Team Ireland ready for the Nations!
Graeme Irwin (MX1), Martin Barr (MX2) and Stuart Edmonds (OPEN) will represent Ireland at the Motocross of Nations this weekend! All three riders are going into the event with good form after they all showed good speed at the last round of the British Championship that took place at Foxhill.
Irwin has finally been able to put a full season together and is currently riding the best of his career on his Buildbase Honda. Before Foxhill Irwin needed to take a break for a few weeks due to a thumb injury but it was a good decision as it didn’t seem to hold him back too much at Foxhill, he is good to go for Team Ireland at the Nations! Irwin ended up fourth in the British Championship which shows he had a strong campaign.
He hasn’t got a problem with running with Searle and Simpson for a few laps but I feel his lack of GP experience is holding him back slightly. GI will get to race with world class riders this weekend which is exactly what he needs to improve his speed, hopefully he can bang bars with some of the world’s best. Hopefully, Dave Thorpe at Buildbase Honda allows GI to contest a few GP’s in 2017, this would help his speed and would allow him to possibly beat Searle to a British Championship title. There is no doubt that GI is the best chance Ireland has of having a World Championship rider again!
Martin Barr has been as good as anyone in the British MX2 series this year! His speed has been great all year but he just struggles with starts and gives himself a lot of work to do. Barr ended up fourth in the championship and in my opinion that doesn’t reflect his speed. However, he ended the season in great form winning the overall at Foxhill with two second place finishes. The fact that Barr was able to win the overall on a hard pack shows he has been working hard on those conditions and is ready for the Nations. Barr in current form could surprise some of the MX2 World Championship regulars when the gate drops, hopefully he can get good starts and put on a good show!
This will be Barr’s twelfth time to represent his country at the Nations. Steve Matthes over at pulpmx has even tweeted about Barr jokingly asking if he is fourty-three years old as he has rode the event so many times! There is a good chance Barr could go on to break Tanel Leok’s current record in the future. Hopefully, Ireland can beat Canada this weekend – Matthes won’t be happy if we do!
Seriously, Martin Barr has to be 43 years old now right? https://t.co/0K8RjVspd4
— Steve Matthes (@pulpmx) September 21, 2016
After a year racing in Germany, Stuart Edmonds switched back to his beloved TM 450 to compete in the British Championship this year. Edmonds quietly had a really good season finishing tenth in the MX1 British Championship. That is an impressive result considering the depth is much improved in the class this year with guys like Anderson, Whatley, EBB, Leok and Lenoir battling for top five results!
Edmonds always seems to step up at the Nations as he thrives riding for his country. He has history of banging bars with Cooper Webb and Ryan Dungey at previous Nations events. Hopefully this weekend he can put in two solid rides and help Ireland get a good result.
Last year Team Ireland avoided the B Final which is always the first hurdle which the team have to try and avoid. The team ended up seventeenth overall last year in France which is a solid result but hopefully this year it all clicks and we can break into the top fifteen. That would be an impressive result.
Good luck to team Ireland this weekend and if you are going over to the event make sure you give them the support they deserve!
Martin Barr: “Really looking forward to Italy this weekend for the MXON, this will be my twelfth year in a row and it’s always a special event! I think this is the strongest all three of us have ever been and with Philip being the manager things are looking very good! I’ve had a strong season so far and with winning the overall at foxhill at the weekend I’ll be looking to carry that form into the Des Nations”
Stuart Edmonds: “I am really looking forward to this weekend after the three of us riding well on Sunday at Foxhills, now we are fit and ready for this weekend. I think this year we are all stronger than ever and I believe we are in for a good result. The three of us want to beat that record of seventh that I think team Ireland has as a best result. We will try beat that and of course stay out of the B final. A big thanks to team manager Phillip McCullough and the team sponsors getting us over there to compete for Ireland, CCM Racing, the watch hub, Jsm kelly, Jim Jones Plant, Mediterranean tiles Ltd, Corcoran chemicals, Moto Graphix, MCI, MRA and all the people going over to support us. I hope to see lots of flags flying high and leprechauns everywhere”.
Article: Andy McKinstry