Martin Barr interview – damage limitation!

Irishman Martin Barr had a tough first round at Culham after losing his goggles early in moto one and struggling with vision on the soft and muddy circuit to finish back in fourteenth position.

But the Buildbase Honda title contender showed his fighting spirit in race two and rebounded strongly with a hard-fought second place to limit the damage and is still very much in the MX2 title hunt with his fourth overall on the day.

We caught up with Martin, whose sand-filled eyes were sore and bloodshot, after a roller-coaster first round of the championship.

It was an up and down day for you but you recovered well to limit the damage with a second place in race two.

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“It’s not the start to the first round that I wanted but it is what it is. Qualifying was good I ended up second so that set me up nice for the first race. I didn’t get good jump out of the gate but managed to go up the inside and pass a lot of people and then the second corner, I got compeletely filled in and caught a rut and lost my front end. I picked myself up but at the end of the first lap a rock came up and smashed my roll-off system, I kept them on for another half a lap but I had to throw the goggles off.

“From there it was a long moto, I think I crashed another three times, just trying to avoid the roost but I had to keep on going because you need every point you can get. I ended up fourteenth which is pretty disappointing but in the circumstances it could have been a lot worse.

“Race two I struggled quite a bit with my eyes, I scraped my right eye ball and bruised the left one so it was very hard. I was just constantly blinking and with the big long ruts out there it was hard to keep your concentration to get the ruts perfect, I was making mistakes.

“But the last ten minutes I could see second place so I just put my head down and gave it a big push to the end and grabbed second with two laps to go. It was a good recovery after the race.

“It’s a long season and I’ve 29 points so every point counts, fourth overall wasn’t so bad and we will go back home, get the work done and keep at it. I’ll be back for Lyng and going for the win.”

You are riding the 450 as well this year ( in the MX Nationals and selected GPs), are you enjoying riding both bikes and do you have a preference?

“As long as I’m on a bike I’m happy! Whatever bike I am racing that weekend that will be the bike I’m on the week before coming up to it. it doesn’t take me too long to adapt and it is a bit more exciting for me rather than riding the same bike week-in, week-out, it spices things up a little bit.”

Team boss Dave Thorpe was philosophical about the day for his MX2 title challenger, “The first round is always difficult and I feel for Martin,” commented Thorpe in the team’s press release.

“He made a solid start in the first one, took a tear-off, the front tucked and he went down. If ever there was a day that he didn’t need to go down it was today. Then a stone hit his roll-offs so he lost his goggles and it was an uphill battle from there. He was struggling to see in the second race but still finished a solid second. We’d have preferred two seconds but that’s racing..”

Pic: Buildbase Honda