Former British Motocross Champion turned short circuit racer, Graeme Irwin, announced that he is making a shock return to the dirt for a one-off indoor race against some of the world’s best indoor Motocross racers at the Belfast round of the Arenacross Tour at the SSE Arena from January 17-18.
In a motocross career where he won championship titles at the Maxxis British MX1, British Youth, British Masters, Michelin MX Nationals and many Ulster and Irish titles, the ex-Grand Prix star will be out to win.
“The timing of the Belfast Arenacross suited me with it being in the off-season of my superbike campaign,” Irwin said.
“I’ve won every championship in the UK but Arenacross, that’s motivation.
“My superbike will be better out the gate or I might blow the cobwebs off my Honda 450cc British Motocross Championship winning bike,” the Carrick man joked.
“It’s a really good opportunity to race in Belfast in front of all the home fans and I still believe in my head that if I can start riding and put all the pieces together, I can do really good.
“I will be heading to California for Christmas where I will get in some practice before Belfast. I have just agreed a deal to run the CRF450 Honda under the fonaCAB livery and can’t wait to get racing.
“I only ever race to try and win but I need to put myself in that position where I can.”
Joining Irwin will be Ballyclare’s Martin Barr, who himself has had a successful season, representing his country for the 15th consecutive time at the MXON as well as taking the MX Nationals MX2 title.
Last year was his first time back to the Arenacross Tour since 2013 and the local rider who will ride in the MX Pro-Lites, will be keen to make his 2020 AX one to remember.
“As always there will be tough competition at Arenacross. It’s going to be tough challenge but one I can’t wait for,” said Barr.
Amongst the AX Pro line-up will be Dubliner Stuart Edmonds who will be looking to make his mark on Arenacross.
“I have been interested in the Arenacross since my last outing a few years ago in Belfast. It’s something I have been trying to organise each year but due to injury and other things I wasn’t able to.
“Thanks to my sponsors we were able to sort a really good package so I couldn’t turn the opportunity down,” he said.
Joining Edmonds in the same team will be Jordan Keogh who will not only be racing in the Pro Lites but will also be the first rider to take on the All Ireland class, that is unique to the Belfast rounds.
“I don’t have any expectations just want to get out there and give it my best,” Keogh said.
Irish racers will feature heavily in the Youth ranks too as both Charley Irwin and Lewis Spratt will go head to head in the Supermini Cup.
Irwin will be making a comeback to Arenacross having raced the series since he was seven years old with numerous podium finishes.
“This will be my first-time racing in the Big Wheel 85 class at AX, the competition will be tough but I’m hoping to get in the top three!” said the Ballyclare boy.
Spratt, from Omagh is also no stranger to Arenacross having debuted last year in the 65cc class.
“This year is my first year on the 85cc so a big learning year for me but I’m up for the challenge,” he said.
65cc Cup newcomer, Jordan Kinsella will be debuting at the Arenacross Tour.