There’s another offering of European Championship motocross action at Lower Drayton in Staffordshire this coming Sunday, July 23rd as the Cannock MXC host the home round of the 2023 IMBA Open and MX2 series. And in an event proudly sponsored by FUS in conjunction with Marsh Powersports, Spiral GFX and Anja Potze Fine Jewellery Ltd, this IMBA will pioneer the first ever combined 450F/250F/2T moto’s. In a bid to boost start line numbers, this already appears to be a wise move with riders travelling to Lower Drayton from Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland and Switzerland to challenge a very strong GB contingent.

In the Open class, regular GB team of James Dodd, Henry Williams, Will Hughes, Jake Preston and Arron Collins have already travelled to France, Holland and Germany producing some outstanding results in the process. So far, FUS Marsh Geartec Husqvarna ace Dodd has been on the podium during all three rounds whilst Apex GasGas UK rider Williams was on the box in France. Williams has also inflicted the only moto defeat so far on the IMBA series leader Matteo Puffet of Belgium.  

In his debut European season, SRH Racing pilot Hughes is also right in the mix, his best result so far being a strong 6th overall in Germany and, racing on familiar home territory this weekend he will be very confident of bettering that result! In all three completed rounds, FUS 250cc 2T rider Preston has also pushed hard in or around the top ten. Holding a great 9th in the standings, Jake has elected this weekend to compete in the MX2 category instead.

So, in the title battle, Puffet looks to be in control currently holding a nice 89-point advantage over Dodd with Williams just a further 15 points in arrears and holding 3rd whilst Hughes is a fine 6th and Collins 14th. Although Puffet looks comfortable at the top, don’t forget there’s a total of 180 points on offer this Sunday and in a sport where literally anything can happen, the Championship pattern could quickly and dramatically change!  Joining 2023 Team Great Britain at Lower Drayton in the hunt for IMBA MX1 points and making one off appearance this weekend will be Matt Burrows, Mark Roberts and Cory McShane. 

There’s been just one IMBA MX2 round so far held at Kleinhau in Germany with no GB riders present. Taking the win in that event with maximum points was Swiss rider Pablo Zablonier ahead of Jimmy Piront and Mike Adrian Braun. That top three though are in for a very stern challenge this Sunday as the current leading five riders in the 2023 AMCA British Championship standings all start. So, coming to the line will be four times AMCA Champion Shane Carless, Rory Jones, Lee Truman, Preston and Liam Gale. Joining them on one off rides are Logan Wilcox, Rhys Walker and former AMCA Champion and 125cc ace Jack Cox. With the Open and MX2 points scored separately, it will be no surprise to see GB riders filling some of those podium places come 6pm on Sunday evening!!

So, get along to the Lower Drayton circuit and give Team GB your support. The venue can be found just off junction 13 of the M6 with the local postcode ST19 5RE. Presentation of IMBA riders will be at noon with the first of three motos due off at 1.10pm. Making it a great day of motocross action, there’s also a full programme of support racing on offer to entertain you. 

 Words and Images by Mike Wood