Desertmartin hosts the fifth round of the MAXXIS British Motocross Championship on June 30 and for the first time the 85cc youth competitors will be the support class for the MX1 and MX2 Championship races.
The class has over the years been the breeding ground for some of our top riders like Martin Barr, Glenn McCormick, Jason and John Meara, to mention but a few, who all cut their teeth in the class before going on to win 85cc championships then moving on to bigger and better things.
In fact, four-times World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea won the equivalent 80cc championship round at Desertmartin back in 2000 before going on to win both the Irish and Ulster titles in the same year.
The current crop of young riders will have two races on the day and will have their sights set on personal best performances and possibly podium finishes as they line up behind the start gate at Desertmartin.
What makes this meeting all the more special for these young motocrossers is that they will be showcasing their skills in front of four-times World champion Jeffrey Herlings.
The Dutch superstar burst on to the scene as a 15-year-old and now the 24-year-old from the border town of Geldrop has etched his name in the motocross Hall of Fame by claiming his fourth title in 2018 after winning 17 from 19 Grand Prix races.
Our top 85cc big-wheel rider at the minute is 15-year-old Jay Sherry from Ballinderry. who currently leads both the Ulster and Irish championships on his KTM.
“I know that the track will get rough over the day and I love it when the conditions are like that,” said Sherry. “The visitors will be quick but I believe I can deal with them on the day once we get started.”
He is looking to continuing his perfect run in the Ulster Championship, where he has won all nine rounds so far.
In fact, his Irish Championship record is not too bad either - where he shares the lead in the championship with Oisin Hughes.
“I definitely want to keep winning in the Ulster and it would be nice to complete the season unbeaten before I move up to the 125 class,” he said. “Over the winter I did a lot of training at E-Trax, Moira and I have to thank them a lot for allowing me the chance to use their facility.
“Their help and a bike that was going a lot better, made all the difference and right from the word go I was on the pace.
“At the opening round of the Irish Championship I had a lot of bad luck and crashed out of the lead in every race but I gained a lot of confidence at the same time and since then everything has gone to plan.
“Going into Desertmartin, I am confident of doing a good job and I can’t wait to meet Jeffrey Herlings and try and impress him.”
Sherry plans to head to the mainland for a couple of races before the end of the season and possibly compete at British Championship level in 2020.
“Yes, that’s the plan and it would be nice to do a full season in British Championship racing next year providing we can find the budget,” he said. “I wouldn’t even be where I am at the moment without the help of E-Trax, Belfast Service Centre, Jeff Rainey and my Mum and Dad.
“So, a big ‘thank you’ to all of them and roll on Desertmartin...I am looking forwsrd to the races and can’t wait to get started.”
And the postponed CDMCC grass track championship meeting in association with Suitor Autofix and Risk Racing that was cancelled last week due to the weather has been rescheduled for tonight Tuesday 11th (Youth) and Wednesday 12th (Adult) June at McCormick’s Farm, Gleno.