Belfast Telegraph

Legend Pichon tops Temple’s classy field

By Roy Harris

Top flight off-road action returns to Northern Ireland on August 26-27 when the Temple Motorcycle Club celebrate their 90th year by hosting the Norman Watt Motorcycles sponsored Brian Bell Memorial International Motocross at Downpatrick Motocross Park.

It will feature top competitors from the world championship Grand Prix scene racing against all of the local top flight competitors.

Heading the entry is multi-world champion Mickael Pichon who hails from France, an absolute legend in motocross.

The 35-year-old is now an ambassador for Honda France who only compete in selected international events.

The oldest motorcycle club in Ireland has also secured entries from present Grand Prix competitors Jonathan Barrigan from Spain, American Zach Osborne, and Jake Nicholls, who competes for Red Bull HM Plant KTM under the guidance of Crossgar businessman Roger Magee.

There is also an interesting entry from four-times ladies motocross world champion Steffi Laier from Germany, who will make many of her male counterparts sit up and take notice.

Local lady Natalie Kane — returning to the sport after injury and third overall in the latest ladies world round in France — is also expected to take part, as is Brad Anderson the current British MX1 championship leader.

Leading the local challenge should be Martin Barr, currently on top of his game and third in the British MX1 series.

Also planning to be there are multi British champion Gordon Crockard (pictured), Tommy Merton, Stuart Edmonds — the defending Ulster motocross champion — Robert Hamilton and Edward Allingham.

Merton from Comber said: “This will be a great end of season event on a superb track. It’s great to have Grand Prix riders coming to take part, but like our other local riders I’ll be out to beat them to the finish line.”

For the organising Temple Club, Jimmy Walker commented: “It’s ten years since we organised our last international motocross. This is our flagship event in our 90th year and it should be a spectacular event, a mini Grand Prix.”

Belfast Telegraph

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