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Irwin clinches MX Nationals crown

Buildbase Honda’s Graeme Irwin wrapped up the Michelin MX Nationals MX1 title at the final round of the series at Crookwood Motoparc on Sunday to make it two major championship wins in as many weeks.

The 24-year-old Irishman, who sewed up the Maxxis crown a fortnight earlier, travelled to the new venue in Wiltshire with a 24-point lead in the championship and after qualifying in second he retained his crown with victory in the opening 30-minute plus two lap race.

Determined to sign off on top, he was leading the second moto after six laps when the race was red-flagged but the result stood to give him the title by a commanding 32 points.

“It’s been a great day and the perfect way to repay the team for all their hard work,” he said. “The track was really good – plenty of ruts and totally different to what we’ve ridden for most of the season – and I won the title in the first race so there was no pressure for the second and I just went out to enjoy myself.”

Graeme’s now concentrating on the final round of the Maxxis series in a fortnight’s time when he’ll race both the MX1 and MX2 classes.

“We’re going to make our way down to the team workshop tomorrow morning,” he added, “and spend the next two weeks there getting ready for Foxhill.”

Irwin flies to the title. Photos Nuno Laranjeira
Irwin flies to the title. Photos Nuno Laranjeira

Trading up to a CRF450R from his usual MX2 machine for the MX Nationals, Martin Barr put in a typically solid performance to run 3-2 for second overall and secure third in the MX1 championship.

“I wasn’t really feeling 100 per cent today but no excuses,” said Martin. “I qualified third and got into third in the first race behind Graeme and Elliott Banks-Browne. I felt like I was starting to reel them in a little bit but I made a few mistakes and once I lost my rhythm it became hard work and they got away.

“In race two I had a lot better start and was feeling okay at the front but I ran wide and Graeme got me up the inside and then two laps later the red flag came out.

“This championship hasn’t gone as smoothly as I wanted it to but it is what it is and a big thanks to Buildbase Honda – I really appreciate all the support I’ve had this year. There’s one round of the Maxxis left so I’m going to concentrate on having a strong finish to the season.”

Ryan Thorpe, standing in for team owner Dave Thorpe, was delighted with his riders’ results.

“Graeme had a good race with Elliott Banks-Browne in moto one and took the win which gave him the championship,” he said. “Martin also looked strong – he tightened up in the middle of the race but rode to a solid third.

“In moto two Martin holeshot and led with Graeme second. They switched positions and were still running 1-2 when the race was red-flagged which gave them first and second on the day and you can’t ask for any more than that.”

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