Motocross: Martin Barr targets home win in British showdown at Desertmartin

British motocross star Martin Barr.
British motocross star Martin Barr.

Martin Barr is the first rider from Northern Ireland to lead the British motocross championship going into his home round on Sunday at Desertmartin since three-time British champion and Irish motocross legend, Gordon Crockard, over a decade ago.

It’s a fact that’s not lost on the respectful Barr, who admits Crockard was his hero as a youngster.

“I have always looked up to Gordy,” said the 28-year-old.

“He was one of my heroes and to be in the same boat and have the red plate going into my home race, it’s going to be brilliant.

“Desertmartin - it’s going to be fantastic,” said the Ballyclare rider, who leads the MX2 championship.

“I am going to have a target on my back and everyone will be thinking it’s my home race and that I should just go and win it.”

However, Barr, from Ballyclare, isn’t fazed and always manages to raise his game in front of his home crowd.

“I hope everyone gets behind us which I’m sure they will, it’s going to be electric,” he said. “There are so many petrol heads over here, I’m sure it will be a fantastic day.”

Barr’s team-mate in the Buildbase Honda team, Graeme Irwin, son of legendary road racer Alan and brother of BSB star Glenn, is currently lying third in the MX1 class and will be another to watch out for.

Barr added: “Me and Graeme not only come from Northern Ireland but the same place, we went to the same school and everything! So for us both to be at the top of our game in our chosen sport it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Irwin, in the form of his life in 2016, said: “I cannot wait. Desertmartin is my favourite track and the atmosphere is awesome for all the home guys that are in it.

“The race I won a couple of years ago it was crazy, everyone was supporting us, it was just awesome.”

With both riders capable of getting on the podium and potentially winning their class, a big crowd is expected at Desertmartin on Sunday. Qualifying starts at 9am with racing beginning at 11.55am.