Barr relishing new challenges

Martin Barr has final shakedown on  new 450 Buildbase Honda at Magilligan.
Martin Barr has final shakedown on new 450 Buildbase Honda at Magilligan.

Martin Barr, the reigning MX2 National champion will switch classes in this year’s championship to MX1 riding the all new 450 Buildbase Honda.

“After winning the MX2 championship last year I just decided to try MX1,” he explained. “It’s not going to be easy with a lot of fast guys in the series, one of which is my team-mate Graeme Irwin the reigning MX1 champion but I’ve put in a lot of hard work, maybe more than anyone else, so I believe there is no reason why I can’t win the title”.

I caught up with Martin at a final test on the new 450 Honda at Magilligan before he set off for the opening round of the Michelin MX Nationals at Fat Cat Motorparc, Doncaster this weekend. He has just returned from the Italian Championship a couple of weeks ago and although he didn’t challenge for the title in the Italian sunshine he reckons it was well worth the trip.

“The championship results weren’t great with a few crashes upsetting the finishes but as far as preparations for the new season were concerned it was all positive,” he said. “Despite the crashes I felt good and very strong on the bike. I know it will be a long season ahead in the British championship riding the 250 Buildbase Honda in the MX2 series along with the MX Nationals where I will be riding the new Buildbase 450 Honda, but I have worked hard with my trainer Lindsey to get into the best shape I can to cope with both machines.

“It has been a fine line to be as perfect as I can be for both bikes but I think we have got it right. I can’t wait to get started.”

Joining Martin at the opening round of the Micheln MX Masters will be fellow locals Graeme Irwin in the Pro MX1 class and reigning Ulster and Irish semi experts champion Paul Atkinson who will race his Ulster Shredders Husqvarna for the first time in the MX1 class.

Kris Rea the brother of superbike world champion Jonathan, will make his debut in the MX2 clubmans class on his 250 Kawasaki while Glenn McCormick will make his comeback in the expert MX2 class on the Watts Motorcycles/Agnew Recovery KTM.