Carrick’s Graeme Irwin - the 2017 British MX1 Champion - will race for the local based ASA Scaffolding/Hitachi KTM team in the 2018 MX Grand Prix series.
After completing a memorable season that saw him clinch his first British MX1 Championship to go alongside the MX Nationals title it was an excited Graeme that chatted about his 2018 plans.
“It will be a bit like coming home as it was on a KTM that I won my first British adult championship race and it was also a KTM that I won the MXY2 championship early in my career.
“I know the team very well and they are a good bunch of guys.
“I think it is going to be an exciting year. I know Roger very well from the past and we both know what it takes to be at the top.
“The team will be based in Belgium as that it is probably the best place to get the most out of your riding, practicing with other riders who compete in the world championships.”
When was the decision made to take on the challenge of the GPs?
“We got to a point in the season that the championship looked likely to happen and I started to think that if I won the championship what is my next goal if I don’t go GPs.
“Is this going to be my greatest achievement? The choice was to go on and try and win as many British Championships as possible but would I be happy with that?
“I wasn’t at all and I knew that straight away I wanted more than this. I want to race the world championship and give it my best shot.
“I spoke to Roger Magee at the Blaxhall British Championship meeting and by the following week the deal was done to race for the ASA Scaffolding/Hitachi KTM.
“It’s an awesome opportunity and I’m really looking forward to working with Roger and Lee Toland the MX1 team manager in the GPs and the British Championship in 2018.
“I believe that people haven’t seen the best of me yet and there’s Gmore to come”
Irwin’s first of 19 GPs in 2018 will be in Argentina, March 4 before travelling all round the world visiting place like Japan, USA, and all the European venues.
It’s a proper World Championship!
What are the expectations?
“I prepared myself this year as if I was racing GPs and the plan is to be inside the top 15.
“I want to start off in the top 15 and work my way up from there.
“Everyone who knows me as a person knows that I’m going to want more.
“It’s a matter of being smart as it’s a long season and if we can just keep improving week in week out I’m sure we’ll not be far away.
“Nothing is impossible it’s a matter of keeping the head down and working hard”.
Team boss Roger Magee echoed Graeme’s comments saying.
“We hope he retains the British MX1 Championship and obviously stepping back into the GPs it’s going to be a learning process.
“In the first part of the season we believe he is capable of top 15 then as the season progresses to May, June time hopefully he will be knocking on the door of the top ten.
“After that anything is possible and we will see what the season brings.”