The British Grand Prix will represent the 13th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship but the event at the revered Matterley Basin circuit will also entertain the first ever MXGP Festival. The 10 classes and hundreds of riders that will descend on the Winchester site this weekend will allow a rare opportunity for the Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe team which now welcomes Belgian starlet Julien Lieber to their MX2 GP ranks for the rest of 2012.
For the first time this season the majority of the young riders spread through this progressive German squad will be present in one paddock. The Grand Prix will see amateur, European 65cc, 85cc, 125cc two strokes and MX2 series in action as well as MX3, Veterans and the penultimate event in the FIM Women’s World Championship. Among this bevy of competition Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe field will see Brian Hsu steering his RM85, Jorge Zaragoza on his RM125 and Jeremy Seewer on the RM-Z250 in the GP feeder class, European MX2. Although Harri Kullas and Petar Petrov – the principal MX2 Grand Prix racers for the 2012 campaign – are absent through injury, Suzuki will be able to count on high-quality representation in a fourth category with Julien Lieber joining the crew to ride the factory RM-Z250 in the UK and for the remaining MX2 Grands Prix in Holland, Italy and Germany.
Hsu (the first time Grand Prix teams will be able to witness the Taiwanese-German talent on a big stage), Zaragosa (the Spaniard’s first race since breaking an arm in France in May) and Seewer (recording an excellent top three finish in the second EMX2 moto the last time the GP series convened two weeks ago in the Czech Republic) will face the dips and cambers of Matterley for the first time this week. The English course hosts its third FIM World Championship fixture since its creation in 2005 and the flowing and exciting layout, set in a ‘bowl’ gully for excellent viewing, has won plaudits from both sides of the fence.
Lieber is familiar with Matterley. The 18 year old Belgian is negotiating his second year in the FIM Motocross World Championship after making his debut in the final event of the 2010 campaign, and so far has posted points in 10 motos this season with a highest finish of 12th position overall at the Grand Prix of France in May.
“What an event for us,” enthused Team Manager Thomas Ramsbacher. “It will be great to see our guys at one race. It is a shame that we miss Harri and Petar but the set will be complete with Julien joining us for the rest of the season and we’re keen to see what he can do in MX2 and with factory support. He has ridden Suzuki’s before and our talks in the Czech Republic came about because he wanted to be back on our bikes. For our fantastic sponsors and partners this is a vivid chance to see the ambition and scope of the team as a project to help and nurture young talent and this MXGP Festival is a nice stage for us to bring all the strands together. We hope the fans and everyone in Matterley will enjoy seeing Brian, Jorge, Jeremy and Julien really going for it.”
The long-term forecast for the weekend currently predicts sunshine and good temperatures for both days.