Hawkstone International Motocross: Bike spectacular is a roaring success - with pictures
It was a day of roaring engines, competitive racing and lots and lots of mud.
Thousands attended the annual Hawkstone International Motocross.
Riders descended on Hawkstone Park from across the globe including Estonia, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
Organiser Gary Ford said that about 120 riders came to Shropshire for the event.
“We’ve got some of the top Grand Prix riders of the world here today,” he added.
“The event has been running for about 15 years. The riders are getting some training in today ready for the world championships.
“There’s a youth race for riders aged 14 to 17, but a lot of the riders in the main races will be teenagers. We attract some of the world’s best riders here, it’s the first event of the season.
“A lot like to come here for the circuit, it brings people out who have had a break over the winter months.
“From the start line they do nought to 70mph in such a short period of time.”
Two school friends were pressed up to the edge of a fence trying to get a glimpse of the first riders as they made a jump over a hill and roared past in the mud.
Tadas Pagys had travelled to the event from Derby with his son Matijas and his school friend Harley Pearson.
Tadas, a 37-year-old shop fitter, said he brings his son every year.
“It’s one of the most exciting races in the UK and it’s one of the biggest,” he said.
“We’ve just come for the day as the boys have school tomorrow. I’m a big fan and so is Matijas and his school friend, so we all come together.”
“I take him to motocross and he takes me to football matches as he’s a bigger football fan.”
Matijas, aged seven, said he liked watching the riders go up the hills.
He said: “I’ve been on one before, it’s exciting to watch.”
“I also like it when sometimes the bikes splash mud in your face.”
Dave, 32, and Emma, 30, Girpham had brought their eight-year-old son Archie to the motocross from their Lincolnshire home. Dave said they come every year to the event.
“It’s just a good day out, you get to see some really good riders at a top track,” he added.“A lot of them are from up where we live so we come to support the riders.
“We come up for the day and then head back home.
“It might be freezing but it’s worth wrapping up warm for.
“We also go over to Belgium every year for a riding holiday.” Archie regularly takes part in motocross racing and started when he was six. He will be racing at Hawkstone Park in the coming weeks.
He said: “I think the riders are very good at hitting the jumps, my dream is to be a professional rider when I grow up.”
Some of the top MX1 riders on the day included Gautier Paulin from France, Jeffrey Herlings from Holland, Max Anstie and Tommy Searle from England, Glenn Coldenhoff from Holland and Evgeny Bobryshev from Russia.