Belfast Telegraph

Steady start for Barr in season opener with fourth overall

 

Martin Barr
Martin Barr

By Roy Harris

Doagh's Martin Barr got his Maxxis British MX2 championship chase off to a steady start during the opening round at Doncaster yesterday by finishing fourth overall after a fourth in race one and sixth in race two.

It was all grand prix riders in front of his Crescent Yamaha in race one in which defending British champion Conrad Mewse and new Dutch team-mate Bas Vaessen finished first and second on the Hitachi KTMs Fuelled by Milwaukee for team principal Roger Magee from Crossgar.

Glenn McCormick was eighth in the concurrently run Experts class and Jake Sheridan 12th, both a lap down on the pro riders, while James Mackrel only completed five laps.

Race two saw the first two positions reversed with Vaessen winning from Mewse with Barr dropping to sixth behind GP riders Alvin Ostlund, Revo Husqvarna team-mate Dylan Walsh and Josh Gilbert (Honda). McCormick was seventh of the Expert class riders with Sheridan 10th.

Under the floodlights at Losail in Qatar, MotoGP got off to a thrilling start with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) taking an incredible 0.032 second victory over the Honda of defending champion Marc Marquez after a last lap, last corner sort out with top British rider Cal Crutchlow taking the final rostrum position in third, three 10ths of a second behind the Spaniard in an epic desert confrontation that saw the top five finishers split by 0.6.

It was a brilliant result for Crutchlow, still fighting back from a badly injured ankle sustained near the end of 2018 season and demoting Suzuki's Alex Rins to fourth on the final lap.

Crutchlow said: "That was a great turnaround for us. This weekend was the first time I had ridden the 2019 LCR Honda and there is a difference to last year's bike. It is a small difference, but we worked hard all weekend to get to the podium."

Eighteen-year-old Kaito Toba became the first Japanese rider to win a Moto3 race while the first Moto2 race powered by Triumph engines saw Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri win the drag to the line to hold off fast-finishing Tom Luthi by 0.026.

Belfast Telegraph

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