A 20-year-old Motocross champion wowed former fellow students and teachers during a visit to Heathfield Community College last week.
Local star, Mel Pocock described hair-raising moments to young fans and showed off his famous Cosworth-powered Yamaha YZ 250F bike.
Mel is currently the new European EMX250 Champion as he defied a smashed rear brake to steer the bike to fourth position in the first moto of the final round of the EMX series and in the process become Britain’s first ever European champion.
Mel studied at Heathfield Community College from 2003 to 2008 and attended the Sports Awards Evening as guest of honour which celebrated the many sporting achievements of Heathfield students.
As Champion, Mel made history this year by winning six of the seven meetings outright and on his way he travelled to France, Holland, Latvia, Russia, the UK, Czech Republic and finally Italy.
At 20 he is living his dream which began when he rode his first powered machine straight into a hedge.
By six he was racing competitively at local tracks and by 14 had won the UK Elite World Championships. Mel trained for three years and raced at the top level, breaking into the points in the World Championship. He took a year out to race in the UK before signing a professional contract with Yamaha to ride in the European and British Championships. Next year he travels to 15 countries for the world Grand Prix series including races in Brazil, Thailand and Doha. He visited the College to show off his race bike and thank the school for encouraging him to the top of his chosen profession.
Mel Pocock features in the October edition of the sport’s leading magazine, ‘Moto’ where his biography and pictures occupy six pages in full colour.
Writer Adam Wheeler says: ‘Pocock is red hot; there is little doubt about that. The new European EMX250 champion - and by the time you read this likely British Champion too - is almost indistinguishable from the meek and weedy eighteen year old that wore a worried expression on frquent occasions during a touch second MX2 GP year in 2010. Pocock has taken his always evident talent and found the right mixture to become a winner in incredible fashion.’
Asked about his family, Mel said “Mum has been supportive. Dad has sometimes been a right nightmare but this year he has backed down a lot and is now watching his son - the one that he put so many hours and money into - giving something back. He has been hard on me sometimes but we have never fallen out. He has made me what I am and if he wasn’t the way he is then I wouldn’t be here.”