm.
All race and championship results are available on My Laps Speedhive via www.arenacrossuk.com/the-tour/results/2023-tour
Rounds one and two of the Arenacross Tour presented by Fix Auto UK are available to view on YouTube:
Arenacross partner information can be found at fixauto.com/uk, traxxas.com, tru7.com, ktm.com, husqvarna-motorcycles.com, gasgas.com, devittinsurance.com, Kawasaki.co.uk, t-racers.com/uk, for Troy Lee Designs, Alpinestars and Armorvision visit cisport.co.uk.
Pictured: Championship top three [l-r], Tommy Searle, Conrad Mewse, Josh Gilbert with Jack round 2 third-placed Jack Brunell.
Jonathan Rea and Gordon Crockard.
Arenacross Belfast – full-to-capacity arena.