Mildenhall gets the royal visit from TooFast Max…
With many of the most prestigious events in the country – such as the GT Cup, the Eastern Centre series and the Master Kids – choosing to utilise the track it can be a very good idea to get your ass down to Mildenhall for some practice motos before the big race!
Originally built and designed by Stuart Nunn and his son – former British champion Carl – the track was taken over by the present owner Cliff Bastick in 2003. Today the track bears little resemblance to its original form but one thing that has remained and has almost become a landmark in British motocross is Mildenhall’s over/under bridge. It’s a damn cool feature, something straight out of an AMA SX track design and something that not many motocross tracks can boast.
The track is surrounded on all sides by large noise preventing banks and tall tern fern trees making it quite a cool, scenic location. Those noise preventing banks also make for great viewing areas and provide audiences with incredible vantage points to watch battles commence the whole way around the circuit. The viewing is so damn good at Mildenhall that it almost feels like you’re inside a giant supercross stadium…yep it’s that good!
The natural soil of the track is fairly sandy but quite hard underneath. Don’t get me wrong it’s certainly not a hardpack track but you won’t find the Lierop levels of bottomless sand here. This means that you can find a good mix of sand berms and rollers as well as deep ruts and square edge braking bumps.
One thing that the Basticks have been very good at is introducing more sand to the track and ensuring that the circuit is fast and flowing. You’ll often find that if you haven’t visited Mildenhall in a while you’ll return to find a Lommel like corner in a place that once wasn’t too sandy at all.
As has been mentioned the track is fast and flowy and on the majority of the corners you’ll have the deep ruts or sand berms on the insides but you’ll also find great banks to use on the outside to really carry your speed and let it rip. These outside banks/berms are pretty weird and unique to Mildenhall – they are literally banks or walls with nice ruts or lines in to utilise. If you get ’em right these two-strokes lines – as I like to call them – can be damn fast and damn fun. But if you mess ’em up or lose your balance it’s very easy to park it up against the wall!
One of the only negatives about Mildenhall is its relatively short lap. Coming in at only 0.8 miles the fast boys can get around the track in no time at all meaning that on a busy day the track can feel a bit crowded. But do not despair, within the next few months plans are in place to extend the track and up the lap times over the two-minute mark.
It is clear to see that both Cliff and Chris Bastick are very passionate about the track. This is apparent not only in all the time and effort that will be put towards this new extension but also in the tireless, almost OCD level of track prep that is put in before each and every opening day.
In terms of difficulty Mildenhall is a tough one to judge. As has been stated it is a reasonably short lap and early on in the day when the track is smooth (due to Cliff’s impeccable grading skills) most riders will be able to tackle the challenge. But as the day wears on and the track gets rougher and rougher the challenge may become a little daunting for some – particularly beginners and those just starting out.
This means that the track is a great training ground for those higher level riders. The combination of just how rough the track can get and a couple of the more difficult obstacles, such as the ‘big’ table top and the step ups/downs, means that Mildenhall can challenge even the most skilled amongst us. Yet it is not so difficult that the lower level riders will struggle to make a lap.
However for some of the kids trying the hang it out around a rough Mildenhall on a busy practice day it may be a little too intimidating. This is why part of the plan for the new extension is to build a top quality kids track for bikes up to 85cc.
This (once it has been built) is just one of the facilities that Mildenhall has to offer – there’s a kids BMX track to keep the young ‘uns out of trouble, a spares van every opening day, a meeting room, jet wash amenities, flushable toilets and showers in a purpose-built wash block, a medical centre, a burger van on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the poshest cafeteria you’ll find at a motocross track is open on the weekends!
Cliff also encourages coaches and trainers to make use of his track as the circuit is very good for this type of work with lots of run-off space and the ability to create shorter loops to work on specific sections.
One of the trainers that certainly makes use of the track is Mildenhall’s own Chris Bastick. Chris’s Train 2 Gain schools make use of the track every week, he coaches and teaches beginners right through to the expert racers. You can find more about this and the coaching possibilities at Mildenhall on the Train 2 Gain Facebook page.
In summary Mildenhall is a very well designed track with some cool and challenging obstacles that most riders should be able to conquer. Yet at the same time it can serve as a top-notch training ground that can push even the most talented riders to their limits. With all the facilities you could want or need, situated in a nice peaceful corner of the country, a day’s practising at Mildenhall is always a good one and could prove pivotal especially if you happen to have a race coming up at the track!
Difficulty: It’s a big boy’s track
Fun factor: Fast + flowy = fun!
Facilities: They’ve got you covered!
Overall DBR score: Fast, flowy, fun – a real man’s track.
Mildenhall Essential Info
Location: West Row, Suffolk IP28 8QL
Length: 1375 metres (0.8 miles)
Prices: Kids £25, Adults £30
Facebook: Mildenhall MX Ltd
Shop: Yes (spares van)
Kids track: Coming soon
Bike hire: No
Jet Wash: Yes
Toilets/wash block: Yes (toilets and showers)
Opening times: Tuesday, Thursday, Weekends 10am – 4pm
Enjoyment Factor: High
Suitability: Weekend warrior – pro
Safety: Medical centre on site
Session length: Adults 30 minutes, Kids 25 minutes
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