There’s three classes competing at the fourth round of the Maxxis British Championship taking place at Desertmartin and there’s plenty of local talent for the Irish fans to get behind.

MX2:

Martin Barr: “Really looking forward to Desertmartin this weekend, the track is looking awesome and the weather is looking good so hopefully there will be a big crowd there to support all us local lads! I’ll be looking to repeat my performance from last year but it won’t be easy as there’s  a lot of fast riders! I’ve had a good weeks prep so I’m raring to go and hoping to claw some points back in the championship! Big thanks to my Revo Husqvarna team and all my personal sponsors RSR, BCL, discount beds belfast, Agnew recovery, Nutt travel, Magilliganmxpark, unique fitout, n.h.tradeframes, amplifi solution”.

Barr on his way to winning Desertmartin in 2017. Pic: Nigel McKinstry

James Mackrel: “I can’t wait for the home round save me having to travel which is always a bonus. I’m not really expecting anything from myself if I ride like I have been and everyone knows I can then the results should come. Racing in front of the home crowd doesn’t really bother me just feel like a bigger Irish or Ulster event so yeah I’ll just be out to enjoy myself and what happens on the day happens. A big shout out to everyone helping me out and getting me to the British –  Gforce suspension, Atomized art ni, G&G Ross mobile stone crushing, Jason Mccotter, Hardcore racing, Russells motorcylces, Foamula car wash, Tropical heat finaghy, J.rainey and sons haulage, Total performance fitness, bushmills club and district and Pfmotox”.

Jason Meara: “I’m excited to race at Desertmartin for the British again, it’s been a few years since I’ve raced the event. I don’t really have any expectations but my riding is probably the best it’s ever been and I’m going to give it my all to try and get a great result”.

Jake Sheridan: “Looking forward to the British championship at Desertmartin. My expectations are just to ride my best and hopefully get inside the top 20 and if not I’ll just take it as it comes and work harder! I’m feeling okay on the bike at the moment but might tell a different story with the track getting rough and the pace really fast! My fitness on the bike is not 100% but I just have to build on it and get better as the year goes on”.

Glenn McCormick: “I’m really excited for this race as I feel like I am finally getting back to my old self and knowing how good my pace was there last year I can’t wait to get out on Sunday! Two good starts and we will be good”.

McCormick has started to regain his form after coming into the season with injury. Pic: Nigel McKinstry

MX1:

Graeme Irwin: “For me to win the championship I have to turn it around this weekend, we know that. As a team we set a goal when I came back. Blaxhall was a damage limitation thing, then it was about getting healed up and be 100% for Desertmartin. I feel like I am back there and riding back to my usual way, I just need to stay focused and concentrate on myself and we can definitely have a good day”.

Irwin in front of his home crowd last year in Desertmartin. Pic: Nigel McKinstry

Luke Smith: “Coming into Desertmartin I’m really excited! It’s my favourite track of the year and I know it’s going to be prepped perfectly so I am really looking forward to it, and hopefully everyone comes out on Sunday to support and get behind us local lads. For Desertmartin, I have decided to move up to a 450 and race MX1. It’s not something I had planned to do at all, and pretty last minute to be honest, however it is and has been a struggle financially running a 250 so far this year, and trying to be competitive on such a low budget. So after riding a 450 a couple of times, and with the help of a personal sponsor of mine, I have decided to make the switch and see how we go”.

He didn’t compete the event last year but Richard Bird has decided to give his home round of the British Championship a go this year – he’ll be looking to run with the best in Britain. Stuart Nesbitt has also secured a late entry to compete in the MX1 class.

Two Strokes:

Ben Kennedy: “We decided to race Desertmartin to gain some experience in the Maxxis British Championship. We are lucky enough to have Desertmartin as one of the rounds, a local round. To race in front of my home crowd is going be awesome with everyone cheering me on over the fence and making me push harder each lap. I don’t really have any expectations, just to really try the best I can. I’d like to thank the following people, Bannside Pallets and Haulage, Russell Motorcycles, TS Foods, Milwaukee, G-Force suspension, Magillagan Motopark, G&G Ross, WRC Recycling, Scarlett DIY, GP Haulage, Edgar Electrics, Risk Racing, Drenagh Sawmills, Frenchs Cafe & Bistro, Eric Strain, Down Tyres, S Jones & Son, Carlisie Fuels, Causeway Transport, Moto Graphics, Mud Buster, Chips Ahoy, SGUT Mx, Michael Gibson at Russell’s, Brian Steele and Dad, Mum and Granda”.

Lindsay Newell: “It’s great to see a 2 stroke round of the British championship at Desertmartin. My expectation for the event is to go out and enjoy myself and hopefully put on a good show for the local crowd on the suitor brothers Yamaha”.

Lindsay Newell will swap his KTM for a two stroke Yamaha. Pic: Nigel McKinstry

Darren Bradford: “The British championship is a huge event that never fails to entertain, for the 2 stroke championship to be brought over here I was in two minds whether to enter it but a few people persuaded me. It would be cool to say you’ve scored points in a British 2 stroke championship but I really don’t have any expectations. Sh**ting myself to be honest but hopefully the crowd cheering us home riders on will help. I’d just like to thank the people that are helping me get organised for it, Emma Mquaid, Fabrite Engineering, Mark Arnott, Sarah Louise Hair and Beauty, Norman watt motorcycles, Ur style prints, Mum and Dad and anyone else in the background.”

Ben Hall: “I’m excited for Desertmartin and for my first go at the 2 stroke class, I can’t wait for it. Im going in with no expectations as I’m only coming of a hand Injury and only been on the bike a handful of times. Hopefully I can go out and get two good results in front of the home crowd and most of all have fun. I’d like to thank HTM Off-road, Rock oil, Mecca performance and most of all my dad”.

Stephen Mullally: “We decided to enter B2S when we heard it was coming to Desertmartin. I’m riding the 125 2stroke in the ulster championship and that’s going well so far. We thought why not try the British 2 stroke and see how we go, I’ve no real expectations just go out and enjoy it and all the hype around the track. I was up looking at the track Wednesday, it’s looks unreal so fair play to all involved in getting it ready – it’s top class. I’d like to thank Paul Heaney for giving me his yam 250 2 stroke for the event and also dmx breakers, Allmoto.ie, Derek traynor, Megabikes Dublin, Ciaran Hayes and Yamaha motor Ireland”.

Paul Laverty: “I’m excited beyond belief. Getting to share Desertmartin with British and GP riders is surreal and for it too be a 2-stroke class is even better. It adds that extra excitement for the crowd and home riders. Who wouldn’t love hearing a 2-stroke ripping around desertmartin at a British championship again? I’m just going to enjoy every minute of it and just send it”.

Ryan Esler: “I’m definitely excited to be racing in the Maxxis British championship at Desertmartin. My father (Gerry Esler) and myself have been working on my KTM all week to get it race ready. I haven’t really set myself a goal as it is a new experience to me but I am excited to get behind the gate and get into the mix, all I can do is try my best and have fun, with past experiences it has worked in my favour. As everyone knows the home crowd are the best and always get behind the home riders and give them as much support as they can so I am really looking forward to it and the rest is up to me”!

Matthew Fry is another local rider who will race the Two Stroke class this weekend and Donal Teague is currently rebuilding his bike – he’s still unsure if it will be ready in time for Sunday.

So, there’s plenty of Irish riders to get behind on Sunday – make sure you get over the fence and get behind the local talent that will be on show.

Article: Andy McKinstry

Pics: Scott Dunne and Nigel McKinstry

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