After a brilliant thirteenth place last year, the Irish are looking to put in a similar performance again in 2014.
Despite the great finish, Ireland also had some problems with both Graeme Irwin and Martin Barr going down in the first lap in their final motos. So if they all make it round turn one this year it could be an even better day!
As usual the trickiest day will be the Saturday and getting into the A final. If they can negotiate that successfully then everything is possible on Sunday.
We spoke to team leader, VMX/Nutt travel KTM rider Martin Barr, who ran down and beat Blake Baggett last year, to get his take on it.
“It is always a big thing to get a phone call to represent team Ireland,” admits Martin. “This is my ninth year as I have been on it since 2005. It is definitely a good feeling and on the MX2 bike I am really looking forward to it. I always love the Des Nations, it is your time to shine and show the European teams what we’ve got.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Laurence Spence and those guys again, and hopefully like last year we can go straight into the A final. That’s what we are looking for. “
Barr is also looking forward to the track and it is one he likes: “I have ridden Teutschental a few times. It is a good track and always well prepared. I am looking forward to it. Hopefully a lot of supporters from home can get over and support the team again just like year. Hopefully we can get the job done.”
Graeme Irwin is motivated and ready to show the world what he has on the 450. Irwin has been at a power disadvantage in the two MX2 GPs he has done this year compared to the factory MX2 missiles but, on the All heads and threads 450 Suzuki, Irwin will be able to show what he can do. I really believe he is going to open some eyes this weekend. And if he gets away near the front everyone will get their money’s worth because this kid will not be afraid to run it in on the big names and ruffle some feathers!
To everyone outside Ireland, Gary Gibson is unknown but Gibson is faster than most people realise. Gary has just won his second Irish MX1 title in a row on his Bannside Pallets Suzuki and, in Ireland, can give anyone a run. He even edged out Irwin to pole position earlier in the year at an Ulster championship and kept him honest in all three motos when Graeme was on the 450.
Gibson is a superb starter and if he can overcome the butterflies, believe in himself and crucially bring his home form to Germany he will get the results he is capable of. Both Barr and Irwin, along with Manager Laurence Spence, will hopefully be able to help Gibson overcome the nerves in his debut at the event.
A top fifteen is very possible but there are a few more teams entered this year so the qualifying races on Saturday could be even more nerve wrecking than usual… so give them all your support!
Article by Jonathan McCready