MXGP Britain: Clarke takes EMX250 overall win

Northern Ireland’s Martin Barr (Revo Husqvarna UK) extended his EMX250 series lead over team-mate Mel Pocock by one point at round five of the championship at the MXGP of GB at Matterley Basin today but the weekend belonged to Steven Clarke (Carglass Honda).

The Brit, champion in 2014 and winner at Matterley in 2016, won a dramatic opening moto on Saturday afternoon by less than two seconds from France’s Tom Vialle (Husqvarna) and backed it up with second in race two this morning to claim a comfortable overall victory.

“I’m over the moon,” he said. “I wanted to get a double moto victory but [Mikkel] Haarup got me with a few laps to go. He had more pace than me so I thought I’d ride it out to the finish to get the overall.

“I couldn’t be happier. The English crowd was cheering me on the whole way round and I can’t thank them enough.”

The class was dominated by UK riders with wild card Josh Spinks (M Smith KTM) taking second overall thanks to three-eight finishes and Barr just one pass away from the second step of the podium after a dramatic final few laps when he managed to chase down Pocock.

Instead, Barr – who was seventh yesterday – lost third to France’s Pierre Goupillon (Kawasaki), who finished just over a second ahead of him in race two, on a tie-break. Still, by way of consolation, the pass on his team-mate – who ended the weekend seventh overall with six-five scores – ensures he’ll carry the series leader’s red plate into round six in France in a week’s time.

The racing was so close that just two points separated second from eighth and after the disappointment of Mike Kras’ double DNF in EMX300 there was cause for celebration in the GL12 Racing KTM camp with James Dunn breaking the top 10 for the second consecutive time on the sole two-stroke among a sea of four-strokes.

With six rounds still to go it’s Barr who leads on 160 points from Pocock on 157 and France’s Mathys Boisrame (Honda) on 151. Clarke is now fourth on 128 and Dunn has advanced to 13th on 69.

The Vets World Cup was won by defending champion Martin Zerava (Suzuki) from the Czech Republic ahead of French two-time world 250cc champ Mickaël Pichon (KTM) and Finland’s Niko Kalatie (KTM). Best Brit was ‘Factory’ Phil Mercer who ended the weekend in fifth.

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