Irwin and Barr talk about their MX National wins!
The Irish pairing were backed up by team-mates Kristian Whatley – who ended the day third in MX1 – and Lewis Trickett who came home sixth in MX2 after both riders produced impressive performances in race two following a tough opening moto.
On a cold winter’s morning Graeme and Martin topped qualification and both got off to a great start in the day’s first mixed-capacity pro race as Kristian and Lewis found themselves buried mid-pack with a lot of work to do.
Graeme controlled the race from the front and never looked troubled to take a comfortable 25-second victory as Martin crossed the line first MX2 rider home in fourth. Kristian made a succession of strong passes to finish seventh with Lewis battling to 19th.
Kristian holeshot the second race before Graeme took over at the front. With a bright, low sun making conditions difficult Graeme slipped to second and with the overall in the bag he rode with his head to secure the top step on the podium.
“It was a tough last race with the low sun making visibility hard but I had good speed so I’m happy with it,” said Graeme. “Brad [Anderson] got by me and then I got onto a couple of his lines and I got up alongside him on the last lap. I didn’t get it done but I’m still first overall.”
Martin topped the MX2 class for the second time to open up a healthy championship lead.
“It’s been a mega day, I couldn’t have asked for much more,” said Martin. “In race one I got a really good start and worked my way up to fourth overall and first MX2. In the second race the sun was really, really low and I couldn’t see very well so I didn’t push the boat out – I just did what I had to do.
“I built up a 10-second lead and kept it at that. I didn’t want to do anything stupid – although I did crash three laps from the end –– but I still managed to get the MX2 win for the overall.”
Kristian, who’s been struggling with a foot injury sustained in pre-season practice, was happy with third in the second moto.
“I got the start in the second race which made all the difference,” he said, “I’ve still got tear-offs left! That bike is so good off the start. The first race was tough for me, coming from 25th to sixth. In the second I got the holeshot and rode my own race.
“I was with Brad and Graeme at first but I couldn’t keep up that pace – it’s only my fourth time on the bike in 12 weeks.”
Lewis was also upbeat with a strong third in class in the day’s final moto.
“It got rough so quick in the first race and I struggled,” he said. “I was trying too hard and ended up going slower and then crashed and took a bit of time to get going. I had a better start in the second one and came through to third in MX2 and ninth in the race and felt pretty good.”
Team owner Dave Thorpe was delighted with his riders’ performances on their 2016 domestic debut.
“It’s a great result for Buildbase Honda,” he said. “I know Graeme will be disappointed that he didn’t beat Brad in the last one. I think the sun played a big part for all the riders but we’re really pleased.
“Lewis had an exceptionally good ride in the last one which will do his confidence no end of good – he came from a long way back to third so happy days.”