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Arenacross Team Shake-Up

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The eagerly awaited 2017 Arenacross Tour opens in Manchester on Saturday 7th January and, with only a matter of days to go until the AX insanity descends on the North West, there are still some final nips and tucks being made to the Pro rider line-up.

We all know that AX doesn’t stand still and, even as the riders take to the start line, there are usually some last-minute tweaks. But, as the country heads towards the festive season, there are a few major changes on the Pro class front that will shake things up a bit.

The biggest switch in the AX transfer-window is that of the 2013 Pro champ, Adam Chatfield.The ‘Ginger Ninja’ returns to his solid Buildbase Honda team under the guidance of multi-British and World MX champ Dave Thorpe. Chatfield was set to run under the FRO Systems PAR Elite banner, whilst 2014 AX champ Fabien Izoird was due to head up the Buildbase team. When a collarbone injury, in the final rounds of the French SX championship, ruled out Izoird, Chatfield was an obvious choice to step back into the Honda-supported team.

Commenting on the changes, Thorpe said; “As a team, we are devastated for Fabien as he’s been riding for Honda in Europe and was looking forward to racing with Honda in the UK for the first time. However, we’re delighted to welcome Adam back to the fold as, personally, I’ve worked with him since he was seven-years-old. He won AX in 2013 and then, in the 2016 AX championship, he recovered from a slow start to get on the podium at the last three rounds and win the electrifying final at Wembley.

Replacing Chatfield on the FRO Systems PAR Elite team is 22-year-old French hot-shot Gaetan Le Hir. He was the 2011 French Junior SX champion and since 2012 has been in the top five of the French SX Lites class – he finished third this year. Of his new team, he said; “The team looks motivated, and they are preparing me the bike that I want. It all sounds good!”

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Elsewhere, Frenchman Romain Biela will partner Aussie Jay Wilson in the I-Fly JK Yamaha team. Wilson is touted to be something of an SX ace, yet hasn’t raced in the UK before. Unassuming Biela has ridden in each year of AX since 2013, but has only completed once full series in 2015, when he finished seventh overall. Team boss and MX coach Dickie Dye is sure to mould these guys into racing titans.

Manchester is selling out fast so, before it’s too late …. Buy Tickets

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