Belfast Telegraph

Motocross: Crockard on home straight

By Paul Lindsay

British Championship Motocross makes a welcome return to Northern Ireland after a two-year absence, tomorrow at Desertmartin.

The high profile Maxxis sponsored series, will see top local riders Gordon Crockard and Martin Barr, regulars on the British scene, looking to entertain local fans at round five of the championship.

There will be three races for both MX1 and MX2 classes with the MXY2 class, a hotbed for talented youngsters under the age of 18, also having two motos at the famous County Londonderry sand track.

Crockard, three times a British champion, is no stranger to Desertmartin, a venue the Newtownards man once filled almost single-handedly in his heyday.

Now 32-years-old, it would be fair to say Crockard is in the twilight of his career, but riding for local team Relentless by TAS Suzuki, the ‘ginger magician’ will be looking to perform one last piece of magic at the Desert.

The man whose job it is to light Crockard’s blue touch paper, is former team-mate and current TAS Racing team manager Adam Lyons; he too has many fond memories of racing at Desertmartin.

“I rode five British championship meetings at Desertmartin with a best of third overall in 2003,” he said. “It’s a whole new ball game coming back as a team manager, but something I’m looking forward to.

“Everyone at home knows who Gordon Crockard is and if the conditions are wet and rough, where it will come down to experience and picking the correct lines, then there’s no better man than Gordon at Desertmartin.

“If it’s fast and smooth, then it’s ‘chin on the tank’ stuff and probably plays into the hands of the younger riders.”

Talking of talented young riders. Ballyclare’s Martin Barr, currently lying sixth in the MX1 class after taking third overall at the previous round, will be looking to take a podium finish at The Desert for his proppa.com KTM team, as will Irish and Ulster MX1 championship leader Wayne Garrett from Comber.

Portavogie’s Robert Hamilton is another who will fancy his chances in the Desertmartin sand.

Carrick’s Graeme Irwin [HM Plant Red Bull KTM] will be sorely missed in the MX1 class at Desertmartin after a terrible crash at the French GP.

He will now be out of action for the remainder of 2011.

Racing at Desertmartin commences on Sunday at 12 noon with practice from 9am.

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