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In the Pro MX2 class championship leader #martinbarr went into the event carrying a painful shoulder injury but the hard-as-nails Irishman rode through the pain barrier to score valuable points.
Graeme won the opening #moto by more than 11 seconds and followed this up in race two with a winning margin of over 20 seconds. Kristian started strongly in both races but suffered with arm-pump and faded towards the end, although his pair of second-placed finishes were never in danger.
“It’s been a really good day and I don’t think I can fault my riding at all,” said Graeme. “I was fastest this morning in qualifying and I rode strong in both races. I’m over the moon with the bike and team – it’s been perfect today. It’s a 10 out of 10!”
The team-mates now sit first and second in the championship with Graeme holding a seven-point lead. Such is the team’s dominance a Buildbase #honda rider has won seven out of eight championship motos this season on a #crf450r and the third-placed man is 75 points adrift of the lead with two rounds remaining.
“I felt pretty decent today,” said Kristian. “I thought I was the faster man out there but I haven’t been right for a while and I don’t know what it is. I’m struggling to breathe. I felt strong for the first six laps or so before I started to suffer with arm-pump.”
It was always going to be a demanding day for Martin, the team’s sole CRF250R rider in action at Preston Docks, who was nursing a badly torn muscle and ligament damage in his right shoulder sustained a fortnight ago.
Ignoring the pain, Martin fought his way through from 13th after the first lap of the opener to second in class and backed this up with a gutsy third in race two after visibly fading around half-distance.
“Obviously, after my crash at Desertmartin it’s been a tough couple of weeks with physio just trying to get back into the swing of things,” said Martin. “I went on the bike on Wednesday and tried to ride. I only did 20 minutes but it was enough to know I could race today and try to salvage some points and a second and a third I don’t think is too bad considering.
“The last half of the second race I really struggled to hold on – the strength wasn’t there – and it’s definitely frustrating but it’s motocross, we’ll just have to crack on with it.”
The team’s second MX2 rider Lewis Trickett is still recovering from concussion and sat out the event.
Honda #racing Manager Neil Tuxworth was full of praise for the riders.
“Today’s been absolutely excellent for us,” he said. “Obviously, you can’t do any better than one and two in MX1 for Graeme and Kristian which is superb and Martin’s done an incredible job to get second and third in the MX2 class. It’s kept his championship hopes alive.”
Irwin caption//Graeme Irwin raced to a pair of wins at Preston Dock on Sunday to extend his Pro MX1 championship lead
Whatley caption//Despite suffering arm-pump late on in both motos #kristianwhatley finished a strong second
Barr caption//Despite a shoulder injury #martinbarr put in a typically gutsy performance to keep his championship hopes alive with a 2-3 card
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