The newly crowned Ulster MX2 Champion, who recently signed for the Unique Fit Out Husqvarna team, was over the moon when the news came through late last week that he had been accepted to race in the Pro
Lites Championship. The Glenoe man will line up against the best arenacross riders in Europe over the six round series that kicks off in Belfast with a double header on the 18 th and 19 th January at the SSE Arena, followed by Birmingham and Sheffield.
Last year McCormick got a late call from the RFX Suzuki team to race the 450 in Belfast but after racing a 250 all season he was kind of thrown in at the deep end.
This time around he will be racing his own Unique Fit Out Husqvarna and have time to prepare properly for the series.
It was a delighted McCormick who sat down with the News Letter to chat about his latest motocross challenge.
“I was delighted to get the call on Friday as it means I can compete in the whole series instead of just doing my home rounds in Belfast.
“After getting a late fill in for the RFX Suzuki team it gave me a taste again for arenacross.
“It was frustrating not to be riding my own bike in 2018 but I really enjoyed the event and felt that I did a good job for the team.
“The buzz and the atmosphere in the SSE Arena was amazing and I knew back then that I wanted to do it again but if possible the whole series and on my own bike.
“This time with the Unique Fit Out Husqvarna I can’t wait to get started. I’m in a good place with the bikes sorted and knowing what I’m doing going into 2019. So it is a perfect time to take on the best arenacross riders in front of the home fans and now I’m ready to go and have a bit of fun.”
How do you prepare for this type of event?
“It quite different from what my regular preparation would be for an outdoor motocross season.
“The racing is a lot more intense with shorter races. I suppose it’s not something we are used to, as our races are longer on tracks that are not as tight as the arenacross tracks.
“It’s technical but a different sort of technical where your timing has to be a lot more crucial.
“It is tough to win at arenacross as you have to fight for every inch of track but after the season I have just finished I’m used to that.
“The big problem we have is there are no indoor tracks to practice on so I will probably head over to the mainland and do some training on their indoor tracks to get a feel for it before Belfast.
“We are never going to be as well prepared as the European riders as they race arenacross all year round.
“Obviously they are going to be on it and hard to beat but we will aim to get a good start and keep her lit, ride smart and we won’t be far away.”
McCormick is no stranger to the Belfast rounds of the arenacross having competed in various classes over the years.
“He started back in 2005 in the 65cc class before moing onto the big wheel 85, 125 then 250 classes, finishing on the podium quite a few times but the win is something that has always eluded him.
“My record is quite good in Belfast, “ he smiled.
“I had two podiums in the 65s, two in the BW85s, two in the 250s and one in the 125, so that’s not too bad but I’ve never actually got a win and that’s something as a rider you always want to do.
“I’m not going to arrive in Belfast with all guns blazing.
“You have to be sensible about the thing but you also don’t arrive on the start line and not want to win.
“You are not there to finish second, but neither is anyone else.”
With the likes of reigning champion Cedric Soubeyras on the Team FRO Systems, three-time Arenacross Pro winner, SR75 Suzuki’s Thomas Ramette, Fabien Izoird on the Shocktech Kawasaki, the first-ever Arenacross Pro titleholder Wooldridge Demolition ‘s Adam Chatfield, Elliot Banks-Browne on the Geartech Husqvarna,
Cyrille Coulon (SR75) and Martin Barr on the Crescent Yamaha to mention but a few of the top names in the entry list it is going to be tough for the local man.
“There are definitely a lot of top riders coming to the event.
“You don’t have to look any further than our own Martin Barr.
“Martin has a lot of experience in arenacross, which is good as he is someone I can maybe learn a bit from.
“Yes, there are a lot of good people in the championship but when the gate drops it’s every man for himself.”
What would be a good result for Glenn McCormick in Belfast?
“In front of the home fans and my family, you just can’t let them down.
“So no pressure.” He laughed.
“Obviously in Belfast you want to win but with it being the first round a top six would be a realistic goal. At the same time I’m certainly notgoing there to make up the numbers and I am looking forward to competing in Belfast again,” he said.