REVO Husqvarna UK pairing Mel Pocock and Martin Barr crushed it at the opening round of the EMX250 series at Redsand in Spain at the weekend to finish 3-4 overall.
Barr was the quickest man on the track all weekend – qualifying in pole and laying down the fastest laps in both motos – but a first corner take-down in the opening race forced him to fight through the field from last to 10th before he ripped to the win second time out.
Pocock, the 2012 champion, scored an emotional win in the first race before battling to ninth in moto two with a late pass snatching third overall from his team-mate.
“I haven’t won at that level since 2012 and at times it’s seemed like a distant goal to do it again,” he said. “There’s a lot of talented riders out there so it was a massive breakthrough for me in terms of confidence and self-belief – to get out front and have that feeling of leading a winning a race at that level is fantastic.
“In the second race I got in a bit of a tangle in the first corner and came around outside the top 30 so I had so much work to do. I was pretty sure I’d stuffed it up straight away but I managed to make some good passes and get third overall.
“It was great to see Martin take the second race as well. The whole team works so hard for weekends like this.”
Despite his race two win, fiercely competitive Barr was clearly unhappy about the opening moto.
“After such a disaster in the first race and knowing I was the fastest rider it was good to go out on Sunday and get the job done,” he said. “That’s just motocross and you have to take the rough with the smooth but it’s a long season so I’ll just keep at it and keep putting the work in.
“In race one the rider next to me came across and I went down but every point counts and I was pleased with my speed to come back to 10th. Race two I got an okay start, put my head down and picked them off one by one. I didn’t panic and I knew once I got into second I could run my own lines and close the leader down.
“It’s been a brilliant weekend for the team and I think we’ve made a clear statement that we’re contenders for the title.”
For team boss Mark Yates the result’s a huge shot in the arm.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” he said. “I can’t describe the feeling at the moment. It’s been incredible and Mel and Martin have excelled and we’ve come away with third and fourth in the championship and both race wins. I couldn’t be any happier with both riders’ performances and dedication and the professionalism of the whole team.
“The team’s worked so hard and I’m pleased for everybody after all the preparation through the winter with training and development. It’s come to fruition this weekend.”
Yates also reiterated his desire to move up into the big league next season.
“When we set up on our own we worked out a plan and we have been able to keep to it – next year we want to go MXGP! Both Mel and Martin are on two-year deals and I am confident they can be competitive among the private teams in MXGP.”