Irish MXoN Stories: Wayne Garrett

Wayne Garrett had a lot of success during his racing career with multiple Irish and Ulster championships to his name, it’s hard to believe he only represented Ireland once at the Motocross Des Nations. If it wasn’t for picking up injuries at the wrong time he’d have certainly went on plenty of other occasions.

Unfortunately, towards the end of Garrett’s career he crashed and got ran over, as a result he’s in a wheelchair but he’s still got lots of passion for the sport as he attends plenty of races and tries to get to some MXGP World Championship rounds every year as well as the Motocross Des Nations.

We caught up with Garrett to discuss the 2007 Motocross Des Nations when he represented Ireland.

Gatedrop: What year(s) did you represent Ireland at the Motocross Des Nations and at what tracks/countries?

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Garrett: I represented Ireland in 2007 at Budds Creek in America.

Gatedrop: The first time you got the call to represent Ireland at this event, how did it feel to get selected?

Garrett: Getting the call is always special to be part of the team and being part of the whole nations atmosphere from the in side.

Gatedrop: What top riders where you up against from other countries to give people an idea of the level – do you remember which nation and individual riders that won (also who were your Irish team mates)?

Garrett: At Budds Creek there were a lot of top riders competing, team America were the strongest Nation with Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Villopoto and Tim Ferry. Other riders included Cairoli, de Dyker, Ramon, Philippaerts and Langston to name a few. America won the event with Villopoto beating all the 450’s. Team Ireland that year was myself, Martin Barr and Tommy Merton.

Gatedrop: What were the tracks like at the MXoN you rode and did you feel you were well enough prepared for them?

Garrett: The track was unreal, a fast flowing track which rutted up and super nice loomy soil which was so fun to ride, the biggest struggle that weekend wasn’t prepping for the track conditions it was the heat. It was the killer as the humidity was so high it made breathing a little tougher . When you see Cairoli sweating sitting on the start line you know it’s hot.

Gatedrop: How did Ireland do at the events you represented them for?

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Garrett: There was a lot of talk leading up to the event with people thinking we wouldn’t qualify but we did and I think we were inside top ten. In the main event we ended up thirteenth overall.

Gatedrop: Individually how did you do and were you happy with your results?

Garrett: The Saturday qualifying session I felt was my best race of the weekend finishing in fifteenth. The first main race on Sunday after turn one, Rui Goncalves crashed and I couldn’t see him and hit his bike along with Tim Ferry and went down so I had to start from last. I worked my way up to finish in twenty-fifth. The last race for me I didn’t get much further and was involved in a first lap crash so had to start last again and ended up twenty-seventh.

Gatedrop: What memories/stories from the event stick out for you when you look back to the event? There must be some things that happened not too many people know about!

Garrett: One thing happened that made us feel a little special as the governor of the state of Maryland came to the event and wanted to meet team USA and team Ireland. We had a private meeting were we met the governor and even got to chat with Carmichael, Villopoto and Ferry.

Gatedrop: When you look at the Motocross Des Nations now, do you still think it’s still as special as it used to be?

Garrett: The event is still the biggest event on the calendar every year and I think it will always be so special for everyone as it only happens once a year.

Gatedrop: What advice would you give to any young rider who might be lucky enough to get selected for the event for the first time?

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Garrett: I think the best advice I can give is treat it like a normal race, have fun and don’t be star struck with competing against riders you usually watch on the TV.

Gatedrop: At a domestic level, what were your biggest achievements and what good memories do you have outside the Motocross Des Nations?

Garrett:  probably one of my biggest achievements was winning all 4 domestic championships in the one season, something only one other rider has done before and that’s winning the Ulster and Irish titles in MX1 and MX2. Finishing seventh overall at a round of the British championship as well.

Interview: Andy McKinstry