Round 4 of the 2018 Maxxis British Motocross championship at Desertmartin was the ‘home’ round for the Hitachi ASA KTM UK team and the impressive venue didn’t disappoint with the results by the team’s riders in MX1 and MX2; Graeme Irwin finished second overall on his KTM 450 SX-F to close down the points gap to first in the championship and Conrad Mewse was untouchable in MX2 to further strengthen his championship aspirations.
As expected, the Desertmartin circuit was prepared to a world class standard by the Cookstown & District Motorcross Club and always a firm favourite on the calendar with the riders, teams and fans thanks to the track condition and surrounding facilities.
MX2 Championship leader, Conrad Mewse, was on untouchable form at Desertmartin. The Shepton Mallet rider showed every bit of his world class ability on the KTM 250 SX-F – posting fastest times every time he was out on track.
The 19-year old made excellent use of his dominant qualifying performance to go unmatched in both motos, winning the first one from championship rivals, Martin Barr and Mel Pocock, by 35 seconds and extending the winning margin by a further five seconds in Race 2.
The #426 increases his championship lead with 188 points from Joshua Gilbert on 157 and Mel Pocock on 142 and will head into the Round 12 of the MX2 World Championship in Indonesia full of confidence.
Conrad Mewse #426: “It was a solid weekend for me. In the last few weeks we’ve been working a lot to make me a ‘new’ person on the bike by improving everything that happens around me when I’m not on the bike. Everyone involved has put a lot of hard work in and now we are heading in right direction. Winning both races here by a long way is where I want to be, and a happy rider is a fast rider.”
In MX1, reigning champion, Graeme Irwin, was keen to pay back the support of his local fans with the overall top step, but it would be 40 points instead of 50 for the Carrickfergus rider. Cleary able to run a strong pace all weekend on the #1 KTM 450 SX-F, it would be the starts in both motos that would let the 26-year old down.
In Race 1 Irwin beat championship leader, Jake Nicholls, into second and was less than two seconds behind wildcard rider, Tommy Searle, who took the win. Graeme’s start in the second moto was worse than that of the opening race, seeing him finish the first lap in 16th place. Battling hard, he worked his way through the field and once again passed Nicholls and was less than a second from Evgeny Bobryshev at the flag in third to take second overall on the day with his 2-4 finishes.
In the championship it’s still Nicholls leading on 176 points with Bobryshev 19 points back and Irwin a further 10 points adrift, but with the championship only at the halfway stage there’s still everything to play for.
Graeme Irwin #1 said: “Hands down this is the best round of the season. No question. The preparation that goes into this event is incredible and that’s why the riders, teams and fans love it. Racing wise, it was a good day but honestly, I’m gutted. The KTM 450 SX-F was fantastic all day and we made no adjustments to it. We had the speed but it’s the starts that really let us down and that has happened before when we have the race pace to win the race. But I’ll work on that.
“The main thing is that we have closed the gap in the championship and need to keep on top of that. I think we’ve seen a bit of a crack in Nicholls here and there’s no doubt this will be a realty interesting championship as the next two rounds at Duns and Hawkstone are good tracks for me.”
Team Manager, Roger Magee, said: “What a weekend! The Desertmartin round is best event on the calendar and the organisation by the Cookstown & District Motocross Club was second to none. Everything about it is world class and not just the condition of the track itself.
“In MX2, Conrad showed he’s just head and shoulder above the rest in the British championship; setting the fastest lap on every lap and winning both races by over 30 seconds – a perfect day for him. With Graeme in MX1, he didn’t get best of starts in both races but showed his speed and got in front of championship leader, Nicholls, each time. He needs to come out swinging in the next round, which we are all sure he will.”