Watson and Nicholls ready for Culham opener

10 February 2017

Go Back With the opening round of the 2017 Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship less than five weeks away thereís a sense of confident calm under the Hitachi KTM UK awning.

When the gate drops at Culham Moto Park on March 12 to signal the start of the series both Ben Watson and Jake Nicholls will be among the favourites for top honours.

Ben, who was sidelined for almost the entire 2016 season after breaking his foot at the Argentine GP, made his return to racing at last weekendís Hawkstone International where he was in impressive form.

After taking fourth in the opening MX2 moto he then came through the pack from 21st to 10th second time out Ė a stand-out performance for someone who hadnít raced since early April.

ďItís been a long 10 months and a lot of hard work,Ē he said. ďIíve been really busy with Harris and Ross Ė theyíve been getting my foot back to 100 per cent and keeping up with my fitness which Iím happy with.

ďAs much as Iíve wanted to get back on a bike as quick as possible it was a really bad break so Iíve had to be very patient and make sure that when I got back on a bike I was absolutely 100 per cent and my foot wasnít playing on my mind.

ďIíve been riding for about three months so Iíve had some decent time on the bike but no races because by the time I was ready to ride it was the end of the season.Ē

After such a long time out Ben went into Hawkstone with no expectations and heís adopting a similar approach to this yearís MX2 title fight.

ďThe British championship is a long season with eight rounds so I just want to go to the first few and get my bearings with where I am and how well my off-seasonís gone. Obviously, winning the championship is my ultimate goal.

ďI like Culham a lot. I hope itís well rotovated and gets rutty because around there it can either be really fast or get nice and technical and I think it will produce some good racing and lines if itís deep.Ē

Benís MX1 team-mate Jake was also downplaying his title ambitions although, after staying healthy through the off-season for the first time in a number of years, heís also got his eyes on the big prize.

ďI really enjoyed the British championship last year and obviously I want to win it and I think I can,Ē he said. ďIíll do my best and see how it goes. Iím looking forward to it.

ďI havenít raced at Culham for years but I like it and have always got on good there. Itís quite a technical track and should be rutty at this time of year so it should be good.Ē

Picture © Nuno Laranjeira

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