Irwin back in points again

Graeme Irwin scores world  championship points at Matterley Basin.
Graeme Irwin scores world championship points at Matterley Basin.

Carrick’s Graeme Irwin made a points scoring return to racing at the British MXGP at Materley Basin, Winchester at the weekend, picking up two world championship points in his opening race.

The ASA Hitachi KTM rider, who returned to racing after his accident at the Blaxhall British Championship meeting a few weeks ago, was 16th fastest in practice and in the qualifying race finished 18th before heading out in race one where he ran inside the top 13 before dropping to 19th by the chequered flag.

Martin Barr still holds the red  plate for European Championship leader.

Martin Barr still holds the red plate for European Championship leader.

In the second World Championship moto the local man finished just outside the points in 21st. “

It was a really good weekend overall,” he said.

“We made a lot of improvements to the bike before the meeting and they worked really well and now that we know that we can run with the best of them it gives us all a boost.

“As far as my injuries are concerned I’m a little tender but not too bad, I’m hanging in there.

“In my opening race I ran in 13th for most of the race before, in the last five minutes I tightened up and dropped back to 19th.

“I made a bad start in race two and because the six guys in front of me were running at the same pace and I could do nothing about it and had to settle for 21st.

“No excuses but I’m confident we have turned the corner and for the next round this weekend in France I am confident that we can score more world championship points before moving on to Italy the following weekend then return home for Desertmartin on June 24th for the British.”

A massive British crowd were treated to another Red Bull KTM duel in the premier class as the contest between Tony Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings intensified.

Italian world champion Cairoli led the first race until a coming together between the pair.

Dutchman Herlings powered out of a corner and contact left the world champion on the floor.

Cairoli remounted to finish second behind the current series leader. 

In the second moto Herlings took his time to pursue a holeshotting Cairoli, who led for thirteen laps, before moving past on the last lap.

The Dutchman posted his seventh win in nine rounds and extends his lead in the MXGP standings to 54 points over Cairoli.

Meanwhile, Revo Husqvarna rider Martin Barr kept hold of the coveted championship leader’s red plate and extended his lead by one point over team-mate Mel Pocock after the British round of the European Championship at Materley Basin at the weekend.

At round five of the series Barr finished seventh in race one and fourth in race two behind Danish double winner Mikkel Haarup.

He said: “I came into the meeting with the red plate and left with it.

“That’s what I wanted and that’s what I achieved so with six round left I aim to hang on to it.

“I am happy with how the season seems to be going but I know I have to get better race results.

“I made life tough for myself at the weekend with bad starts in both races.

“I qualified well, fifth in my group, giving me the ninth gate pick but in race one I made a really bad start and had to bide my time pressuring the guys in front of me into mistakes to get through into seventh.

“In race two I knew I had to pass my team-mate Mel (Pocock) in the closing laps to keep my lead in the championship and it wasn’t until lap ten before I could make my move.

“I finished one second behind French Kawasaki rider Pierre Goupillon in fourth and just missed out on third overall.

“The series moves to France this weekend where I will try to extend the lead even more.”