The Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship circus arrived into the ‘desert’, with temperatures in the high 20’s and blue cloudless skies, the only thing missing was the sight of camels coming over the sandy hills in a heat mirage. The camels never materialised, but the sunshine remained constant.
Desertmartin, near Magherafelt, was the location for Round 5 and its second British Championship meeting of the year, having hosted the Quad & Sidecarcross Championship in April. The ‘desert’ proves itself, yet again to be a top class venue, along with the fact that this small island produces more than its fair share of motorcycle talent.
Anticipation was high amongst the partisan crowd that ‘local man’ Graeme Irwin, brother to Glen and Andrew of BSB fame, would be able to extend his championship lead in the MX1 class, they wouldn’t be disappointed. Graeme, riding for the Buildbase Honda Racing team, headed the practice time sheets and won race 1 after an early battle with Elliot Banks-Browne followed in by Gert Krestinov with CCM Racing backed, Stuart Edmonds coming home in 5th. It was much the same in race two, with Irwin dominating this race coming home 7 seconds clear of Brad Anderson with another third place for Krestinov, the unfortunate Edmonds suffering a mechanical issue causing a DNF. This double race win, emulating his round 4 result at Hawkstone Park, further extends Irwin’s lead in the championship to 39 points with only another 3 rounds remaining.
Fellow Northern Irishman and Buildbase teammat Martin Barr, was also under pressure to perform well at his ‘home’ race in the MX2 class. Third fastest in practice, just 0.59 seconds behind pacesetter Michael Eccles, bode well for the day ahead. Eccles, on a Kawasaki, led race one with Barr stalking him in the early stages of the race, later passing him to take the win with a 9 second cushion with Ben Watson in third. All was looking good looking good for race 2 with the crowds soaking up the sun’s rays and atmosphere. Barr took the holeshot in race 2 but a small mistake meant that he dropped behind KTM rider, Ben Watson and Eccles. A determined recovery and last lap pass on Eccles gave Barr a second place finish that moves him up to second spot in the MX2 championship.
With this result, Irwin’s success and the glorious weather, the Cookstown and District Motocross Club, who ran the event, could enjoy the celebrations after all the preparation work, and I’m sure they weren’t too worried about finding the missing camels!
Images by Autosportpics.com