Martin Barr is back in MX2 and is determined to win the British championship.
The vmxmoto.com/Nutt Travel KTM rider knows it won’t be easy with five or six guys all capable of winning but he is ready for the challenge.
Mxvice spoke with Martin to see how he was getting on with only a few days until the start of the British championship kick off FatCats.
Despite a last minute rush to get testing in after his deal was only signed in January, Barr is ready to go and feeling comfortable on the bike.
So, just a few days to go -are you ready?
Yea, I am really looking forward to it. Obviously everything has been really last minute. I only got my final testing on the bike yesterday. Physically with myself I feel good and mentally I am confident. The bike is awesome at the minute. In standard trim out of the box it is a brilliant bike so we have just added to that.
I feel good but you can never really tell until you’re in the race but I won’t be going crazy, it is a long season I want to get good results, see where we are at and build on it.
You looked very comfortable on the bike at Donemana just over a week ago, the bike sounded good and you had some different lines to everyone else – you seem more comfortable compared to the arenacross.
Yea the track at Donemana was in superb condition. I got out on my race bike for the first time to make sure everything was sweet. The handling of it was awesome, my dad’s motor was fantastic I just felt really comfortable on the bike – I felt part of the bike.
I was able to use lines that I wanted to use and had that edge of looking for lines and using my head really. It was a good warm up race to do things like that. I did feel a lot more comfortable on it and that’s just getting the hours in, putting the motos in.
In the arenacross at the first round I sat my ass on it the first time in practice and ran it in on the first practice. It was totally stock and I was a little bit rusty. I just wanted to get through, stay injury free and get used to the bike.
After (the arenacross series) I was able to get my head down and get the laps in and then start testing. What we have done in a short period of time is really good. My dad is really happy and I’m really happy.
It has been a tough month or two getting everything sorted with gear, graphics, tyres and just getting sponsors on board.Everybody’s budget is sort of gone by Christmas so it was hard to get a few things in place but we are getting there and once the season is in place and we start getting some good results we might get a few more people on board.
Did racing the arenacross and Donemana help with getting the starts under your belt, does that help the confidence and nerves?
Yea you still a bit nervous. We are all the same we are not robots, we all know what we can do. I always like to get a race done before the British Championship. Unfortunately the Hawstone International clashed with the arenacross.
So Donemana was good to get out of the gate and bang bars in the first couple of laps and refresh all that was brilliant. To come away with the March Hare cup was the icing on the cake.
You are pretty good at Fatcats, the sand suits you and you won the Red Bull there last season but Mel Pocock and EBB will be there and have been riding the GPs – are you looking forward to seeing how you stack up against them?
I love the sand, it gnarly and really sorts the men out from the boys. Going into this weekend, they are all going to be really excited. I am going to go there with a mature approach, I know it is a long season and I don’t want to do anything stupid.
Elliot and Pocock have two GPs under their belt so I am looking forward to going out and racing them and just guide myself off them. If I can go out and beat them, all well and good, I have every confidence that I can do that but as I was saying I just want to stay out of trouble. I just need to get out of the start gate and try to make it happen.
Initially the MX2 class didn’t look as good with a couple of riders leaving but with yourself and Stephen Sword coming back in as well as EBB, Graeme Irwin, Steven Lenior and more it is actually going to be a very had and competitive season!
A lot of people might think I am taking a step backwards going onto the MX2 bike but I don’t see it that way. It is going to be very, very competitive, there are going to be a lot of different race winners and it isn’t going to be easy.
It is going to be one of the tightest championships in a long time. The last couple of years you had Osborne and Tonus who were maybe a step about everyone else but this year it is going to be an even playing field.
It is going to be about consistency and staying out of trouble and being there or thereabouts every weekend. You have Graeme Irwin, EBB, Swordy, Bradshaw , Mackenzie, Nathan Watson and a few other guys but I am really, really looking forward to it and I’m up for the challenge. It won’t be easy but I’ve been working hard – as well as everybody else I’m sure.
You have been third in both the MX1 and MX2 championships and always been there or thereabouts, so what is it going to take for you to win this title?
Yea I have been third a fair few times but I think being a bit older and a bit more mature is definitely going to happen. All the surroundings have to be right and I feel really confident and happy where I am, There is going to be a lot of travelling and it’s not going to be an easy year financially but it’s good and I know I have the full package to go forward and win it, it’s just up to me now.
You win the championship on your bad days, you don’t want to be doing silly things so hopefully fingers crossed this is my year, I have been working really hard and hopefully I can get that British Championship.
I just want to thank my vmxmoto.com/ Nutt Travel KTM team, PGM, Agnew recovery, AJ Plumbing, Isaac Agnew van centre, Discount beds, JT sprockets and chains, Silkolene, Polisport, Risk Racing, Shift, Talon, Advance suspension, Bazzaz, Magic Bullet, Moto graphics, my mum and dad, family and friends for sticking by me.
We are all up for the challenge and we know what we need to do. Without those guys I wouldn’t be anywhere, I really appreciate everyone who is putting their hand in their pocket to help me go racing. Hopefully I can repay them with race wins and a couple of championships would be the icing on the cake.
Interview and picture by Jonathan McCready