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Maxxis heads to The Desert and home race for Irwin

Fan favourite Graeme Irwin is gearing up to carry the MX1 red series leader’s plate into his home round at Desertmartin on Sunday.

The Buildbase Honda rider, who was brought up in Carrickfergus, is counting on strong local support as he bids to become the first rider from Northern Ireland since Gordon Crockard to take the British title.

“It’s my favourite track,” he said, “and obviously I’m very proud to be going there with the red plate but I want to leave with the red plate too. Last year I made a mistake there which cost me dearly so I don’t want a repeat of that.

“After everything that’s happened recently I’m just glad I’m going into Desertmartin in one piece and the plan is to keep it that way and stay focussed on the job I’m there to do.

“Martin [Barr] went there with the red plate last year and this time it’s my turn. It will be awesome to race with it in front of my home fans and hopefully it will help draw in the crowd.”

Organisers will pay tribute to Steven Lenoir, who died last week in a crash in his native France, with a minute’s silence and a lap of honour.

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