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Martin Barr's poignant dedication as Irish team claims motocross title in Italy

By Paul Lindsay

Published 26/09/2016

Proving a point: Eugene Laverty picked up MotoGP points for the 13th time this season in Spain
Proving a point: Eugene Laverty picked up MotoGP points for the 13th time this season in Spain
Bradford’s Dean Harrison retained the Scarborough Gold Cup at Oliver’s Mount

Ireland took victory in yesterday's Motocross of Nations B Final in Italy, with Ballyclare's Martin Barr dedicating Team Ireland's win to the Sheridan family, who recently lost their son Daniel in a motocross training accident.

The 13-year-old died after a motorbike crash in Magilligan last month when he was hit by his brother Jake's bike.

Ireland were up against it from the word go with Graeme Irwin - this year's MX1 Nationals British champion - dislocating his shoulder in a free practice crash on Saturday.

The Carrick lad, who is the brother of BeWiser Ducati British Superbike rider Glenn Irwin and Gearlink Kawasaki British Supersport rider Andrew, had to sit out Sunday's B final, leaving his team-mates Martin Barr and Dublin's Stuey Edmonds with an uphill task.

Both men acquitted themselves well, with Barr finishing fourth (the first MX2 machine) and Edmonds eighth. Portugal and Germany were best placed to win the B Final, but both teams suffered mechanical problems in the closing stages, leaving lady luck to finally shine some light on Team Ireland - who went on to take the victory.

In MotoGP, Eugene Laverty finished 14th on the Pull & Bear Aspar Ducati at Aragon in Spain, making it 13 points scoring finishing in 14 races this season.

In saying that, the Ulsterman will be disappointed as he made a small mistake on the final lap whilst battling with Michele Pirro for 12th position.

Speaking afterwards, Laverty said: "The start of the race wasn't easy with a full tank of fuel, but then I settled into it and got into a good rhythm riding with Pirro. I wanted to try and pass him towards the end and I got close in the slipstream on the brakes, but the front tyre was too soft and it started moving around and I ran off the track.

"This cost me a couple of positions," said Laverty.

"I could have been 12th and we ended up 14th.

"Anyway, we weren't too far from being the top Ducati so I think we can be quite content," he said of factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso who finished tenth, and just five seconds ahead of Laverty.

The race was won by MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez, who turned his pole position aboard the factory Repsol Honda into a three second race win over fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo on the Movistar Yamaha. Valentino Rossi was a further three seconds adrift in third on the second Movistar Yamaha.

In road racing, Bradford's Dean Harrison retained the Scarborough Gold Cup at Oliver's Mount, this time for the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki team.

Ivan Lintin claimed second place on the RC Express Kawasaki with Manxman Dan Kneen third for local team Mar-Train Racing.

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