It’s finally arrived. The time of year when the MXGP elite prepare to race at the gnarliest sand track England has to offer.

This Sunday Hawkstone Park in Shropshire hosts the Be Wiser Hawkstone International Motocross and with a stacked rider line-up on offer, the crowds will once again line the famous circuit in huge numbers.


Fresh from their team unveiling in Belgium the factory Suzuki squad, helmed by the great Stefan Everts, will be relishing taking on the deep Shropshire sand, and they’re here in force too. Jeremy Seewer, Bas Vaessen, Hunter Lawrence and Zachary Pichon are in for MX2, while Belgian #22 Kevin Strijbos will lead the yellow charge for MX1, backed up by Arminas Jasikonis.

Another Belgian, Clement Desalle, will be on the green machine of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing with Frenchman Jordi Tixier as hs teammate once again. Both have performed well at Hawkstone in the past and I expect Desalle to be pushing for at least at podium spot this weekend. In MX2, British champion Adam Sterry finally gets to make his green debut – it’ll be interesting to see how he’s settling in on the KX250F before he heads off to the first GP of the year in Qatar later this month.

Speaking of debuts, Max Anstie has moved up to the MXGP class this year – he’s one of a trio of Rockstar Energy Iceone Husqvarna pilots. World number three Max Nagl from Germany and Frenchman Gautier Paulin are the other two. Now you only need to look back at the results this pair have earned themselves over the years to see that’s an impressive team roster, so it’s worth pointing out how impressive Anstie was last weekend at the opening round of the Internazionali d’Italia MX – Mad Max more than held his own against his new teammates.

In MX2 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna field American Thomas Covington, Denmarks Thomas Kjer Olsen and top British rider Conrad Mewse.

It’s reasonable to say that three-time British champion Shaun Simpson heads the home challenge. This is potentially the only time we’ll get to see the Scot in action on these shores this year, with the exception of the des Nations in October – assuming he’s available for selection (he’d better be!). Simmo is joined by new teammate Arnaud Tonus – the super stylish Swiss returns from a difficult spell in the USA to join the Wilvo Yamaha set up.

Red Bull KTM`s Pauls Jonass makes his first appearance at Hawkstone and under the guidance of the great Joel Smets. Jonass is Dirt Bike Rider’s pick for the MX2 championship this year – well we just crushed his chances – and we’ll be looking to see him battling Seewer at the front of the MX2 pack this weekend.

Hitachi Racing KTM UK field Jake Nicholls in MX1 and Ben Watson, Oliver Benton in MX2 while rising star Jack Bintcliffe rides the 125cc machine in MXY2.

Then we have Verde Sports KTM’s Brad Anderson – I think it’s fair to call this fan favourite a veteran of this event – he’s sure to get a lot of support this weekend. And making his race debut with his new team, Elliot Banks-Browne will be looking to fine-tune his Geartec Husqvarna ahead of the British championship.

Some of the most talented young pilots in the UK are taking part in the MXY2 class. The two Individual races for each solo class are mixed in between the MXY2 before the Super Final when all of the fastest International riders come together to battle for the Georges Jobe trophy in the explosive mixed race.

There are so many more riders I didn’t mention so take a moment to check out the rider entry lists here. It’ll be an epic day of racing.

Hawkstone International Essential Info

How much?

Spectator entry to the Be Wiser Hawkstone International Motocross is £30 with free parking, free access to the paddock and free event programme. Accompanied race fans aged 14 and under get in for free.

Timetable (Sunday, Feb 5, 2017)

  • 7.45 – 8.45am – Technical Control
  • 9.00 – 9.15 – MXY2 Qualifying
  • 9.20 – 10.00 – MX2 International Practice & Qualifying – 10 minutes free, 20 minutes timed, 5 minutes start
  • 10.05 – 10.40 – MX1 International Practice & Qualifying – 10 minutes free, 20 minutes timed, 5 minutes start
  • 10.45 – MXY2 Race 1 15 minutes + 1 lap


  • 12.00 – MX2 International Race 1 25 minutes + 1 lap
  • 12.40 – MX1 International Race 1 25 minutes + 1 lap
  • 13.15 – MXY2 Race 2 15 minutes + 1 lap
  • 13.40 – MX2 International Race 2 25 minutes + 1 lap


  • 14.25 – MX1 International Race 2 25 minutes + 1 lap


  • 15.10 – MXY2 Race 3 15 minutes + 1 lap
  • 15.50 – MX1/MX2 Superfinal 25 minutes + 2 laps


  • Georges Jobe Trophy – Superfinal winner
  • Vaughan Semmens Memorial Trophy – best British rider
  • MXY2 – top three two-stroke and four-stroke

How to find Hawkstone Park

Although it’s a well-travelled route for most motocross fans the venue can be a little tricky to find for newcomers. The good news is that the circuit that’s situated around 12 miles north-east of Shrewsbury will be signposted from both the A49 and A53. Sat Nav users can pop the postcode SY4 4NA into their TomTom, Garmins or smartphones.

The official website for the race is as always. Get online and have a nosey.

But don’t forget – if you can’t make it we’ll keep you updated as soon as we can (internet connection permitting!) and we’ll bring you a bunch of sweet pics and some awesome video too.

Other places you can find great Hawkstone content: