World Supercross take over Villa Park for a UK spectacular
If World Supercross wanted to bring its own particular brand of glitz and glamour to the UK, then it did so in quite spectacular fashion at the start of July. And Bike Middle East was there to soak in the atmosphere.
The first round of the 2023 season started at Villa Park in Birmingham, UK, with an impressive show of riders and talent. After first filling the stadium with tonnes of dirt and converting the famous football stadium into full supercross track, the track designers came up with a layout that featured massive air, hugely technical sections and big corner speeds.
The event featured two main events, SX2 and WSX. Each event featured a group of top riders competing for pole and rank, as they made their way to a final three-race shootout. Best scores across the three races in each class won the opening round of the season. Each race was only about eight minutes long and happened within a few minutes of each other, so spectators are never short of action.
The WSX had a few riders battling for the win. Ken Roczen was the favourite, as in practice and heats he was usually a long way ahead, but for the actual super pole, Justin Hill pulled out a faster lap.
But three poor starts from Roczen meant he had to fight his way to the front. In Race 1 Ken dug deep to overtake the pack and catch up with first and take the win. In Race 2, it was a similar effort, except, he arrived at the finish line half a bike length behind Justin Hill, who took Race 2. Once again in race 3 Roczen worked his way through the pack, securing his lead with about 2 laps to go and taking the win once again.
In SX local hero Max Anstie mustered up some phenomenal support given the home location. He gave it his all and it all came down to race three, where Shane Mcelrath took the win even after a phenomenal battle with Enzo Lopes, who crashed out on the last race. Mcelrath took the overall win, with Anstie second and Lopes in third going into the next round.
A great evening, great event, so well done WSX. For Middle East off-road fans, the event at Yas Marina on the 4th of November is highly recommended, or indeed any of the other international races on the calendar.