Barr, Irwin and Whatley talk Hawkstone!
Buildbase Honda Racing’s Martin Barr topped the MX2 podium at round three of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship supported by Pro Clean and now leads the series after a commanding performance at Hawkstone Park on Sunday.
A bad start in the opening moto meant the Irishman was forced to dig deep as he came from outside the top 10 on the opening lap to third at the flag and he backed this up with a dominant win on his CRF250R in race two. He now heads the MX2 class by six points and will carry the red series leader’s plate into his home round at Desertmartin in three weeks time.
“Obviously it’s been a fantastic day for me,” he said. “Race one was pretty tough. I didn’t get a great start and was around 12th after the first lap so I got my head down, pushed hard and fought my way through to third. At the flag Adam Sterry was right in front of me – if we’d had another lap I could’ve got second.
“I changed my gate position for race two and got a fantastic start just behind Mel Pocock. I followed him for a bit but once I got to the front I put the hammer down and I won it by almost 20 seconds.
“I’ve got the red plate now going into my home race at Desertmartin and for sure I intend to hang onto it until the end of the season.”
Martin’s team-mate Lewis Trickett enjoyed his best result of the championship so far with two solid results seeing him end the day eighth overall in MX2 with 11-8 moto finishes.
“Qualifying went well and I was seventh which is where I feel I should be but I made hard work for myself in the points-paying races,” he said. “I had a good start in the opener and was running comfortably inside the top 10 when I lost the front end. I lost a couple of place, got them back and then crashed again.
“In the second race I didn’t get a great start but worked my way through the pack so it’s been a pretty solid day. There are definitely some things I need to work on but today has seen more improvement so I’m pretty happy.”
The team’s MX1 riders Graeme Irwin and Kristian Whatley had a tough day in the testing Shropshire sand on their pair of CRF450Rs. Graeme held onto third in the championship table with 4-4 race finishes but Kristian suffered from arm-pump in both races and slipped to sixth in the standings with a 5-7 card.
“I qualified third which I’m happy enough with,” said Graeme, “but I went down in the first race. I got back to fourth and matched that finish in race two but the top three guys definitely had a bit of an edge today.”
Former champion Kristian was clearly disappointed with his performance after fading in the closing stages of both races.
“I’m having trouble with my bike set-up,” he said. “It’s really frustrating me right now. I was fighting with the bike all the time and got bad arm-pump. I was struggling to hold on and just didn’t feel safe pushing hard.”
There were mixed emotions for team owner Dave Thorpe.
“Martin was exceptional today,” he said. “He was properly prepared and rode very well and deserves to carry the red plate into his home round. Lewis was solid too and showed his true potential for the first time today – it’s just a shame he didn’t get a better start in the second race.
“It was a tough day for Graeme and Kristian and there are no excuses – right now they’re not fast enough and Shaun [Simpson], Tommy [Searle] and Jake [Nicholls] were in a different league today.
“We’ve got three weeks before Desertmartin so we need to go away, regroup and try to find some answers.”