Interview: Graeme Irwin!

With no racing since his shoulder injury at the MXDN last September, Graeme Irwin was thrown straight into the deep end with his first race back the first round of the British championship – and a wet one on a technical Culham circuit at that!

But Irwin performed well, coming from 20th sixth in a blistering lap and a half in race one to what looked like a possible third only for a crash to force Irwin to settle for fourth. He took a solid third in race two to give him second overall and a very solid start to his British championship campaign on the Buildbase Honda.

We caught up with the popular Irishman to get his take on his first race of the 2017 season.

Gatedrop: Graeme, it was a good first round for you, can you talk me through your day?

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Graeme Irwin: Yeah, the first moto was really difficult because I did get a bad start. I don’t think anyone was really coming through the pack. I came up from about twelfth and got myself up to fourth. In the second moto I had a much better start but you know today is my first proper race since the Motocross of Nations. I didn’t do so much in pre-season so I’m a little bit behind because of the shoulder injury I had and now it’s good but I just have to catch up with a little bit of riding.

I’m really pleased today and especially with the conditions, you could have easily walked away from today with two disasters. Obviously, I had good speed because there was no one really that was passing lots so yeah, second overall – all good.

Gatedrop: You spent some time in Italy during pre-season, how did that go for you?

Graeme Irwin: Yeah, it went really good. Obviously, I didn’t race any of the races out there as I wasn’t ready. I just started riding the bike before I went out there. I struggled quite a bit at the start and I still wouldn’t say I am 100% but I just have to keep the head up and keep working.

Gatedrop: Shaun Simpson isn’t doing the series this year and Tommy Searle was missing from the first round but would you rather those guys be here as it would help your speed and improve you as a rider?

Graeme Irwin:  Yeah, definitely. Well, I do know that Tommy is going to be back here. Jake (Nicholls) is riding really good at the minute, it’s the start of season for him too but he has a couple of GP’s under his belt. I think it will still be as deep, I think Jake is fast and he will win races but I think we are as quick as Jake so whether they are here or not, it doesn’t make too much of a difference.

Gatedrop: What’s your goals for your season in this championship and the MX National championship?

Graeme Irwin:  The goal is to just do the best I can and ride the best that I can at every round. That should put us in a good spot at the end of the season.

Gatedrop: Any plans to do any MXGP races this year and if so what rounds?

Graeme Irwin: Yes, we are planning to do three or four rounds at least but I’m not too sure which ones yet. I need to discuss it with the team.

Dave Thorpe was happy with Irwin’s first round performance but knows there is still room for improvement, “Graeme is still on the climb back and I’m pretty pleased with him although I’m disappointed and surprised that Brad [Anderson] got him in the second race.”