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MUD, SWEAT AND TEARS HITS HOME; ON YOUR BIKE.

Byline: FRASER ADDECOTT

Although it probably won't get much coverage in the mainstream media, this weekend well over 30,000 bike fans will be heading to Winchester, in Hampshire, for one of the most spectacular and exciting forms of racing there is on two wheels.

Round two of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship blasts into the UK and hits the Matterley Basin track, regarded by many in the sport as having the best atmosphere in the world.

The MXGP, as it is known, is a 20-race series which starts in March and runs until September, taking in circuits all around the globe from the Netherlands to China, Indonesia, Italy, Sweden, Russia and Latvia.

Riders representing 30 different countries take part in the three categories - MXGP, MX2 and Women's MX.

Former nine-time champion Antonio Cairoli, from Italy, took maximum points in Argentina and currently tops the leader board. However, last year's winner and fellow Red Bull KTM team rider, Dutchman Jeffrey Herlings, is recovering quickly from a broken foot and will soon re-enter the fray.

The home crowd at Matterley will be cheering for Brit stars Tommy Searle (BOS Factory Kawasaki), who has won 14 Grands Prix, and Max Anstie (Standing Construct KTM), who's got seven victories to his name.

Max Anstie Max, 25, told Mirror Motorcycling: "Racing in front of the British fans is always unbelievable. They are the most passionate on the planet - I can hear them every single lap. It should be a great weekend in Winchester.

"I grew up not too far from the track, so it is a proper home race for me.

"The first round in Argentina was good and I was happy with a fourth in moto two. Hopefully we can put it on the podium this weekend and give the British fans something to cheer about."

There are even more British stars in the MX2 class, which contains riders who are 23 and younger. Ben Watson is riding for the Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha team for the second season, having finished in fourth place overall last year.

He will be looking to do something special on home turf. Also look out for rising British talents Adam Sterry (F&H Racing Kawasaki) and Conrad Mewse (Hitachi KTM Fuelled by Milwaukee).

The MXGP of Great Britain is on March 23 and 24. For information and tickets, visit mxgp.com Geoff Hill @ghillster Fraser Addecott @MirrorBiker

CAPTION(S):

HOPEFUL Top British contender Max Anstie

LIFT OFF Riders hit the first bend in MXGP race and Max Anstie gets airborne

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 21, 2019
Words:424
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