Interview: Martin Barr – Belfast Arenacross highs and lows

Apico Husqvarna’s Martin Barr had a superb Friday night in front of his home crowd to get fourth in the main event with a podium in his sights but Saturday night was a tough one to swallow after a crash in the heat meant Barr was in the LCQ and, with only the winner going through, Barr’s second place meant he just missed out on the chance to race the main and add to his points tally in the championship.

But Barr is still top ten in the points and we caught up with the local favourite to get his take on his home event.

Fantastic night last night, but you were so close to getting into the main tonight, missed it by one spot, a bit of a ying and yang weekend for you.

Yeah, disappointing. Yesterday was really good, obviously no prep going into it, very little prep and I started off rusty so I didn’t think I was going to make the final. Once the racing came, it just clicked with me again and I rode a lot better and managed to get straight through to the final. To finish fourth in the final last night, I was absolutely buzzing about it.

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That gave me a lot of confidence and stuff for today and this morning started off really well, I took like a second off my lap time and closed it right down on the top guys. My first heat went well and I ended up third but the second heat is where it went downhill, I spun off the gate and then down the first rhythm section, Tommy made a mistake and came across and I had to roll the section and then I went down. Once I got up I was trying too hard, I wasn’t getting the jumps right and I was just losing time, so it’s frustrating.

Then I went into the head-to-head and the team manager was saying it was totally different racing tonight in the head-to-head. Last night it was actually racing, tonight it was rolling round looking over your shoulder, blocking. To me that is not racing, it’s not good for the spectators. It was frustrating I got put out.

Then the last chance didn’t get a good start and you need to get the start. I rode alright and came up to second but it’s just frustrating. After a fourth last night I was fourth in the championship and now not getting in tonight it’s going to muck up the championship for the rest of the series. But I’m out in one piece, and looking forward to Aberdeen next weekend. My Apico Husqvarna worked fantastic, my mechanic Ian Marshall had everything ready for me so it’s been a positive start to the season. I can’t dwell on tonight too much not making the final. We live to fight another day.

That LCQ at times is like a mini main event yet only one guy gets through, do you think they should let at least two in?

It’s intense, whoever wins the race gets in – maybe if it was a little bit longer. It is what it is, disappointment, but at the same time I know I have the pace and I am getting faster.

Interview: Jonathan McCready

Images: Nigel McKinstry