Crendon FASTRACK Honda Rider Conrad Mewse Wins British MX1 2023 Championship
It was a double celebration for the Crendon Fastrack Honda team as Conrad Mewse and Josh Gilbert took the top two places in the 2023 British MX1 championship, with the title going down until the very last moto of the season in a thrilling end to a dominant year.
Tackling the new Monster Mountain circuit in South Wales, the Honda CRF450R riders faced everything from scorching heat and humidity to a massive mid-race downpour in the first heat that saw Mewse hit the ground twice. But he bounced back to totally dominate the final race to take his first MX1 championship in his first full season in the 450 class. And Gilbert ended up second in the series – his best ever MX1 championship result.
All smiles from Josh Gilbert, Conrad Mewse and team manager Dave Thorpe after a successful season
Mewse, fastest in qualifying, took a 25-point lead into the first race and knew if he beat Gilbert, the title would be his. But Gilbert took the holeshot and led from Harri Kullas while Mewse went wide on the start and ended up fighting his way through to third place.
He started to reel in the leading duo and recorded the fastest lap of the race, setting up a three-way fight for the title, until a torrential downpour hit the hilltop circuit. Kullas managed to get past Gilbert for the lead, but Mewse went down. He picked himself up then crashed again, twisting the front of the bike.
He pulled to the side of the track briefly and managed to knock it straight, then continued in a safe third place – taking the title down to the final race.
Gilbert led the opening race until the heavy rain came
As the gate dropped for the climax of the season, Mewse rode hard and fast and exiting the second turn he took the lead. Kullas gave chase but the 24-year-old Brit was in no mood for playing it safe as he romped to the win, setting a lap time more than half a second quicker than anyone.
Gilbert didn’t have the best start and battled hard to pass Ivo Monticelli for third as the track became more difficult to pass on as it was so rutted. The 25-year-old Gilbert took until the penultimate lap to make it into third, which cemented his result as second in the championship.
Mewse picks through the ruts after the rain
It also meant the record-breaking podium record for both riders was unbroken, as Mewse and Gilbert have been together on the podium at every national-level championship round this season – all seven British championship rounds and all six of the MX Nationals. Mewse and Gilbert were also first and second in the MX Nationals series in a year of total dominance for Crendon Fastrack Honda in the UK. Honda also won the manufacturer’s award.
Mewse and the Crendon Fastrack Honda team celebrate the title win
Mewse said: “It’s still sinking in that I’m 2023 British motocross champion as well as MX Nationals champion. Two for two and it’s amazing. I’m over the moon.
“Harri and Josh made it difficult for me and when we’re that close in pace it’s hard to pass. A massive congrats to Josh too – we’ve been together on the podium at every round and he’s kept me on my toes.
“Today I crashed a couple of times in the first race when the downpour came. It was raining so heavily, so I thought I didn’t want to take any risks so just bring it home a safe third. I eased off a bit and then had two silly crashes which beat me up quite a bit.
“Then in the second race I was determined to win even though I just really needed to get to the finish. I got a solid start, rode my own race and I knew I could control the race from there as my fitness wouldn’t be a problem. And the bike was fantastic. This is a dream team for me, the bike’s incredible and the team do so much work behind the scenes that people don’t see. And it was so nice to have my girlfriend and family here to be with me on this special day.”
Gilbert, in front in the first moto
Gilbert said: “Overall I’ve had a mega year, been consistent, and my speed has increased for sure. It’s been a massive step in the right direction. It’s my best ever result in MX1, although I was second in MX2 a few years ago.
“This season I’ve been happy with the progress we’ve been making and the 100% podium record is such a good thing for the team. So I’d like to give a massive thanks to Dave Thorpe, my mechanic and the whole team.”
Mewse gets a champagne shower after taking the title
Team manager, triple world 500 champ Dave Thorpe said: “It’s been a great championship with Conrad, Josh and Harri Kullas, and I think the fastest guy won. Conrad is a champion through and through. Josh has ridden amazingly well, the CRF450R has performed unbelievably well and we are all really happy to be first and second in the championship, and also in the MX Nationals that finished last week.
“As well as the riders, it’s the people behind the scenes who are the real heartbeat of this team and I’m really proud of all of them.”
Mewse dedicated his title win to a friend who lost his battle against cancer last week
Also having a successful end to the season was Tru7 Honda Racing Academy rider Callum Green in the MX1 class. Coming back to high-level motocross this year after several seasons blighted with injuries, Honda CRF450R rider Green had a pair of solid motos in the tough conditions. Battling with riders like experienced veteran Martin Barr, he took 13th then 12th place finishes for 12th overall – his best results of the year. That meant he moved up five places in the overall MX1 championship for 20th overall.
Conrad Mewse and Josh Gilbert race again for Crendon Fastrack Honda in the Motocross of Nations at Ernee in France in four weeks where they have been chosen to represent Team GB.
Callum Green took 12th overall – his biggest points haul of the season
ACU British MX1 championship final standings:
1 Conrad Mewse Crendon Fastrack Honda 303
2 Josh Gilbert Crendon Fastrack Honda 275
3 Harri Kullas 272
4 Tristan Purdon 163
5 John Adamson 152
6 Evgeny Bobryshev 150
7 James Carpenter 141
8 Brad Todd 140
9 Tom Grimshaw 123
10 Tommy Searle 118
20 Callum Green Tru7 Honda Academy Honda 19
Round seven results:
1 Harri Kullas 47
2 Conrad Mewse Crendon Fastrack Honda 45
3 Josh Gilbert Crendon Fastrack Honda 42
4 Ivo Monticelli 36
5 John Adamson 30
6 Tristan Purdon 29
7 Tom Grimshaw 28
8 Jamie Carpenter 27
9 Brad Todd 25
10 Zack Williams 23
12 Callum Green Tru7 Honda Academy Honda 17
Pure joy as Mewse is congratulated by his mechanic Rob Boseley