Whilst most focus on the Grand Prix stars ahead of the upcoming Maxxis British Championship, the Phoenix Tools Honda outfit have adopted the role of an underdog. Is that deserved? Perhaps, but the team fought for race victories on many occasions just a year ago. Barry Moore, the head honcho, is eager to see Gert Krestinov and Carlton Husband jump into action once again, so it seemed like appropriate to catch up with him and look forward.
MX Vice: The Phoenix Tools Honda team has been around for quite some time. What it is that drives you to keep turning up each year? Has there been a point where you have thought about walking away?
Barry Moore: Yeah, we have been around the British circuit for over ten years now and I still get the same buzz now as I did then. I think that for a majority of people within our sport it is not easy to walk away and I can honestly say I have never thought about walking away.
The team has obviously picked up a new title sponsor this year in the form of Apico. How does that change things for you?
Teaming up with Apico has been a very positive step for me and the team, Dylan and Scott have been very supportive and you can see their passionate about the sport. We all get on very well and normally speak daily. Being involved with Apico will not change the way I run things, but it opens us up to a great range of products that will undoubtedly benefit the team.
Does running a team benefit you away from the racetrack? Do you notice an increase in business and exposure?
It is very difficult to calculate benefits from running a British Championship team, if any. My team undoubtedly costs me money to run, but I never go into a season with any illusions. I am sure there are some teams that can make money but it is not mine.
The team obviously made huge steps forward last year and reached a point that you wanted to get to. Did being a contender for race wins in the British series bring a new level of stress that you were not expecting?
Last year was a fantastic year with Gert [Krestinov], Carlton [Husband] and Kathryn [Booth]. Winning races at the top level is something I dreamed about at the beginning of this journey! When it happened, I remember grabbing Karl (the mechanic for Krestinov) and throwing him up in the air. It was an unbelievable feeling and that will always stay with me. I want that feeling again and, with both Gert and Carlton, I am confident we can achieve race wins again this year. Being classed as a contender for the MX1 title did not bring any extra pressure.
The MX1 class will be much deeper this year, does that cause you to shift expectations slightly? Is the goal still for Gert Krestinov to claim the MX1 title?
The MX1 class is definitely much stronger this year. There are some big names in there, but we will go into this season the same as the last. Our goals have not changed – we want to win the MX1 title. I believe Carton can have a very strong season, as he has got his first season under his belt and had some outstanding rides. He will be better prepared for this season.
Based on the rules that have been released, it seems as though Carlton Husband will be eligible for the MX1 Expert class. Thoughts on that class, even if he is not involved?
I have seen the new rules, but this will not involve Carlton as he has had top-five finishes in MX1 and also raced EMX250 so no change for us. I can see some benefits of running an Expert class – time will tell. If it works, it's something different.
You have seen it all in Britain, so what are your thoughts on the current state of the sport? Are there things that you feel would help teams significantly?
So many people have different opinions on how to make the sport better. It's not easy and there is no quick fix. I don't think it's in a bad way, but I'm just concentrating on getting the most exposure for my sponsors and trying to keep them happy.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX