Racing a super-competitive series like the Arenacross tour is tough enough with a solid winter testing programme behind you so imagine going into it still not totally sure what bike you’ll be riding! Well that’s exactly the situation facing Northern Irish star Martin Barr…
The 25-year-old from Ballyclaire is a proven performer indoors but despite this has struggled to find a ride since Tyco Suzuki by TAS, the team he contested last year’s motocross season for, decided to call a halt to its off-road activities.
Here’s what he has to say…
AX: First off Martin, can you fill us in on what’s happening with a bike/team for Arenacross? MB: “Things have been very slow with trying to get a ride sorted. It’s been a very stressful time but things are starting to get there although at this moment in time nothing is 100 per cent sorted yet!”
AX: So what sort of preparation have you been able to do? MB: “The only preparation I’ve been doing is training in the gym. I haven’t had a bike since the start of October and have only ridden three times since then on one of my personal sponsor’s bikes! London is going to be tough but I’m well up for the challenge and hoping for a bit of luck.”
AX: What sort of indoor experience do you have? MB: “I’ve pretty good experience. Back in 2001 I was the BW85cc British SX champ and have been on the podium a good few times in the Pro classes. Back in 2005 in Belfast I finished third to Sebastien Tortelli and Josh Woods.”
AX: How much do you enjoy racing indoors? MB: “I love it! It’s close racing and a really good buzz being in front of the crowds.” AX: Given your hardly ideal preparation how do you rate your chances? MB: “As I said it’s going to be tough but I’m up for it – I’ll be using my head to make sure I’m in for a chance for the championship!” AX: Obviously, round two in on home turf for you Martin – with Belfast looking to be a capacity crowd what sort of advantage will that give you or does it work the other way around with there being a lot of pressure on you to do well? MB: “Belfast is always one of the best races on the calendar – we’re all petrolheads over here and love it. The last couple of years I have really received brilliant support which really helps you out on the track so hopefully I’ll get the same this year from the crowd if not better!” AX: How important is it for you to do well in the AX series this year? MB: “It’s always important to do well in any series but to get a good result come the end of the championship will set me up nicely for the outdoors.”