British Supercross Championship: Bikers hit the dirt
From Rihanna to the roar of motorcycle engines ... the Belfast Odyssey arena that a few weeks ago rocked to the Barbadian beauty will next month be transformed into an indoor dirt track.
Tons of earth will replace the ice where the Belfast Giants skate in Elite Hockey league action to create the humps and hollows that make Supercross such a spectacle.
With local motocross stars Gordon Crockard and Martin Barr again defending their home town turf against an international field, when Round 2 of the £40,000 British Supercross Championship returns to the Odyssey on Saturday, November 19, another sellout 8,000 crowd is expected.
Round 1 is this Saturday at Sheffield Motopoint Arena and for the first time live coverage will be available globally on pay per view.
Crockard came back from a serious injury at Hawkstone Park in early 2009 to win the British Supercross title the following season.
The Newtonwards rider is fighting fit and on form, recently winning the Brian Bell Memorial international motocross race at Downpatrick.
He will be on his new Norman Watt Kawasaki at the Odyssey and said at yesterday's event launch: “I am really looking forward to the Championship coming back to the Odyssey and competing in the whole series and hopefully regaining the championship after blowing it last year.
“It’s great to be able to race at home in front of all the people who have given me so much support over the years.
“The fans at the Odyssey are fantastic. It’s a great atmosphere.”
Martin Barr, another star rider from Ballyclare, will be out to repeat his success this year after winning at the Odyssey last year. The event will also represent Martin’s debut with his new team, LPE Kawasaki.
Barr is eager to repeat the win and secure a British Supercross title in this year’s five city tour that also includes rounds in Glasgow, Wembley Arena and the Birmingham LG Arena.
Young Edward Allingham of Eglinton, who put his knee out on the first lap at the Odyssey last year, will be back to contend the whole series with his Nicholl Oils Star Yamaha.
Ed will compete against his former team-mate and defending British Supercross Lights champ Jack Brunell.
This year’s championship could be the best and closest-fought battle in the 16-year history of the series with the best riders and teams all going after the No 1 plate and slice of the £40,000 up for grabs.
As well as the top pro riders, kids will be taking to the track on their scaled-down race bikes in pursuit of British Supercross titles.
Tickets are available from the Odyssey on 028 9073 9074.