It was the opening round of the 2017 IMBA MX1 European Championship last Sunday and making the 1,000 mile plus trip to Grenaa in Denmark and fly the flag for Team AMCA Great Britain were Edward Briscoe, Luke Burton, James Dodd and Andrew Smart.
As expected, the battling Brits were greeted by a deep, gnarly sand track but undaunted they certainly gave it their all in three ultra-tough motos. The end result was a superb podium in 3rd overall for Luke Burton(FUS FRO CPS Husqvarna), a great 6th overall for Edward Briscoe(Honda), 10th James Dodd(FUS FRO CPS Husqvarna and 14th for IMBA debutant Andrew Smart(MX ANSA TRM Honda). In moto one at Grenaa it was home star Jim Sorensen taking the honours with Burton chasing him all the way as the Brits excelled in this IMBA opener. Getting past the flag in a strong 4th was Dodd with Briscoe 7th and Smart 9th.
In the second clash of the day, Sorensen again quickly moved into top slot as Burton rapidly reeled him in. However just as the Brit was about to strike, an out of control backmarker wiped the FUS Husky ace out! Quickly back on board, Burton regained his composure to still somehow bag another 2nd spot. For his FUS teammate Dodd though this was to be a particularly painful encounter when a recently dislocated shoulder decided to again pop out of its joint, thus restricting him to 19th place finish. For Briscoe it was much happier news as he put in another storming ride and add more big Championship points to the early board by bagging a great 6th as Smart was 22nd.
Gating in 3rd in the final moto of the day, Burton was on a mission and definitely after that race win only to lose early ground on Sorensen when yet again being knocked off by a fellow competitor. This time though there was to be front end damage to his bike and after being forced to then straighten his bent handlebars lost more vital time on the leading pack. Starting the long climb back up through the field, another fall halted his progress and with it any hopes of being first past the chequered flag. So after a sterling comeback it was a final 6th for Burton, one place behind the ultra-impressive Briscoe as Dodd took a brave 10th and Smart 15th. Proving the total commitment of these European glory chasers, they’re off on their travels again this weekend, making another massive trek down to the South of France for round two!
Overall top ten 1 Jim Sorensen(Denmark) 180 points 2 Nicolaj Damsgaard(Denmark) 154 3 Luke Burton 151 4 Frederic Weigert(Belgium) 136 5 Jarno Verhorevoort(Holland) 133 6 Edward Briscoe(GB) 129 7 Daniel Huser(Switzerland) 115 8 Menno Van Meer(Holland) 112 9 Emil Krog(Denmark) 105 10 James Dodd(GB) 104. 14TH Andrew Smart(GB) 82.