POWER MAXED ARENACROSS TOUR RETURNS TO NEWCASTLE
2018 sees the welcome return of Arenacross to Newcastle after a year’s break, and so anticipation is set to be at an all-time high. AX is unique in that it attracts a bevy of international racers, at the very top of their game, to contest the only indoor British Motocross Championship - nationalities include French, Italian, German, Russian, Dutch, Finnish, Australian and, of course, British – and the majority of them will be making their maiden visit to Newcastle. The atmosphere is set to be electrifying as these guys take no prisoners; they’re racing to win AX glory and will let nothing stand in their way – be prepared for plenty of close and intense bar-bashing and tears before bedtime!
The opening round of the Tour, last weekend in Manchester, was full of surprises with many leading contenders finding themselves at the bottom of the pile and having to fight for a place in the final via the last chance qualifier. The main protagonists made it through, which made for an exhilarating Main Event, with an all-French podium of Buildbase Honda’s Charles Lefrancois and SR75 Suzuki’s Cyrille Coulon and Thomas Ramette. Racing battle lines were drawn, and the scene is set for a showdown at Newcastle.
Amongst the glitz and razzmatazz of the three-and-a-half-hour evening show, a couple of local lads will take centre stage as they prepare to do battle with their racing compatriots and bring their respective class trophies home to the North East.
Buster Hart, a 14-year-old seasoned motocross racer from Newcastle, will re-enter the arena for the first time since 2014, when he contested and won the mini 65cc category. Hart set out his stall at Manchester when he finished a very close second in his ultra-competitive Supermini class. The Farringdon Community Sports College student is focussing on one thing only now, and that’s to go all out and win in front of what he hopes will be a partisan crowd. “I love racing Arenacross and, whilst my goal is to win the series, it would be really special to stand on the top step of the podium at Newcastle as there’s nothing like having a home crowd cheer you on.” Looking ahead to the weekend and his chances of home turf success, Hart added; “don’t worry, I’ve got this!”
Contesting Arenacross for the very first time will be 10-year-old Ryan Waggott from Carlisle. The 65cc racer is the newly-crowned North East 65cc Champion. He has a big group of racing friends from the Newcastle who will be cheering him on from the trackside as well as family and schoolfriends from Fir Ends Primary School in Smithfield. Waggott was hooked on Arenacross from the age of seven and can’t wait to get out on the tight and twisting man-made circuit to live the dream. “This will be my first year doing Arenacross. Fingers crossed it will be a good one, and I can make the North East Motocross Club proud!” Waggott struggled with his starts at the Manchester opener last week, but with an extra week’s practice under his belt, he’s confident he can rocket off the line at Newcastle.
Interspersing the racing, with three sets of high-flying Freestyle motocross shows, will be a team of FMX greats, with the UK’s Dan Whitby, Arran Powley, Samson Eaton and Nez Parker getting up close and personal with new-to-AX Aussie Ryan Brown, and making a star appearance, the one and only Jamie Squibb.
When these reprobates get into the flow, with their flips, whips, and tricks all performed some 60’ high and without a safety net in sight, there is no telling what will happen. The louder the roar of the crowd, the more outrageous the performance.
There are a range of different prices tickets now on sale, with child prices from £16, adults from £27 and family tickets from £78. Anyone looking for an incredible family night out in the gloomy month of January should visit www.arenacrossuk.com or www.metroradioarena.co.uk/events/arenacross-tour-2018 or call the Box Office on 0844 493 6666.
2018 Tour Dates
Saturday 13th January, The Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Saturday 20th January, The Genting Arena, Birmingham
Friday 26th January, The SSE Arena, Belfast
Saturday 27th January, The SSE Arena, Belfast
Saturday 10th February, FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
Saturday 17th February, The SSE Arena, Wembley
Friday 3rd March, Ethias Arena, Hasselt, Belgium
Saturday 4th March, Ethias Arena, Hasselt, Belgium
Saturday 10th March, The Esprit Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany – AX World Tour Finals
1. AX newcomer Charles Lefrancois dominated the Pro class at Manchester.
2. Newcastle's Buster Hart took a strong second at Manchester and is aiming for AX glory at Newcastle.
3. Ryan Waggott is contesting his first-ever Arenacross; he's looking for the support of his home crowd at Newcastle.
4. Aussie Ryan Brown is enjoying his first AX Tour and impressing the crowds.