Martin Barr and fellow County Antrim ace Graeme Irwin are regarded as hot prospects for the fifth round of the British motocross championships as Desertmartin later this month.
There are high hopes the duo can feature prominently in the event on June 24.
According to the MRA’s press official Malcolm Beattie: “There is every chance of a podium, if not a win, for these two contenders, one in each class.
“The home crowd likes nothing more than local successes and in both Barr and Irwin we have potential winners for the MX1 and MX2 classes respectively.
“Both are sons of road race stars, they have had their ups and downs over the past few years, but both are on fantastic form at the moment and are real threats for wins.”
“Barr has just changed teams in mid-season – after frantic negotiations he was picked-up by the local Tyco Suzuki team run by TAS operating from nearby Moneymore.
“Barr repaid them the next weekend by winning the overall Red Bull Pro National at FatCats Moto Parc in Doncaster.”
Having spent most of his early career with Steve Dixon’s Yamaha team, including running in Grand’s Prix, Barr has also ridden Honda, Suzuki and KTM machinery.
However, Barr is now happy at Tyco Suzuki, working with team manager Adam Lyons and owner Philip Neill.
He is extremely grateful for the opportunity to better the second place he had a year ago at Desertmartin
Currently running ninth in the MX1 class, Barr knows he needs good results in the second half of the season in what is a highly competitive class now with GP regulars leading the charge but the Ballyclare boy with a point to prove is going to be exciting to watch.
Beattie added: “In the MX2 class Irwin is our great local hope. The young Carrickfergus lad has an exuberant riding style and cheeky personality.
“He is always exciting to watch and has built up a fantastic fan base amongt the younger audience. He has come through a tough three years with injuries and has now settled well in the Roy Emberson run Samsung FX Yamaha team.”
After a stellar career in Ireland and UK, including winning the inaugural MXY2 Championship, he was picked up for three years running with Roger Magee’s KTM UK team, including Grand’s Prix.
Unfortunately, Irwin injured his shoulder after winning his first MAXXIS British Championship race and was out for a year.
He then injured the other shoulder and was out for the second year, then, in 2011, he had a horrific crash at the French Grand Prix including broken vertebrae which finished his season again.
Picked up by Yamaha, Irwin is riding with his usual panache showing some maturity this year, and although currently in seventh place following a first race crash at Canada Heights which put him out for the day, he will be a strong contender for the podium, if not a win at Desertmartin, a track both riders know and love.
It won’t be easy for either of the locals and do not discount JAR Honda teamster Wayne Garrett for a top ten either.
One thing’s for sure, local support means a lot to the riders, they can see and hear the crowd and it definitely motivates them, so look for locals on the podium this year, it could be the biggest year yet since Gordon Crockard’s glory days in the early 2000s!