Interview: Martin Barr on his Desertmartin victory!

He did it the hard way, but Martin Barr finally got the win at Desertmartin he so badly wanted!

Despite a small crash in race two, Barr remounted and hunted down an impressive Mickey Eccles to make the crucial pass in a tense final lap to give him second in the race and the overall win to the delight of his home crowd!

Barr is up to second in the championship now, 41 points behind Ben Watson, but the Ballyclare man isn’t giving up on his title dream just yet.

We caught up with Martin, carrying that big winners trophy, after his podium presentation and the many photo requests, to get his thoughts on getting that prestigious Desertmartin win!

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Pretty much a perfect day, you finally got that overall at Desertmartin!

Yeah coming into Desertmartin you always have that added pressure and the way my season has been going it’s been a bit up and down. But I knew my preparation was right coming into it, and there was no reason I couldn’t. Qualifying was a bit of a nightmare with the red flags and yellow flags, I got third and it was fine, I had no stress about it. I knew it was still a good gate position.

First race I holeshot and Mickey passed me on the first lap. I didn’t panic, I knew it was going to be a long race and that my fitness was good. I started putting the pressure on him and could see he was making a few mistakes, so I made my move and I think I won it by nine seconds in the end. It was good to get that first one and get the monkey off my back as it were. It was nice to get it done.

In race two I was looking for something the same. I got a good start (holeshot), Mickey passed me and he put a big charge on and he disappeared. He was riding really well, I struggled the first couple of laps and then Ben Watson passed me, once he passed me I used my head and started doing the triple out the back but unfortunately I crashed the corner after the step-up.

So I was like, ‘frig not again.’ But I knew my fitness was good and I was thinking Mickey would maybe struggle a bit towards the end, so I kept plugging away and I could see I was catching him maybe two or three seconds a lap. I was watching my pit board and stuff and they were giving me how long was left, I knew I needed to pass him to get the overall win.

Once I seen it was coming, it kind of worked out perfect. I got unto the back of him on the last lap and made the pass halfway round and managed to get my first overall win here at Desertmartin so it’s fantastic. The crowd was brilliant and Billy and all the crew did a fantastic job with the track. My Buildbase Honda was great, I would have liked to have went 1-1 but I’m happy to go 1-2 and still get the overall.

The huge home crowd urge Barr on to victory! Pic: Nigel McKinstry

In the second moto Ben got you and as you said, you started doing the triple were there any doubts you just hucked it the next lap!

Not really, I just knew I had to do it to stay with him. It was a big, big jump, especially for a 250 once it started getting rough. It’s bits like that, that I like. It makes it more technical. Billy had a few issues with other riders saying the jumps were dangerous and all the rest of it, but it’s jumps like that where you can make up time and it sorts the men out from the boys.

No-one is telling us we need to do these jumps, so if you weren’t confident you didn’t do it. I really enjoyed the track, the weather was fantastic and I think everyone got a suntan today or got burnt! It’s been a good day and I’m really happy and hopefully I can keep this form going to the end of the year.

Barr’s starts were on point all day. Pic: Nigel McKinstry