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British Championship heads to Desertmartin

British Championship heads to Desertmartin
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The 2016 ACU MAXXIS British Motocross Championship powered by Pro Clean fourth round at Desertmartin is here, this weekend see’s the return of the best domestic motocross championship in Europe to the rider’s favourite circuit, the sandy Grand Prix track at Porters Pit Desertmartin on 12th June.
The ever enterprising Cookstown Club have picked up some local sponsorship from Tobermore Bricks and Paving and Scarlett DIY of Ballyclare to help promote this event, and are very grateful for their support
The good news is that the MX2 Class is led by Ballyclare man Martin Barr on the Buildbase Honda machine, the first time a ‘local’ has arrived here leading a Championship since the early 2000’s and Gordon Crockard’s heyday that famously made Desrtmartin ‘Crockard’s Playground’, but given Martin’s love of the track, and his record round there, it may become Barr’s Playground on Sunday!
Martin holds a six point lead over Apico Husqvarna rider Steven Clarke with his team mate Scottish veteran Bryan McKenzie third but he is 17 points adrift of Clarke, fourth is Jake Millward on his Verde Sport KTM, but in fifth is a real dark horse in Grand Prix rider Adam Sterry on the Wilvo Virus Performance KTM, Sterry missed the first round with a broken wrist but has since been a real threat for the win.
Added to these five are fast riders such as James Dunn riding for locally owned Hitachi Construction Equipment Husqvarna, Brad Todd who won here in March on his Planet Suspension Husqvarna, and another rider with Ulster connections, South African Veteran Neville Bradshaw on the Heads & All Threads Suzuki machine.
Local interest will be on wild cards Jason Meara on the Motul Oils Watt KTM, Jason currently focussing on the Spanish Championship will be looking to make his mark on his home circuit, and Belfast teenager James Mackrel on the Risk Racing GOMX Yamaha machine, these two are the class of the MX2 field at home, so should be able to put on a respectable showing at home.
Turning to the MX1 Class, defending Champ Scot Shaun Simpson leads fellow GP star Toomy Searle by 10 points, however, the Wilvo Virus Performance mounted Simpson broke bones in his right hand at the French GP last weekend which meant he had to sit out the race, so will this allow his English rival Searle on the DRT Cosworth Kawasaki to capatalise? 
The honorary Ulsterman Simpson is a tough cookie, and he loves the Desertmartin circuit, but is he tough enough to cope with the rough red sand?
Third place man in the Championship cannot be discounted either as this is held by Carrickfergus Buildbase Honda teamster Graeme Irwin, and he is another rider who grew up on the tough sand of the Desert, and he would like nothing more that tom top the podium at his home race in front of his army of fans, the popular Honda star is probably of the fastest riders in Europe on his day, and his wild ways on the track have long since passed as he has matured into a superb motocross rider with a great race head, so maybe we can have two podium toppers on Sunday?
Other local interest is with Dubliner Stuart Edmonds on the beautiful Metcon CCR TM machine, a hand built Italian thoroughbred machine which Stuart steered to an impressive treble at the opening Irish Championship round here in March, can he upset the applecart? It would be a popular upset for the likeable Dub if he did.
Championship regular Gary Gibson has switched to a S.Scott & Sons/Watt Kawasaki for 2016 and has been on impressive form at home, but Championship success has eluded him so far, hopefully this can be a turning point for the Ballgowan man.
But, this is a class packed with talent, with Tanel Leok the fast Estonian only 12 points behind Irwin on his MVRD 10K Fuel Husqvarna, Jake Nicholls back from injury and riding for Roger Magee’s Hitachi Construction Machinery Husqvarna squad at GP’s too, Kristian Whately, the 2013 Champ on the Builbase Honda, Gert Krestinov the flying Latvian on the Phoenix Tools Honda, and Elliot Banks Browne on the Geartec Yamaha, as well as veteran crowd pleaser Brad Anderson on his Verde Sport KTM, this will be a real dog fight of a race.
The MXY2 Championship for Youth riders is a support class for 2016, but that does not mean that the youngsters are cruising, currently led by James Carpenter on his Holeshot MX Honda, Henry Williams is 18 points behind on his RFX KTM, while Michael Ellis chases him only 7 points adrift and only one point clear of George Grigg-Pettit on the Carl Nunn KTM.
There is so much to look forward to at the fourth round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship in Northern Ireland, which will be taking place at Desertmartin on the 12th of June. BT45 5QW is the postcode. Come along and support the home riders, it’s their only opportunity to have the extra help the crowd supplies, so lets give them all the help we can!!!!
Practice starts at 9:00am, the first race starts at 11.55am. Adults are £20 and Children are £5. – See more at:
Article: Malcolm Beattie

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