Nearly 18'000 people turned up to watch the big International Motocross at
the weekend at Hawkstone Park. They were not to be disappointed and
certainly got their monies worth, as the sun shone down on the Shropshire
circuit the World's best riders were putting on some awesome displays of
Rinaldi Yamaha rider Cedric Melotte was the star of the weekend, the Belgium
who has dropped down into the MX2 class completely dominated the MX2 races
and showed his fellow MX2 riders that he means business in 2005. Not only
did he take the win in both MX2 races but he also took an impressive 3rd
position in the Super Final class against the mighty 450's.
Melotte held off young American superstar Mike Alessi, the 16-year-old
proved why he is becoming one of the most talked about Motocross riders as
he pushed the Rinaldi rider all the way. He was hounding Melotte in the
first MX2 race and was on his tail for the closing laps, however, Alessi was
unable to find a way past and had to settle for second place. The two
leaders had pulled a huge 22 second advantage from third place-man Mike
In the second MX2 race it was Melotte and Alessi who once again broke free and were dicing for the top spot, unfortunately Alessi suffered with a
mechanical failure on the 4th lap and was forced to retire. Melotte took his second win from former British Champion Carl Nunn. There was a close battle further down the field for 6th and 7th place between 18-year-old Jason Dougan on his Motovision Suzuki and 19-year-old Maximum Solutions rider Lewis Gregory. Shrewsbury based rider Ray Rowson scored and encouraging 10th position.
In the hotly contested MX1 class it was the inspiring Stefan Everts who
proved why he is an 8 times World Champion, his extremely impressive smooth
riding style made his win in the first MX1 race look effortless. He was
being attacked hard by five times World Champion Joel Smets proving to the
crowd why between them they have 13 World Titles. The battle between the two Champions in 2005 is certainly going to be intense.
Everts and Smets were in a league of their own in the first race and were
massive 44 seconds faster than pole place man Jussi Vehvilainen, the Finnish
rider was riding a race of his own in third place finishing 20 seconds ahead
of fourth place finisher James Noble. Yoshitaka (Yoshi) Atsuta finished a
fine 5th place in the first race on his debut appearance with Motovision
Reigning British Champion Josh Coppins fell and landed heavily on the fourth
lap dislocating his right shoulder, he was sent to hospital where they put
the shoulder back into place and he is hoping he will be fit for the first
British Championship this weekend (13th March) at Canada Heights. It was a
big blow for the New Zealander and his hope for the British and World Titles could be on the line, he only has a week to recover until the first round so it will be touch and go.
Smets was fired up for the second race and after having a year out through injury and illness in 2004 he is more eager than ever to reclaim the World Title. Smets got a fantastic start in the second MX1 race and was soon leaving a gap between him and Everts, a massive 13 seconds split the two World Champions at the finish. Vehvilainen was once again third with another former British Motocross Champion Paul Cooper in 4th and Atsuta in 5th. Brain Jorgenson, Steve Ramon, Neville Bradshaw, Mark Jones and James Noble rounded out the top ten. Bradshaw was making his first appearance in the MX1 class and was happy with the results he gained on the day.
The last race of the day was the big race with the best 18 finishers from
MX2 and best 20 from MX1 racing head to head. The MX2 class were allowed a
ten second advantage before the MX1 riders were let loose. It was Melotte
that impressed everyone, he got his head down and really pushed hard to
allow a gap between him and the other racers. The feisty Belgium held off
the super fast MX1 riders Everts and Smets for 17 of the 25-minute race.
Smets and Everts made their move on Melotte and began to lap in the high
2.19's compared to the 2.21's of Melotte. Smets took control and was sitting
comfortably at the front when a small error forced him to lose ground and
allowed the chasing Everts underneath him. The two battled it out to the
flag and only 1.5 seconds split the two. 45 second behind was Melotte who
was 11 seconds in front of 4th place man and first the first of the British
riders Carl Nunn.
6th place saw Mike Alessi, Noble and Molson Kawasaki Rider Tom Church
fighting it out between each other with Alessi getting the better hand.
Church makes a welcome return back to Motocross after a serious injury
forced him out for 9 months.
The first World Motocross Championships take place at Zolder in Belgium on the 3rd April.
MX2 Race 1 Results;
- Cedric Melotte
- Mike Alessi
- Mike Brown
- Carl Nunn
- Brad Anderson
MX2 Race 2;
- Wayne Smith
MX1 Race 1;
- Stefan Everts
- Joel Smets
- Jussi Vehvilainen
- James Noble
- Yoshitaka Atsuta
MX1 Race 2;
- Paul Cooper
International Grand Final;
- M Alessi
- Tom Church
- Brain Jorgensen
For full results see http://mylaps.com/