I heard that my pal from England @stefanpaetow does some PR work with a British MX Championship team and was heading to NI for round 5 at Desertmartin.
I had never been to Moto Cross at all and thought that this would be a grand opportunity to go along with someone who knows whats happening. We met at Belfast City Airport on the Saturday evening. Stefan had the pleasure of sharing the flight with Stacey Soloman no less. We headed to his digs at the belfast Hilton and made plans for the next morning.
I picked Stefan up good and early and we made our way west towards the circuit. There was no traffic and we made good time. I was asked to park in a sodden field and soon gave it up as a bad idea and found a spot outside a small church 100 yards down the road.
Whislt Stefan set up his camera gear and chatted with his Proppa.com I had a nosey round the circuit. I was amazed how close fans would get to the action and how many great viewing spots there were.
The weather was pretty kind, although cold but there was an excellent turnout of fans.
I loved the race start carry on. The riders qualified to get prime position at the start gate then furiously scrape the dirt at their position to help grip. The sound system then blasts out “Sandstorm” before the gate flies up and riders charge towards the first right hander and series of jumps. Class.
When Stefan wasnt busy taking photos and completing interviews he kindly introduced me to some of the top riders and their sponsors. Some BSB and road racing riders were also there, including Alistair Seeley, Cam Donald and Ryan Farqhuar.
I was amazed at the preparation that goes into getting each bike ready for the race, including washing the machine.
The event is a good photographers dream with so many great jumps and great spots to get a great view. Sorry my pics are not up to the mark, but you never know, Stefan may post us one of his proffessional ones on here.
If you have a chance I really encourage to go along to a great wee circuit. If the weather is kind you will have a super day out.
We raced away from Desertmartin towards Belfast so that Stefan could catch the last flight back to London, or be faced with another over nighter in Belfast.
Thanks for the company Stefan and hope we can do the same in 2012. The date and timings for this years round of the championship in Northern Ireland are as follows:
24th June 2012
MX2 Qualifying One – 15 Min Free Practice/15 Min Timed Practice/5 Min Start Straight Practice
09.40 MX2 Qualifying Two – Superpole 10 Minutes Maximum
09.55 MX1 Qualifying One – 15 Min Free Practice/15 Min Timed Practice/5 Min Start Straight Practice
10.35 MX1 Qualifying – Superpole 10 Minutes Maximum
10.50 MXY2 Free Practice – 10 Minutes/15 Min Timed Practice/5 Min Start Straight Practice
11.30 – 11.45 Autograph Session
12.05 MX2 Race One. Motorcycles in the Waiting Zone / Sighting Lap
12.15 MX2 Race Two. Start 20 minutes + 2 Laps
12.45 MX1 Race One. Motorcycles in the Waiting Zone / Sighting Lap
12.55 MX1 Race Two. Start 20 Minutes + 2 Laps
13.25 MXY2 Race One. Motorcycles in the Waiting Zone / Sighting Lap
13.35 MXY2 Race One. Start 20 Minutes + 1 Lap
14.05 MX2 Race Two. Motorcycles in the Waiting Zone / Sighting Lap
14.15 MX2 Race Two. Start 20 Minutes + 2 Laps
14.45 MX1 Race Two. Motorcycles in the Waiting Zone / Sighting Lap
14.55 MX1 Race Two. Start 20 Minutes + 2 Laps
15.25 MXY2 Race Two. Motorcycles in the Waiting Zone / Sighting Lap
15.35 MXY2 Race Two. Start 20 Minutes + 1 Lap
16.05 MX2 Race Three. Motorcycles in the Waiting Zone / Sighting Lap
16.15 MX2 Race Three. Start 20 Minutes + 2 Laps
MX2 Prize-Giving Ceremony. Top Three Riders overall.
16.45 MX1 Race Three. Motorcycles in the Waiting Zone / Sighting Lap
16.55 MX1 Race Three. Start 20 Minutes + 2 Laps
MX1 & MXY2 Prize-Giving Ceremonies. Top Three Riders overall.