BROMSGROVE racer Dan Arkell has made a rapid rise in less than two years of motocross, and now prepares to compete in the British Championship against some of the best riders in Britain.
The recently turned 15-year old, a pupil at South Bromsgrove High School, has emerged as one of the fastest junior motocross riders in the country, a mere 20 months since starting out as a complete rookie in the sport in July 2017.
Arkell’s first experience of riding a motocross bike was with a 15-year old 85cc Kawasaki that he used to practice riding on in the field, before taking the bike onto a motocross practice track.
Taking to the track once a fortnight at two tracks in Weatheroak and in nearby Grafton, the youngster built an enjoyment for the sport that continued to grow, building enough speed to race in a slower adult group.
A winter championship held at Wilden Lane near Stourport in Autumn 2017 proved a turning point in Arkell’s budding career in motocross.
Riding a 2013 KTM bike during the seven-round event, Arkell came out on top to win the title around December that year, beating more experienced club racers in the process.
He followed that success up with a Spring championship title in 2018, and attributed his rapid growth to the experience he gained at the Wilden Lane course – which proves a challenge even for the more seasoned riders.
Arkell and his family have credited Simon White, from Weatheroak MX, and Tom Arnold, who runs the Wilden Lane winter championships, for allowing him his first opportunity to race in a competitive environment.
Nick Arkell, the father of Dan, then entered his son into the BSMA Nationals, telling him that it was no disgrace should he finish last during his first outing at the tournament.
Racing in the 85cc Big Wheel class, featuring some very experienced riders, would have been enough to intimidate many novices.
But after finishing 27th from 40 starters in the first race, he was posting a third place finish by October in the Nationals, and beginning to build a reputation for himself.
Continuing to build his way into the sport, he then rode in the under-16 class in the Bridgestone British Masters, earning the opportunity to race at Hawkstone Park, despite joining part-way through the season.
The Bromsgrove racer upped his sessions every Saturday and Sunday, including Wednesday’s during school holidays, as his participation in national and club racing events grew.
His journey to date has taken him all-across the land, from Cornwall to the East Coast, from Middlesbrough to Preston and everywhere in between, earning him sponsor by electronics company PSU Designs Ltd.
The past few months have been equally as successful for Arkell, winning the 2018/19 winter championship, mixing it up with the top ten riders in Britain in the under-16’s Spring events and maintaining placings in the top two positions.
He is now gearing up to race in the British Championship, which is contested over six rounds and 24 races in England and Ireland – pitting the best riders in the UK and Ireland against each other on some of the most difficult motocross tracks.
Additionally, he will be pitting his wits in the prestigious MX Nationals, and returns to contest both the Bridgestone British Masters and BSMA Nationals.
2019 will be one of the biggest year’s to date for Arkell, but will no doubt lay a key foundation for his career in the sport.