Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
No, it’s three daredevils flying through the air on 100kg motorcycles!
Sheffield’s Tudor Square was transformed into an adrenalin-charged sports arena as the stars of Arenacross, which is coming to the Motorpoint Arena next year, treated the city to an exclusive preview.
The three riders did their best to out-do one another, as they flipped and dived more than 50m above the appreciative crowd, giving a tantalising taste of the death-defying stunts in store at the arena show on February 15.
Matt Bates, managing director of V22, who ran the event, said: “The indoor offspring of Motocross racing, Arenacross, takes the most spectacular elements of outdoor MX, boils them down into a concentrated cocktail and then shoehorns them into arenas on to purpose-built, jump-infested dirt tracks.
“We’re here in Sheffield today to give just a taster of what’s coming. If you think this is scary today, you need to be at that arena next year to see them jumping 15 metres higher in the air and upside down – I’m telling you, this is nothing compared to the tricks they’ll have up their sleeves then!”
And one member of the crowd who was taking it all in was 11-year-old George Simpson, of Barnsley, who has only been racing bikes for less than two years, but has already begun to impress rivals at Yorkshire-based White Rose MXC where he’s a regular competitor.
Now George, a pupil at Bank End Primary School, has been invited to join the riders of Arenacross in Sheffield to show off some of his best moves in front of his home crowd.
George said: “I don’t really know what to expect because I’ll be racing against some very fast riders. I don’t think I’ll win the races but I just want to take it all in and enjoy the experience.
“I’m very excited about racing in Arenacross. These guys here today are amazing, they jump so high. There are some jumps in the stuff I’ll be doing next year, but nothing like this. I’d love to one day be doing these kinds of jumps and stunts – though the idea makes my mum nervous!”
Dan Whitby, one of the three riders taking part in the display, said: “Jumping in the middle of a crowded city centre is super-exciting and on the rare occasions we get to do it we always go that little bit harder and higher.”
The Motorpoint Arena will be the sixth stop of the seven-arena tour next year.
For ticket information, visit www.arenacrossuk.com