Diggers use 10,000 tons of dirt to transform indoor arena for motorbike event

Brad Anderson

One of the freestyle riders at a previous event

First published in News
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The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A NORTH-East motocross star is aiming to fly high at one of the most exhilarating competitions the region has ever seen.

This weekend, the Garmin Arenacross Tour comes to the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.

More used to staging concerts by some of the biggest names in rock and pop, the Arena is being transformed into a nirvana for motorsport fans.

Taking the best elements of the outdoor sport, Arenacross condenses them into purpose-built dirt tracks, featuring massive jumps, bone-jarring moguls and banked corners.

Some of the sports biggest stars will be tackling the course - part of a seven-round series - including two-time European champion Fabien Izoird, American Tyler Villopoto, Australian Daniel McCoy and the defending champion, Britains Adam Chatfield.

In addition, local interest will be represented by multi-time British champion Brad Anderson, from Tow Law, County Durham, and Wallsend, North Tyneside, pair, Buster and Joele Hart.

Anderson suffered a hand-injury in a racing accident recently, but says he will forget any pain he may still be feeling once the gate drops.

I broke my hand about two months ago. It was a racing accident, I went over the handlebars and hit the floor, he said. It still isnt 100 per cent right, but it will be good enough. I have had loads of treatment on it, but you cant really do much because I have to fit my glove on, obviously.

There are those who think, due to his all-action riding style the Buildbase Honda rider might find life difficult on Sunday, but he begs to differ.

A lot of people think I am a bit of a wild rider, he said. I have done a couple of rounds of supercross before, but I havent done a full series. The ones I have done I have come first and second. People say I am not suited to it, but I think I am if I am getting first and second.

I will just have to go out there and prove them all wrong.

Anderson, 32, says Arenacross provides excitement for fans and riders alike.

You can see the whole track from where you are sitting, you see loads of action, its exciting to watch and it will be interesting to hear what people say afterwards if they havent been before, he said. Its something different. Hopefully, it could even get more people into motocross as well.

Its also exciting for the riders. You try to focus on your lines and getting your track right, but Newcastle is my local track, and Ill definitely be able to hear the crowd. Things like that fire you up, you feel more alive and you want it more.

The event is promoted by e22 Sports and managing director, Matt Bates said he cant wait for the action to start.

The fans went mad for Arenacross last year, he said. And I was determined to take it to the North-East in 2014. Its such a vibrant, exciting and colourful sport and Newcastle is the perfect city to showcase this incredible show.

For more details and ticket information go to www.arenacrossuk.com

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