With days to go to the biggest off-road motorcycle event in Ireland, the MAXXIS British Championships at Desertmartin on Saturday, the Cookstown Club have released the entry list for this exciting event.
The MX1 Entry list for 450cc machines is headed by local star and reigning Champion Graeme Irwin on his Hitachi ASA KTM UK machine run by local Crossgar man Roger Magee, Graeme has been having a torrid return to Grands Prix this year, and is still suffering from the horrendous burns he suffered after being trapped under the bike at the last British round in Blaxhall, however, the local crowd support Desertmartin is famous for will certainly lift the Carrickfergus natives spirits and would certainly be one of the favourites to win.
However, the Championship is headed by the Buildbase Honda teamster Jake Nicholls riding number 45, with big Russian Grand Prix regular Evgeny Bobryshev riding 777 on the Lombard Express private Suzuki entry, these three should make up the podium all things being equal, but there are some talented riders in the entry including #60, Brad Anderson, the evergreen Geordie with the unconventional riding style is still a fan favourite on the Verde Substance KTM, Gert Krestinov, the Latvian/Estonian on the Phoenix Tools Apico Honda, and of course Grand Prix winner Tommy Searle on the #100 DRT Kawasaki cannot be ruled out despite missing most of the year through injury.
Local interest outside Irwin is with series regular Stuart Edmonds in his familiar 162 Apico Husqvarna, and reigning Irish & Ulster Champion Richard Bird on a less familiar 157 Five5Motorspsort KTM, Richard has been on fire local this year, so it will be interesting to see how the popular Lisburn man contends with the best in Britain.
Turning to the MX2 Class, the entry list is led by new superstar Josh Gilbert on his Buildbase Honda, the winner of the prestigious Coupe de l’Avenir in Belgium last year, Josh is proving to be a sensation this year in this ultra-competitive class, although the Championship leader is fellow teenager Conrad Mewse on the Hitachi ASA KTM UK machine, our own ‘veteran’ now Martin Barr from Ballyclare on the Revo Husqvarna will be hoping to get his Championship hopes back on track after a disappointing run at last weeks St Jean d’Angeley Grand Prix, but again, he loves this circuit and the adoring crowd certainly adds to the Ballyclare mans speed.
Also in the mix will be Mel Pocock, Barrs Revo Husqvarna team mate, Liam Knight on the Pope Racing KTM, and Josh Spinks on the M-Smith KTM.
Local interest is strong in this class headed by local rivals Loughbricklands Jason Meara on his KTM and Glenn McCormick on his Agnew Recovery KTM, these two have been setting the Ulster & Irish Championships alight this year, so maybe home advantage will help them into a top 5 result, also looking for home town advantage will be Millisle man Luke Smyth on his KTM, the always exciting Belfast rider James Mackrel on his G&G Ross Yamaha, and from Dublin, Jake Shreridan on his RSR Plant Services KTM.
Finally, the first visit of the interesting 2 Stroke Class entry is led by James Dunn on the GL12 KTM, although he is only third behind Dutch team mate Mike Kras in the Championship and Ashley Wilde on the RMJ Academy Husqvarna is the meat in the sandwich.
Locals trying their hand at this exciting Championship include, Saintfield teenager Ben Kennedy on his little 125 Yamaha, Annalong veteran Lindsay Newell on the Suitor Bros Yamaha 250, Matthew Fry from Randalstown on his KTM, Moneymore teenager Ben Hall on his Husqvarna, Stewartstown man Donal Teague on his Mecca Gym Kawasaki, and Bushmills man Ryan Esler on his little 150 KTM, should be an interesting day in this Class.
The Cookstown Club as usual would not be able to promote the event without the help of local sponsors, these include, Bannside Haulage & Pallets, Banbridge, Tobermore Concrete Products Ltd, Tobermore WJ Scarlett & Son Merchants, Ballyclare Bavarian BMW, Belfast
Charles Hurst Motorcycles, Fluid Plumbing & Heating Services MRA Ireland Ltd 2x4 Wheel Motorsport Steering Group, Edgar Electrical Supplies, Belfast, Heron Brothers, Draperstown
JB Tyres, Tobermore Lance Graham, LG Racing BM Auto exchange, Newtownards, Thompson Leisure Dromore, Mid Ulster District Council, and of course title sponsors MAXXIS Tyres and Pro Clean.
Racing commences at the circuit on 24th June at 1045 with practice and qualifying off at 0900am, postcode for the circuit is BT45 4QW and further details can be found on www.mxgb.co.uk
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