He’s the reigning British MX1 Champion and a man on a mission in pursuit of results in the World Motocross Championship. As a budding youngster Graeme Irwin was taken under the wing of Roger Magee in 2009 as a teenager, and has since enjoyed both the highs and lows of the sport. The Northern Irishman now has the national championship in his pocket and is looking forward to getting back to Grand Prix racing with the team his professional career began with, the Hitachi KTM UK ASA Scaffolding team.
“I am absolutely loving it,” said Irwin when asked about being back with the team where it all started. “I’m really enjoying riding for Lee and Roger in the Hitachi KTM UK ASA Scaffolding team. They’ve given me everything that I need to get going racing so it’s all down to me now. I’m enjoying it.”
Irwin enjoys everything about racing dirtbikes. As a former MXY2 and Irish Champion in his youth days, he’s looking forward to seeing the next generation of young guns of the sport in action at the British Motocross Festival in Culham at the end of March, where on Friday/Saturday the opening round of the Judd KTM British Youth National Championship will take place and on Sunday will be round two of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship. It’s an exciting event for the sport.
“I think it’s going to be a really good atmosphere at Culham. I hope that a lot of the junior riders will stay on to watch us on Sunday and I think it will be a good crowd. I’m excited for it – it’s something new and for the sport it’s good to have changes. Fair play to the guys at RHL Activities (the organisers) for doing it.”
“I think (if he had been racing as a junior) I’d have been riding round on Friday and Saturday thinking more about seeing the pros on the Sunday! I remember being a youth rider and seeing the pros is where you look up-to and want to be. I think it will be good hopefully for the youth of the sport, as well as for them to see how we ride. It works both ways and I think there are some very talented kids out there that just need that opportunity or break, and because of our schedule it’s not that often that a team will get to see them – so this is an added benefit.”
Irwin has endured some tough battles in his career but vows that he has no particular favourable track. Culham has been of mixed results in the past and he’s aiming to give his best on the day for the crowds.
“At Culham I’ve won some races and lost some races. I try to stay away from having favourite tracks or tracks I don’t like so much, just because it’s good to have a positive approach. I was on the podium last year with second overall I think so one better than that would be perfect.”
“My advice to the junior riders would be to treat it like a normal race, don’t be thinking too much about the teams and the bigger names watching. I would say to ride how they know they can.”
When asked about his training, Irwin explains it’s about balance between the training you enjoy and what needs to be done. He’s an avid cycling fan and this forms a lot of the basis of his training, but when it comes to being in the season he tries to ride as much as possible.
“The key during the season for me is getting as much ride time in as I can and coming into the weekend feeling 100%. Off the track I do a lot of circuit style training as well as a lot of cycling because I really enjoy it, but if you’re a better runner you can run. It’s important to be prepared,” concluded Irwin as he heads off out for more riding.
For more information about the British Motocross Festival, which takes place on March 30 – April 1 in Culham, Oxfordshire please visit www.rhlactivities.com
Photo Credit: Billy Giltrow/The Motorcycle Agency