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."