Martin Barr and John Meara make winning start to new motocross season

Martin Barr won at the opening round of the MX Nationals at Sherwood.
Martin Barr won at the opening round of the MX Nationals at Sherwood.
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Local riders Martin Barr and John Meara made a sensational start to the new motocross season winning their respective classes at the opening round of the Michelin MX Nationals at Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.

Fellow local riders Ryan Mawhinney, Jason Meara, Richard Bird and Kris Rea all completed their weekend with well earned podium finishes.

Ballyclare’s Martin Barr made the perfect start to the season on his debut for Crescent Yamaha in the MX2 Pro class taking overall victory ahead of Buildbase Honda’s Josh Gilbert.

In race one he had to settle for second but in terrible conditions during race two he rode the Crescent Yamaha to a convincing victory. “It was my first win of the season for Crescent Yamaha and I can’t complain about that,” stated Martin.

“The day started well with me qualifying third fastest MX2. That got me a good gate pick and set me up nicely for the two races. In race one I made a decent start and kept my head down moving into second after a couple of laps.

“Unfortunately I made a couple of mistakes and just brought it home for a safe second. Before race two started heavy rain swept across the Sherwood track and it was a matter of using your head in the tricky conditions. I made a good start and when Josh (Gilbert) crashed I hit the front and put in some consistent lap times to the flag.

“It is a brilliant start to the season and testament to the hard work my dad and me have put in over the winter. This was a special win for me and I would like to dedicate it to Julie Agnew. N

“ow we keep building and look forward to this weekend and the first round of the Maxxis British Championship at FatCats.”

Unique Fit Out Husqvarna rider Glenn McCormick finished 10th overall after a tough weekend in the MX2 Pro class.

“I always knew it was going to be tough but it is the first race out of the way and I can put it behind me and focus on this weekends Maxxis British MX2 championship,” said a disappointed Glenn.

In the Rekluse British Expert MX1 class, 24-year-old Loughbrickland rider John Meara made a brilliant comeback after an injury disrupted 2018 to claim the overall win on the Watts Motorcycles KXf450 Kawasaki.

It was a double success for the Meara family as John’s brother Jason the reigning Irish MX2 champion finished second overall and took his first MX1 race wins on the Kawasaki.

“It was a nice start to the season and a bit of a surprise,” commented John. “You never know what to expect in this sport and going in to the weekend I was aiming for a top three but to win with Jason second was brilliant for our ‘wee’ team.

“I have had a long time off through injury but I put in a lot of hard work and effort over the winter and it has paid off. To come out on top at the first round is brilliant and things can only get better.”

Jason Meara was making his MX1 debut on the Watt Kawasaki and to claim his first race win and second overall to his brother was more than he expected as he is still recovering from a bad wrist injury he suffered at the end of the 2018 season.

“If I had got inside the top ten I would have been pleased prior to the meeting. I decided just to ride steady and let the results take care of themselves.

“My wrist was great for ten minutes into the races then it got tired and it was hard to hold on but thankfully when the adrenalin kicked in, the pain eased. I concentrated on my own race not worrying about anyone else and was delighted to end the weekend with a couple of wins and finish second overall to John.”

Completing the rostrum in the MX1 Experts class was reigning champion Lisburn’s Richard Bird on the Five5 Motorsport/Watts KTM.