Maxxis 2012 MX series goes down to the wire
The final round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship at Little Silver, near Exeter turned out to be one of the most action packed season finales ever, as Elliot Banks Browne (HM Plant KTM UK) overturned a 16 point deficit to clinch victory in the MX2 class and a second place finish in the opening moto was enough to hand the MX1 title to Kevin Strijbos. Maxxis celebrates ten years as title sponsor of the series next season and was delighted to see it remains well-supported by a Veterans championship, the MXY2 youth series and the new MXY85 competition. British motocross also continues to broaden its appeal, reaching a bigger TV audience thanks to Sky Sports 3 and 4 coverage and exposure via Motorsport Mundial on Channel 5.
As the curtain came down on 2012, the MX2 class provided plenty of drama. After winning the opening moto, Banks Browne saw his main rival, Mel Pocock (Monster Energy Bike It Yamaha) win the second encounter, meaning they were separated by just a point going into the decider. Having made a great start, Banks Browne fell on the last lap while lying second, and although Pocock did his utmost to capitalise, at the chequered flag he was three seconds behind leaving Banks Browne to claim his first major British title.
In the final races of the MX1 class Shaun Simpson put in a spirited ride to keep his championship hopes alive, posting two wins and a second place, but it was not enough to prevent Strijbos lifting the title, giving the HM Plant KTM UK team the double.
2012 was a challenging year for the Maxxis sponsored teams: former British Under-21 Motocross Champion Ray Rowson missed the early and latter stages of the championship through injury, so Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki drafted in Gordon Crockard to deputise during the last four races, while guest rider Steven Lenoir helped the team to end the season on a positive note by finishing ninth at Little Silver and sixth overall in the MX2 standings.
Seventeen-year-old Connor Walkley – who finished 17th overall out of 47 riders in the MX2 class for Maxxis Henderson LPE Kawasaki – moved up to contest the MX1 class at the final round. Finishing 12th in his first ever MX1 race in the series, Walkley showed he is more than capable of coping with the KX450F and his prospects for success in 2013 are extremely exciting.
Having backed the factory Kawasaki MX squad for the past five years, Maxxis is extending the partnership and significantly increasing its investment in the team, which will compete as Maxxis Kawasaki by LPE next season. Team manager, Steve James has wasted no time and has already boosted the team’s 2013 rider line up by signing two-time British motocross champion, Brad Anderson.
Maxxis International UK’s managing director Derek McMartin said: “With so many riders now adopting and recommending Maxxis tyres, it is only natural that our target is success in the British Championship for which we are title sponsor. We value the commitment, support and loyalty that Steve James and the team have shown over the past five years, and in 2013 they will have the structure, paddock presence and budget to attract the highest calibre of riders. Like all MX fans, we look forward with eager anticipation to next season.”