Great racing brightens the day
THE Mourne Motorcycle Club hosted the seventh round of the Irish Championship at a rain sodden Seaforde Moto Park on Saturday, September 10.
The Clubman MX1 class was first to the line, with Killinchy man Chris Lappin and Bobby Watts from Rathfriland getting away at the front of the pack, as the effects of heavy rain showed on the hilly track. With only 10 riders finishing making it to the chequered flag the race was won by Gary Price, with Lappin coming home in second and Watts finishing in fifth.
In their second race Lappin and Watts left the line at the front of the pack once again. The top five riders were fighting for positions until Watts took the chequered flag and Lappin came home in third position. In race three both men made good starts again and on lap seven, with two laps to go, Watts moved into the lead. But Watts dropped the bike shortly after taking the lead and eventually finished in 15th, as Lappin took the lead and the win. At the end of the day’s racing and with one round to go Lappin now leads the championship from Lisburn man Martin Portis.
The Clubman MX2 class was next on the track, but their first race ended on the second lap, with a pile-up of riders on the biggest uphill of the track and riders cutting the track to get round them. Once the race had been red flagged the officials decided to cut the hill climb, which had caused all of the trouble, from the track for the rest of the day. From the restart Hillsborough man Andy McKee was fastest off the line and he led the race from the start to take the chequered flag. McKee was followed home by Downpatrick man Jordon Wade in fourth, Saintfield’s Jonathan Gill in sixth, Kilkeel man Scott Shields in ninth,
Bailliesmills man Paul Campbell in 15th, Leitrim’s James Hilland in 17th. In the second race McKee and Wade were away at the front again. The race was won by Aaron Ashton with McKee less that a second away finishing in second place, as Wade came home in third position, Gill finished in seventh, Shields finished in 16th, Campbell took 22nd and Hilland came home in 23rd position.
In the last race McKee led from the start and came home to take the chequered flag and win the title on the day. He was followed home by Wade (who has already won the Ulster MX2 title this year) in second, Shields in 15th, Campbell in 16th, Hilland in 19th and Gill in 24th.
In the first Semi Expert MX1 and MX2 class race Killinchy’s David Russell got the holeshot, as David Dickson from Ballynahinch was away at the back of the pack. On the second lap Killyleagh man Jordan Martin passed Russell to take first position which he held to lap seven, when a fall dropped him back to fifth position. When Martin fell the lead was taken by Ryan Glover who led to the flag, followed home by Russell in fourth, Martin in fifth, Crossgar man Joel Brown in 10th, Downpatrick’s Danny Curran in 11th and Dickson came home in 12th position.
Races two and three were won by Glen McCormick from Glenoak, County Antrim, with McKee taking a second and third, Russell finished in third and
seventh, Dickson was 7th and 10th, Curran finished in 13th and 14th and Brown came home in 18th and 12th positions. The results on the day mean David Dickson leads the Semi Expert Open class and David Russell is in second place in the Semi Expert MX2 class, just behind Ryan Glover with one round to go.
The Expert MX1 and MX2 class was last to the line with Newtownards man Thomas Merton, Robert Hamilton from Portavogie, Gary Gibson from Ballygowan and Ballynahinch’s Stephen Kelly all on MX1 bikes, as John Meara from Loughbrickland and Banbridge man Ryan Adair were on the MX2 bikes. In the first race Hamilton and Gibson led off the line ahead of Kelly, as Merton and Adair were held up in the first corner.
Hamilton led all race to take the chequered flag as Gibson stayed close to take second, Merton came back to finish third, Meara took sixth, Kelly was seventh and Adair came home in 12th position. In race two Hamilton got the holeshot again, with Gibson and Merton among the front men fighting for the lead. On the fourth lap Gibson took the lead and Merton quickly moved into fourth position and started trying to catch the front three riders. At the start of lap 11, as positions were still the same, Gibson slid off the bike, dropping down the field and letting Merton move in to third position.
In the end Hamilton, who had led from the start, took the chequered flag as Merton finished in third, Meara in sixth, Adair in ninth, Kelly in 14th and Gibson came home in 20th. In the day’s final race Gibson grabbed the holeshot as Kelly was caught in the first corner and Merton was nearly held up. Gibson led from Hamilton until the fifth lap, when bike trouble meant that he lost ground on the leaders.
The race was won by Lisburn’s Richard Bird, with Hamilton taking second, Merton finished in third, Meara in sixth, Gibson on seventh, Adair in ninth and Kelly in 11th position. As they go into the final round both championships still have to be won. In the MX1 Championship Merton is in the lead from Bird, with Hamilton in third and in the MX2 championship Michael Mahon leads Meara, with Adair in fourth.