The two young MX2 riders of the Emberson RFX Yamaha team – Graeme Irwin and Steven Lenoir had another fantastic day at Round 5 of the British Motocross Championship this. Now in the second half of the season, the team trucks and teams took to the ferries and planes as the Maxxis sponsored series touched down in Northern Ireland for the welcome return of the stunning former GP track at Desertmartin. Despite heavy rain prior to Sunday, the Irish luck was in full effect on the day, and although dark clouds threatened a couple of times, the track was in perfect condition and the racing was blistering.
French rider Steven Lenoir has been right at the front of the pack all season but so far a podium place had eluded him. At the last round at Milton Park, Lenoir had promised that he would get on the box at the next round, and sure enough, his fourth and two thirds was enough to secure overall third and finally a chance to spray the champagne.
“Today was good. It started really well with pole position at the qualification for Super pole. This was the first time I’ve done this so I was really pleased and was feeling good. Then I had three strong motos – still really close to getting a win but still some work to do! But I was third overall on the day and my first podium at the ‘British’ so that is really good and just what I was looking for. I’m third overall in the championship, so I need to keep going for the remaining rounds so that I can say a big thanks to Emberson Yamaha, all the sponsors, my family and everyone that supports the team.”
Graeme Irwin came to round 5 with a great deal of expectations resting on his shoulders. The enthusiastic crowd were bound to be right behind the home rider from the moment the gate dropped, and for a while it looked like he was going to ace the first race right in front of them. But a few mistakes and bit of bad luck kept him from handing them an Irish win they all wanted, but Irwin was still able to put in three strong rides to come away one place behind his team mate in fourth place.
“The day started off OK – in Super pole I ended up second which I was happy enough with as I was fourth or fifth in normal qualifying. I went through a pile of tyres in practice and qualifying, but I used a Pirelli 32 for the Super pole which worked much better. The first race I really felt that I should have won it, but I crashed two laps from the end which was frustrating, but I still got the gap back to 2.5 seconds behind Elliott by the end. I felt good and the bike felt really strong today. In race two I took another small crash on the second lap – the front just washed out which left me back around tenth. I worked my way back to fifth which I wasn’t too happy with – I was hoping for better results at my home track but it just didn’t happen. Third Race I didn’t get such a good start and got squeezed a bit on the first corner but still came out sixth and I knew I had to beat my team mate as it was between him and me for third. Steve was riding really strong and in the first half of the race and managed to pull a bit of a gap. Bradshaw managed to get past me and then I found my rhythm about three laps from the end, but it was about seven laps too late so that’s where I ended up! I feel strong on the bike, everything feels good and the team is working really hard. I think the results are going to show towards the end of the season and we get a real good push on.”
John Giffard – Team Manager
A good day today. A great start to the day with Steven going first in Qualifying 1 and the same again in Qualifying 2, Graeme was second in Qualifying 2 so that was a good start to go 1 / 2 in the qualifying. Both guys got a good start in the first race. Steven made a bit of a mistake and Graeme passed him, Graeme went onto finish second, which was a shame as I think that could have been the best race and Steven struggled a bit with his arms and finished 4th. Second race was really good – a strong race for us with Steven getting third and then third again in the last race which gave him third overall and on the podium. Graeme tired a bit in race two but came back in the last moto for fourth overall. All round a good day, but I was kind of hoping that one of the boys might have had a race win today as they both started the day so well, but it was good for the championship and Graeme has moved up to 6th in the championship and Steven is in third position with three rounds left.
The team will be heading back to the mainland for the sixth round of the Championship at Hawkstone Park. With such strong positions in the sand of Desertmartin, this could be the time for both riders to take the podium.