The Arenacross UK series launched in Belfast with some of Ireland’s finest riders on show building up to the series kick-off Belfast on the 18th and 19th of January at the SSE Arena.

Organiser of the event Matt Bates said: “The first night in Belfast in 2019 will be our 31 Arenacross event here and we will have had 150,000 spectators and that means it’s by far the biggest indoor event in the UK. This is the home of indoor motocross as far as I’m concerned.

“We will have more riders in Belfast from Northern Ireland than we have ever had, we might have Graeme ( depending on fitness), we have Martin Barr, Glenn McCormick and  James Mackrel who is a rising star in this country and with the races he does in Britain.”

Graeme Irwin (left) and Martin Barr (right) with AXUK organiser Matt Bates  Pic: J McCready

“There will be a Team Green super-mini cup this year that features the 12 best riders from the UK all on KX85 machinery and Drew McCreanor was picked in that top 12, not because he is form Northern Ireland but because he is one of the best riders. All on the same bikes, the riders in the same kit, it will look amazing, they rode in an indoor track yesterday in Cornwall and that was really good.

“In the 65cc class you will remember Philip McCullough racing and his two sons, Cole and Robbie, are taking part in the 65 class so you have (Irish) representation in every class and that is a dream come true for us.

Cole and Robbie McCullough Pic: J McCready

“We come over here and there are a huge amount of riders with real talent on bike and where they go whether it be off-road or the Jonathan Rea route, I remember in 2003 or 2004 him winning here (in Arenacross) in what was a rookie class and look where he has gone. Motocross is the breeding ground for riders to go to tarmac or stay on the dirt.”

Glenn McCormick will be back for more AX action. Pic: J McCready

More racing in 2019 promises to keep the action high with three races in the Pro and Pro Lites category plus a special event unique to Belfast the All-Ireland Cup.

“We realise there were a number of riders who raced in the national series who maybe don’t race in England like Graeme or Martin,” explained Bates, “so we are getting the 450 and 250 riders from here and qualify them on their own race series, during the day on a Friday they will qualify up to 48 riders down to 12 to race on the Friday and Saturday night.”

The whole AX UK event has really had a big shake-up for the 2019 edition and with even more top quality riders coming from all around the world plus more racing, it should make for some explosive action throughout the six round series!

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