Martin Barr’s motocross career has been saved thanks to a deal thrashed out with a Co Wicklow company VMX.ie KTM.
Earlier this week it looked as though the Ballyclare rider would miss tomorrow’s opening round of the new Arenacross series at the O2 in London because he didn’t have a suitable bike.
“Now this KTM dealer in Arklow has come to the rescue,” said a relieved Barr. “I’m due to pick-up the KTM MX2 bike this morning (Friday) and then I’ll throw my leg over it for the first time tomorrow morning.
“It’s not the ideal way to prepare for the new season but I’m just grateful with this latest development.”
“I last rode KTMs two years ago. In addition to the Arenacross series I’ll be riding the KTM in the British championship, the Red Bull races and selected Irish championship rounds.”
Matt Bates who promotes the Arenacross races is delighted to have Barr on the starting grid.
“He’s too good a rider to be left out in the cold,” said Bates. “Martin has a wealth of experience and it will be interesting to see how he performs in the company of Gordon Crockard and Graeme Irwin.”
The highly versatile Crockard from Newtownards is looking forward to the four-round series which carries an impressive £50,000 in prizemoney.
“I’ll be on a Kawasaki this time,” said Crockstar. “I’ve had a few wins at home but London promises to be a real challenge.”
So far as 21-year-old Irwin is concerned he’s looking forward to lining-up with Crockard and Barr.
“It’s not very often that the three of us are in the same race,” said Irwin. “I’ve missed this event for the past two years due to injury and now it’s catch-up time on a Yamaha.”
So far as Bates is concerned he’s bubbling about this new series. “There are four rounds within five weeks. London is the starting point followed by Belfast on January 19, Birmingham and Liverpool.”
“Former champions like Tom Church and South African Neville Bradshaw who has family roots in Belfast have been signed-up along with Elliott-Banks Browne who is the British MX2 champion and Steven Clarke who finished fourth in the Australian series.”
“Coming from further afield we have the talented French trio of Cyrille Coulton, Charles LeFrancois and Fabiel Izord.”
“Another Frenchman Eric Sorby who is based in America and specialises in this type of hybrid racing could well be the man to beat.”
“These events combine racing and freestyle demonstrations which take into account the gymnasts of the motocross world,” explained Bates.
“They are super flexible, super-talented and super-brave athletes who can whip and back-flip motorcycles 40 feet above the ground. Two highly experienced riders from Europe will have the audience spellbound.”
Bates added: “So far as the Arenacross action is concerned 24 riders will be restricted to the MX2 class and that means a level playing field for everybody.”
On the domestic scene the Lightweight club’s annual Larkin Cup trial takes place tomorrow at Boyd’s Quarry, Kilwaughter near Larne.