What a day at Desertmartin. A huge crowd estimated at 4,500 under clear blue sky and 25 degree sun, witnessed some great racing between some big GP names and local heroes.
It was probably the biggest crowd since 2000, Desertmartin’s British championship debut when Gordon Crockard was going for his first British title and was a mainstream star in the country.
Martin Barr, Graeme Irwin and the event itself unfortunately don’t get the same coverage in the mainstream media as Crockard’s era did, but the crowd still turned up in their thousands and the atmosphere was outstanding, with many riders commenting on passion of the local fans.
Special mention must also go to the track crew who had the place in pristine condition and, after a few years of poor weather, fully deserved the sunshine and huge crowd on hand to witness the great racing.
Riders mentioned the track was too fast initially after practice but by the final moto the track was offering challenges with MX2 winner Conrad Mewse commenting: “It was fast. When I walked the track I thought it was going to be wide-open but it surprised me. It got really rough and rutty and turned out to be amazing – the last race called for a lot of technique to be able to ride the track properly.”
Graeme Irwin and Martin Barr were the stars of the show with a lot of fans requesting their time. But both riders rode well even if Barr was unlucky to come together with Lewis Tombs at the start of race two that ruined his overall result after a second in race one.
Irwin had the crowd running from fence to fence as he reeled in Tommy Searle in race one and again as he hunted down Bobryshev for third in race two after a terrible start ruined his shot at the win. Irwin was pleased with his riding but disappointed at his poor starts not giving him a chance of winning the overall.
It was Tommy Searle’s day though. The Dixon Kawasaki man’s first win of the year and Tommy held strong under pressure at various points of race one and took advantage of Bobryshev crashing out of the lead in race two to make it a double victory. Searle said after he was back where he belongs, and the former GP winner should be able to bring that form to the second half of both the he British and GP seasons.
The most impressive man of the day was undoubtedly Conrad Mewse, the Hitachi ASA KTM rider seemed to be floating around the track all day and carrying speed that no-one else found as he won both motos by 30 seconds. Even Martin Barr admitted that Conrad was on another level at Desertmartin, and not many go much faster that Barr around there at a British championship! If Mewse can ride like that from now until the season’s end he shouldn’t be too far away from a GP podium.
The series now heads to another popular facility, Duns, but the Desertmartin’s British championship event in 2018 will live long in the memory for anyone that was there.