Doagh rider Martin Barr has signed for Crescent Yamaha to race the all-new YZ250f in the 2019 British MX2 and MX2 Nationals championships.
It is a return to the Japanese manufacturer where the local man started his pro career back in 2005 and an opportunity he has grasped with both hands.
The experienced 30-year-old will have his first ride on the new bike this week before starting a development programme leading into the new season where he believes he can claim that elusive British title.
“I’m going to be the official MX2 Yamaha team in the UK and I’m joining forces with Paul Denning’s Crescent Yamaha team,” said Barr. “Paul runs the Yamaha factory team in World Superbikes and has helped Jake Shipton in the MX1 class for a couple of seasons so it’s a very good relationship to be in. I like being in charge of my own team and will be very much looking after the MX2 side of things but we will join forces at the races under Crescent Yamaha banner.
“The new Yamaha is very, very good. It is a new engine from the ground up so I’m looking forward to getting out riding the bike and see where we are with it before my dad gets his hands on it. He will be doing all the engine development work as he has done for me in the past.
“We will start cracking on with that as soon as possible and hopefully we will have a good winter, with the bike, my training and preparation. The two main goals for 2019 is the British MX2 championship and the MX2 Nationals. It’s very exciting times and something I’m really looking forward to.”
Barr had high hopes for the season just past, aiming for the European and British titles. It all started well but ended up as a season of what might have been.
“Yes it was a very difficult season which in the beginning started off very good and looked very promising,” he said.
“In the end things just didn’t work out. A bit of bad luck and what have you along with other things going on behind the scenes that were out of my control, turned the end of the season into a disaster.
“It’s motocross racing however. You learn things as you go along and no matter how old or how long you are doing it you are still always learning.
“I started off my pro career on a Yamaha away back in 2005 so it’s nice to be back on the brand again and to be the official Yamaha MX2 team in the UK is very exciting. Also it is a boost for me that they have the confidence in me to do the job not only on the track but off it as well.”
Will the Yamaha be a big difference from what you raced last year?
“Obviously it will be different,” said Barr. “It’s back on to an aluminium frame and it’s Japanese, so the handling and the chassis will be a lot different but I’ve plenty of experience and it won’t take too long to get on to it.
“We have just finished the season and there’s a long winter to go to sort out any issues. It’s nice to get the package under us early and now we can start working on the important things like the engine development. There’s still a lot of work to be done behind the scene with sponsors etc. but we are heading the right direction.
“I’m the sole rider for 2019 but it is something I would like to build on and keep working to build it bigger and bigger each year.”
You have said that there’s another British title in you, so will this be the year?
“There’s no reason why I can’t,” added Barr. “I’m still feeling very good. I still have that fire in my belly to get up and do the training and I’m feeling fit both mentally and physically, so as long as I have that I will be keeping at it and I think with the Yamaha YZ250f beneath me and my dad in my corner, there’s no reason why we can’t go and do it.
“It’s not going to be easy as there is a lot of young kids coming up through in the British championship next year but I’m a firm believer in my programme and as I’ve said before with my dad behind me we can get the job done.”