The Mallory Park track, on which the world's leading riders will do battle during this weekend's Motocross Grand Prix of Great Britain, has received the seal of approval from a number of visiting riders.

A whole host of riders, including Stephen Sword, Graeme Irwin, Brad Anderson, Scott Elderfield, Mel Pocock, Tom Church, Jason Dougan and CAS Honda's latest signing, Bryan Mackenzie, all rode parts of the track for the first time last week, and the overall feedback was extremely positive.

Although it wasn't possible to complete a full lap, as a number of sections were still under construction, they were able to sample some of the major features, on what is already been referred to as a very demanding track.

The KTM pairing of Stephen Sword and Graeme Irwin were the first out on track, putting on a display of synchronised whips over one of the doubles for the assembled photographers. While some riders were surprised at the number of jumps on the track, Irwin was in his element.

"The track definitely has some pretty sweet jumps," declared the Irish KTM rider. "It's the sort of track I like and some of it is great fun. I know some of the guys won't like having so many jumps, but it's good that it's not such an easy track to ride. My aim is to get two top 20 finishes at the Grand Prix and I know it's going to be really tough, but we'll hopefully have the support of the home fans to help us along."

Sword was very positive about the changes to the track compared to last year, and provided useful feedback on the overall design, which track builder Justin Barclay will take into account as he makes the final preparations in the run up to this weekend's grand prix.

"There's definitely been an improvement over last year," said Sword. "We pointed out a few further ways in which the track could be improved, but I think Gareth Hockey and his team already had these planned over the next few days anyway. It's not easy to build a track that the riders will like and the spectators will enjoy, but I have to say it's looking nice and I had a great time out there today. It's good that someone has taken hold of the Grand Prix and is doing such a mega job. Obviously my home race is very important to me, and it's definitely one I'd like to win."

CAS Honda team manager, Neil Prince, put in a few laps of the track, at a very respectable pace, before handing the bike over to Bryan Mackenzie, who will replace the injured Cedric Melotte in the team from the British Grand Prix onwards.

"Today was my first day riding the CAS Honda and I have to say I am very excited," commented Mackenzie, after his first outing on the factory Honda CRF450R. "For me it's been an interesting day, as it's the first time I've really worked with the team, and the bike felt really good. I really liked riding the track, but I'm a little bit nervous about racing in front of the home fans, especially as this will be my first Grand Prix since Sweden last year. I know it will be a really good weekend and this is where I want to be I hope on my debut as a CAS Honda rider I can make the most of it and do a good job."

Buildbase CCM rider Church raised a number of points about the track design during the rider debriefing session, which event organiser, Gareth Hockey, has added to the list of modifications to be made to the track over the next five days.

"The layout is a bit different to last year, with some different jumps, all of which look pretty good," declared Church, after his first foray onto the track. "The track isn't completely finished, so we only got to check out a few sections, but if they get the top covering of dirt right for the race then I'm sure it will be even better than it was last year.

"The RHL team have certainly made the best of the area available to them, despite the fact that it's quite flat, and there are just a few of the tight areas that need changing slightly ahead of the race.

"This is my home grand prix, so it's obviously a bit special as it's the biggest race of the year for us. It goes without saying that I'll be looking for a good result when we return here next weekend."

Church's team-mate Dougan was also positive about the track build and how things were progressing ahead of the British Grand Prix, at which the 22-year-old is also looking for a good result in front of the home fans.

"The track really is looking great, the soil is quite nice and it flows quite well so it's all good," commented Dougan. "The jumps are nice too, but I do think there's a lot going on with the amount of different sections in there. I know they still have some work to do to finish the track, and I hope that the feedback we've been able to give to the RHL track building team today has been useful.

"The British Grand Prix is an important race for me because of all the British fans who turn out every year to see us race. Obviously I want to do well, and I just hope that when we return here for the race next week I can put in two decent rides on the day," added the Portsmouth based rider.

Hockey, director of event promoters RHL Activities, was on hand to listen to feedback from all the riders, and has already incorporated many of the modifications suggested into the final build phase, which will be completed by today (Wednesday).

"The feedback from the riders has been really useful as we move into the final phase of the track build," he said. "We designed a track that will test the riders to the maximum, and judging from the comments yesterday, we've pretty much achieved that. Tom Church, together with Stephen Sword, was particularly helpful, suggesting changes to the layout that will make for some close and exciting racing.

"It's always difficult to build a track from scratch without any major natural topographical features to take advantage of, but everyone who rode yesterday was happy with the features we've built here, and confident that the track will only add to the spectacle for the spectators. We've got a few changes to make over the next few days, but the target now is to get the track completely finished by Wednesday, and we're pretty much on schedule to do that," said Hockey.

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