NEW SITE COMING FOR THE 2016 SEASON - WATCH THIS SPACE!
Two nights! Two tracks!
If trucking in 4,000 tons of dirt and constructing a bespoke track in less than 24 hours isn’t a big enough ask already, as soon as the flag falls on the Pro Main Event at round one of the 2014 Arenacross tour we’re going to set to working building a completely new circuit.
With rounds one and two running back to back at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on the evenings of January 17 and 18, it would be tempting to hit the hotel bar for a few celebratory scoops after the opening event’s action. But instead of simply repairing the circuit our track technicians will be working through the night to install a whole new circuit designed by Dirt Wurx USA main man Rich Winkler.
“It’s a big job and the boys are going to be really suffering around 5am,” reckons Wink, “but we’ve got a top team together for this and I reckon by the time the sun starts coming up they’ll be getting a second wind.
“You don’t just need big cojones to race Arenacross – you need them to work behind the scenes if you want to be able to pull out all that dirt and then rework it into something completely new. But it’s worth it to make sure both nights in Belfast are completely different experiences for the riders and fans.”
The seven-round 2014 Arenacross series kicks off with a double-header at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, on January 17/18 before travelling to the LG Arena, Birmingham (January 25), the Echo Arena, Liverpool (February 2), the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle (February 9) and the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield (February 15). The series signs off at London’s Wembley Arena on March 1.
To buy tickets and catch up on the latest news go to www.arenacrossuk.com
TEAM IRELAND FOR MOTOCROSS OF NATIONS CONFIRMED
The Motorcycle Union of Ireland Motocross Commission have confirmed the team that will represent the Federation at the 2013 Motocross of Nations to be held at Teuschenthal, Germany on 28th & 29th September.
The Team will consist of:
Martin Barr, the 25 year old VMX/NuttTravel.com KTM rider from Ballyclare has been a mainstay of Team Ireland since his debut in 2005, Martin has consistently performed extremely well at this event, he will ride the MX2 Class this year, a class at which he is a proven race winner at British Championship events, and a points scorer in Grands Prix.
Gary Gibson, 24 year old Gary from Ballygowan County Down, the Bannside Pallets and Haulage Suzuki rider currently leads both Ulster & Irish Motocross Championships and has matured into a fast and aggressive rider on his home circuits, Germany will suit the hard pack loving rider, he could be a revelation this
year, Gary will compete in the MX1 Class.
Graeme Irwin, the 21 year old ‘wild child’ of Irish Motocross has calmed down this year, his riding on the Heads and All Threads Suzuki has been smoother, but still retaining his speed, the Carrickfergus man makes his 4th appearance for Team Ireland but his first riding the larger 450cc machine. Graeme will contest the Open Class in Germany and after his points scoring ride at the British Grand Prix, his confidence is high.
Team Manager Laurence Spence expressed his satisfaction with the selection, and the praised the positive attitude of the three riders, final arrangements are nearly all in place for the trip, and the team are hoping to maintain or improve on last years superb 13th overall.
NORTH ARMAGH MEMBER WINS OVERALL AT RED BULL PRO NATIONAL 2 STROKE CHAMPIONSHIP
North Armagh Off Road Section member John Meara from Loughbrickland stunned the regulars at the Red Bull Pro National at the World Famous Hawkestone Park last Saturday by taking three wins from three starts in the Pro Open Class of the 2 Stroke Championship.
Riding a 250cc KTM from the G&G Ross stable, John blasted to three wins on the tough sandy circuit in Shropshire, this feat was all the more notable as John has not ridden a 2 stroke for years, and has ridden Honda’s for the past four years.
This was John’s debut in the series, and has leapt from nowhere to fifteenth in the Championship with this result.
Hopefully this marks a return to form for the Loughbrickland 19 year old after a difficult transition year from the smaller MX2 machine to the bigger MX1 machines.
The Knock Motorcycle & Car Club Ltd promotes the 5th round of the 2013 Ulster Motocross Championships on Saturday 13th July at Seaforde Co. Down.
This is the penultimate round of the 2013 Ulster motocross championships as well as the Knock Clubs 64th Tommy Stewart Memorial Motocross.
Seaforde Motocross Park is the club’s traditional venue for the July holiday motocross and this year’s entry list includes all the main championship contenders in all classes.
The four Ulster championship classes will be in action; Expert, Semi Expert, Clubman’s Mx1 & Clubman’s Mx2. Within the Expert & Semi Expert races points are awarded to the different Mx1 & Mx2 championship categories.
In the Blue Riband Watt Motorcycles/Nutt Travel Expert Mx1 championship Richard Bird from Lisburn leads on 267 points with a narrow 7 point advantage over the Gary Gibson from Ballygowan. In third place is defending Ulster Champion Wayne Garrett from Comber. Last years
The Expert Mx2 class is headed by Glenn McCormick from Larne on 274 points; from Jason Meara from Loughbrickland on 255 points while in third place is Jim O’Neill from Wicklow (190) is in danger of losing 3rd place to Dromara teenager Stuart Fee 180.
This will be the 64th Tommy Stewart Memorial motocross and awarded to the Expert class overall winner. Last year’s winner Tommy Merton would dearly like to retain the oldest trophy in Irish Motocross but on current form it will be a four way battle between Bird, Gibson Garrett and Merton. First awarded in 1949 in Mallusk before moving to the Crossgar/Seaforde area in 1952
Moving to the Matheson.com/Glenhead Eng/Laverty MX/Bore a Hole Semi Expert Mx1 Jordan McCaw from Ballymoney leads the class on 281 points then Phil Harris from Saintfield on 245 points and Colin McGregor from Dromore 176 points.
Semi Expert Mx2 - Teenager Luke Smith from Millisle on 280 points holds a 84 point advantage and could be crowned Ulster Champion on Saturday Second is Jay Lamb on 196 with Richard Topping from Ards on 148.
In the popular Clubman’s classes the championships are equally sought after.
Russells Motorcycles Clubman’s Mx1 is headed by Jordon Blakely from Moira on 256 points with William Barr just 11 points behind on 25 points and Stephen Poots from Dromore on 195 points.
Finally the Spence Racing Mx2 Clubman’s class is headed by Chris Eccles from Boardmills, Lisburn on 256 points with Alexander Ellison on 222 points followed by Chris Simms from Lurgan on 214 points in third.
Racing will start around 11.00 on Saturday morning and the track is situated near Seaforde.
It will be sign posted from the Main A24 Newcastle Road at the Butterfly farm. Turn into the Cottage Road go to the end turn left, follow the Seaforde Road. After ½ a mile take the first on the left onto the Drumgooland Road Track is ¾ mile on the right from the junction. There are other routes but if you could follow this route it will facilitate traffic flow.
Entry will be £5.00 per adult, children under 14 free, and the track provides excellent viewing with 90% of the circuit able to be viewed from the main spectator area, so come along for a value for money day out for all the family. There will be a free children’s draw & quiz.
There will be three races for each of the four groups, promising a full day of thrills and spills that make motocross an amazing sport to watch.
NORTH ARMAGH MEMBERS REPORT ROUND 4 ULSTER MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Round 4 of the Ulster Motocross Championships moved to the grassy old school track at Laurel Bank on Saturday 30th June, and in the Watt Motorcycles/Nutt Travel.com Premier MX1 Class, Loughbrickland 19 year old John Meara posted a fifth overall on the day on the big TMC Honda, disappointed with his race 2 performance after a bad start, he remained positive about his pace on a track he is not too fond of.
Further down the field, Greyabbey rider Craig Browne finished 13th overall despite a no score in race 1, and Megahabbery man Darren Bradford on the Moto Shox Kawasaki had a subdued day, finishing 14th overall.
Meanwhile, in the MX2 portion of the race, 16 year old Loughbrickland rider Jason Meara ran out the overall winner on the AMR Honda, beating arch rival GlennMcCormick by 3 points on the day, while Moira’s Scott Hamilton made it two out of three members on the podium by posting a fine 3rd place on the Tyco Suzuki, Scott continuing his great run of form.
In the Matheson.com/Bore a Hole/ Laverty MX/Glenhead Eng. Semi Expert MX1 class, our sole representative Ray Brownlee from Waringstown, picked up a 12th overall, despite no scoring in race 1
In the Russells Motorcycles Clubmans MX1 class, Moira’s Jordan Blakely had a bad day at the office by his standards, the big Kawasaki only finishing fifth, with his best race result being a fourth, Jordan will not like that result, but with two rounds to go, he should be still a favourite for the title.
Magheralin’s Neil Moorehead also scored points in this class finishing 13th overall, however, his neighbour, Chris Simms had a bad day on the Allen Plant Hire Honda in the Spence Racing Clubman MX2 Class, posting his worst finish of the year in 11th place, losing a lot of points to his Championship rivals in the process.
Markethill teenager Scott Bailey managed a podium again, finishing third overall with a third and a second place to his credit.
COOKSTOWN MOTOCROSS CLUB OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE 10th JUNE 2013
MAXXIS BRITISH MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
DESERTMARTIN 23rd JUNE 2013
LOCAL RIDERS ANNOUNCED FOR MAXXIS BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP AT DESERTMARTIN
The promoting Cookstown Club have released the Official Entry list for the 6th Round of the MAXXIS British Motocross Championship at Desertmartin on 23rd June, and there are lots of locals who will be looking for the support of the home crowd.
Local motocross fans are well known for their vocal support of local riders at this event, stretching back to Gordon Crockard’s winning days in the early 2000’s, to today’s support of Martin Barr & Graeme Irwin, their passion is legendary in motocross circles, and all the local riders say it does make a difference to their performance.
So, in the bigger machine of the MX1 Class, the local entry is led by Championship regular Wayne Garrett, the Comber man mounted on his usual JAR by IFS Honda 45- machine will be looking for a good result after his clean sweep at the last round of the Ulster Open Championship. Wayne seems to have regained his form after a lack lustre May by his standards, but the popular multi Ulster & Irish Champion will be sure to put on a good show for his local fans and supporters.
Another regular MAXXIS contender entered is reigning Irish Champion Gary Gibson from Ballygowan on his Bannside Pallets and Haulage Suzuki, Gary caused a sensation last year by running in the top five before a horrendous get off over the famous Mobil One jump ended his day, Gary was miraculously unhurt, and he will be looking to make amends this year.
The third regular ‘local’ entry is Dubliner Michael Mahon on the VMX KTM 350, Michael has been injured this year so will be looking to make an impression on the familiar ground of Desertmartin.
Wild Card entries are Loughbrickland teenager, John Meara on the TMC Honda, and Lisburns Richard Bird on the Suitor Bros/Watt KTM.
John is the reigning Irish & Ulster MX2, & Ulster Under 21 Champion, but he has struggled to find consistent form on his change up to the big bike, he has found a set up that suits him now, and he could be a dark horse for a top ten finish, last year, John dislocated his shoulder at this event, he will be hoping for better this year.
Richard, an ex Ulster Champion himself, missed most of last year due to a nasty wrist injury, but the ‘break’ seems to have rejuvenated him, as this year he has shown blistering pace, and also, a new aggression in his riding that has added to his acknowledged riding skills.
In the MX2 Class, Northern Irelands two top riders dominate the entry for locals, with Graeme Irwin riding high in the Championship on his Heads & All Threads Suzuki; the Carrickfergus lad will be looking for his first ever overall win.
He will be challenged for this by Ballyclare man Martin Barr on the VMX/Nutt Travel KTM, although his recent thumb injury has hampered the start to his season, riding at his favourite track with the crowd behind him always brings out the best in the likeable County Antrim man.
Eglinton MBO Yamaha rider Ed Allingham is another Championship regular, but a recent thumb injury may hamper the likeable youngster, but he was extremely quick around here in the Easter Championship opener, so maybe he can pull out something special.
Wild Card entries are given to English starlet, Steven Clarke, and Loughbrickland 16 year old Jason Meara on his TMC Honda, Jason has been a consistent high performer at home this year, and his confidence is high after a treble win recently at Seaforde against the bigger machines in the Under 23 class, if he can get the starts, top ten is achievable.
There is local interest in this class as well from a Team perspective as Crossgar man Roger Magee’s HM Plant KTM UK Team are leading the Championship with defending Champion Elliot Banks Browne’s, and also have the Watson Brothers, Ben and Nathan in this class, and of course, Neville Bradshaw from South Africa has local roots as his parents are from Bangor, so keep an eye on the Putoline Honda star.
In the MXY2 Class, Glenoe teenager Glenn McCormick achieved his first podium on the Agnew Recovery/Watt KTM last time out at Milton Park, so he will be looking for the top step this time out, and on recent local form, he can do it, he is currently leading the Ulster & Irish Premier MX2 Championships, and his confidence and maturity are growing almost visibly week by week.
The entry list is nearly full already, with only a few spaces left in the MX1 class and a waiting list for the MX2 class in case of any last minute withdrawals.
All the locals will be looking for the support of their fans, friends and family at the famous Grand Prix track, acknowledged as the best track on the British Championship Calendar, and winner of the best run round of the Championship last year. It’s an excellent day out for the family, and is also the only British Motorcycling Championship on the island once again this year, the entry contains many Grand Prix riders, is International wit h riders form over 10 countries competing, and is acknowledged as one of the best National Championships in the World, so come along and support the locals, and enjoy a great days racing.
DOUBLE 3’S AT ROUND 3 OF THE ULSTER MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Killinchy & District MCC promoted round three of the Ulster Motocross Championships at the spectacular hillside venue of Downpatrick Motocross Park turned out to be a day of trebles in the Norman Watt Premier Classes, with Wayne Garrett and Glenn McCormick posting three wins apiece.
In the MX1 Class, Comber man Wayne Garrett on the Jonathan Rea backed JAR by IFS Honda 450 battled all day with Suitor Bros/Watt KTM mounted Lisburn man Richard Bird, with Bird leading race 1 until Wayne passed him after the long off camber left turn where Garrett was able to hold a tighter line all day long, but Bird was never more than 2 seconds behind with Ballygowan man Gary Gibson in fourth on the Bannside Pallets and Haulage Suzuki.
Gibson led race 2 until a fall gifted Garrett the lead and Bird second again, but race, with Gibson again third, race 3 was almost a carbon copy of race 2, with Gibson leading, falling and allowing Bird and Garrett through, Wayne led to the finish with Bird in close company in second.
Wayne’s three wins lifts him to second place in the all time MRA Premier Class winners table, over passing Adam Lyons for second place behind Gordon Crockard with 33 wins to Gordon’s 53.
After the race, Wayne said ‘The wee break last week gave me the time to get my head together after my recent run, it feels good to be back at the front, the bike is handling well now, I’m a lot happier than I have been’.
Mention must be made of Ryan Adair’s performance on his new 450 Fee Rads/Adair Electrics Suzuki 450, his recent switch to the bigger machine suiting the Dromara mans style, and also, Tommy Merton showed the grit which he is renowned for, after dislocating his arm last Monday, he manfully ran in the top six all day, his discomfort added to by groin strain after a low speed fall in race 2, a determined performance from the Larne man on his Monster Energy/Watt Kawasaki.
In the MX2 Class, Agnew Recovery/Watt KTM mounted teenager, Glenoe rider Glenn McCormick also completed his treble, but his was harder earned with Moira youngster Scott Hamilton on the Tyco Suzuki showing blistering starting form in all three races, but falling back allowing others through affected his overall on the day, a fine second in race three will bolster the stylish teens confidence.
Once again, Loughbrickland 16 year old Jason Meara was McCormick’s biggest challenge on the TMC Honda, although a poor qualifying performance dented Meara’s confidence, he only lost the lead to McCormick on the last lap of race 2, and finished second overall on the day, but a lack lustre race 3 where he was stuck behind the more powerful MX1 machines ruined his day for him, in his own words, ‘I rode badly in that race, couldn’t get a rhythm going on the track at all, don’t know why, the bike was fine, I just couldn’t get going!’
McCormick by contrast expressed satisfaction with his riding, and his bike after his mature performance on the day.
Third in race 1 & 2 was Wicklow man Jim O’Neill, but a dnf in race 3 spoilt his day, but he still holds onto third in the Championship
ULSTER MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP REACHES HALF WAY POINT AT DOWNPATRICK THIS SATURDAY
Killinchy & District MCC promote round three of the Ulster Motocross Championships this Saturday 1st June at the spectacular hillside venue of Downpatrick Motocross Park.
A busy month of racing kicks off with Gary Gibson from Ballygowan leading the Watt Motorcycles/Nutt Travel Premier MX1 Class on his Bannside Pallets Suzuki, chased by Lisburns Richard Bird on the Watt/Suitor Bros KTM, with newcomer to the class Loughbrickland 18 year old John Meara on the TMC Honda, Larne’s Tommy Merton on the Monster Energy Watt Kawasaki, and Portavogies Robert Hamilton on the G&G Ross KTM two stroke making up the chasing pack.
Expect fireworks here as Gibson, fresh from his win in the historic Brian Bell Memorial last week is riding with confidence this year, but Bird is showing more aggression in his riding, and Merton always goes well on the off camber of Downpatrick.
Defending Champion Wayne Garrett from Comber had a nightmare of a day at Seaforde on the JAR Honda by his standards, and a good result will be vital to the likeable riders Championship defence.
In the Premier MX2 class, Glenoe youngster Glenn McCormick is leading on his Agnew Recovery/Watt KTM from Jason Meara, the Loughbrickland 16 year old showing good form on his TMC Honda, the two youngsters put on a superb show at the last round at Seaforde, so expect more of the same. Moira’s Scott Hamilton put on a great performance at the last round, unfortunately the young Suzuki rider has had a bout of mumps since then, so hopefully there won’t be any ill effects! Southern visitor Jim O’Neill has been riding well in this class this year, as has his compatriot Jordan Keogh.
In the Mtheson.com/Bore A Hole Semi Expert MX1 Class, there have been some real battles so far, but Saintfields Phil Harris has put his Suitor Bros Watt KTM at the head of the pack, however, a mix of experience and youth are chasing him, with Jordan McCaw, Colin McGregor, Cliffy Bailey, Chris Cully and Steven Lewis are also in the mix here.
The MX2 Class has also produced great racing, with Millisle teenager Luke Smith leading a chasing pack of Lurgans Mark Dynes on the TW Dynes Honda, Carrickfergus KTM rider Karl Thompson, and Combers Richard Topping on the JAR Honda.
The Russell’s Motorcycles Clubman MX1 Class has been dominated by a slimmed down Jordan Blakeley, the Moira man winning at will on the big Kawasaki, however, Ards man William Barr made him work the last time out, and riders like Andrew McKibben on his home track and Stephen Poots will want to break Blakeley’s run.
The Spence Racing MX2 Class is still a battle of the Christopher’s, with Magheralins Chris Simms and Saintfields Chris Eccles trading wins so far on their Honda’s, however, young Markethill rider Scott Bailey will want to spoil their party, along with Alexander Ellisson, Stephen Gabbey and Jack Wilson.
Racing will commence at 11.00am, with entry only £5.00 per adult, under 14’s free, a great family day out is in prospect at the scenic hillside track which will be signposted from the main Clough Rd.
First Points for Garrett Herald Improvements for JAR Honda by IFS
After a hot and sunny May Bank Holiday at home, JAR Honda by IFS made the trek to Northamptonshire this past weekend for the fourth round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship at Milton MX Park. Mixed weather conditions made racing trickier towards the end of the day, but was fine and sunny for the morning sessions.
The MX2 qualifying session saw team rider Lewis Tombs put in the fifth-fastest lap time, although he scored slightly worse in the super-pole session, going to the start line in eighth. In the MX1 session, Wayne Garrett put in a time that put him in twenty-third place.
Tombs could not have asked for a better first race start. Avoiding the mess that is the first corner, he soon moved into sixth, where he attempted to stay close to the leaders. With minutes on the clock he was forced to concede his position, ending the race in seventh. Bad luck struck in the second race, where Tombs made a mistake whilst in fifth, ending the first lap dead last. Undeterred, he leap-frogged his way to twenty-second in a matter of minutes. From there he then made some late race gains, passing three rivals in the final lap to end the race in fifteenth.
In the last race, a race start in sixth around the slippery circuit turned into a run in tenth before making his move with just seconds to go on the clock, taking ninth from Kawasaki rider Lewis Trickett, and ending the day in seventh. This marks the half-way point for the championship and Tombs finds himself in eighth overall.
For Garrett, this round proved to be a turnaround. Mid-pack in the first lap of the first race, he slowly settled into a rhythm in eighteenth, putting in a solid ride and scoring his first points of the season. In the second race, his hard work in the first was nearly undone. Starting in twentieth, he found himself on the ground soon after. Restarting in last, he then worked his way forward before crossing the finish in twenty-third. In the final race, with rain making things more difficult, he made good on his second race start by repeating it. This time though he stayed on two wheels, gaining nineteenth and putting in a solid effort, reeling in eighteenth with two laps to go, and finishing the day overall inside the top twenty.
Wayne Garrett – MX1:
“Today's been a bit better for me. I'm still not 100% happy with how it went; it's progress and every round seems to get a little bit better. I ended today with two eighteenths and a crash in the second race which put me dead last. That made the second race tough and I just missed the points. All in all it's not been a bad day, it's lifted me a little bit after several hard weeks of racing, so I'll just try to keep the momentum going and hopefully come the next round I can get top fifteens and heading for the top twelve.
Lewis Tombs – MX2:
“Today was a steady day, not bad. I did well in qualifying, got a good feel for the track and was fourth in the first part of qualifying. I dropped back to eighth in the super-pole, but it wasn't a big drama. In the first race I had not such a great start, but managed to sneak round the inside corner and came out about eighth and kinda just stayed there and managed to get seventh. I'm very happy with that. In the second race had a good start again, made a mistake on the first lap, went down, went down again, and went down a third time, and was dead last. Managed to get back to fifteenth, which I knew meant I was riding good. The third race was real tricky, the weather made it really slick. Had a good start, was running fifth, but my lines weren't good and dropped back to tenth, and worked my way past Trickett in the last couple of laps.”
Richard Rea – Team coordinator:
“This weekend was a mixed bag really. Lewis qualified well and took that momentum to the races, although a crash in race two and the terrible weather in the last race made it unable to better his seventh in race one, which was great. With Wayne we have made a step forward and he looks more comfortable on the bike and was able to score points. We will continue to work hard with him and ensure he gets back to his full potential soon.”
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U23/SIDECARS/VETERANS/QUADCROSS ROUND 2 DONEMANA 27TH APRIL 2013
The second round of the ultra competitive Balllymac Hotel Under 23 Championship moves to the fast sand track of Donemana this Saturday 27th April with the two main protagonists Michael McCammond from Larne and Drew Goudy from Carrickfergus joined by another Honda rider, TMC Honda’s defending Champion Loughbricklands John Meara, absent from the first round due to British Championship commitments.
With these three plus Combers Jason Garrett, Ballycastles Charles Stuart mounted on MX1 machinery, it will be difficult for Jason Meara, Glenoe’s Glenn McCormick, Moira’s Scott Hamilton, Dromaras Stuart Fee and the others mounted on the smaller MX2 machinery to make much of an impression on the leader board.
It’s a similar situation in the Semi Expert Class where Scott Leaney from Saintfield and Chris Cully from Kilkeel are mixing it with Karl Thompson from Glengormley on the MX2 machine.
Clubman class also mixed with Magheralin man Chris Simms and Bob Smyth leading MX2 machines against the MX1 bikes of Aaron Murray and Dean Sheridan.
The Premier Quad Class has been dominated by the ‘Big 3@ of Irish Quad racing, Combers Justin Reid on the Can Am, Limavady’s Michael McAneny and Lisburns defending Champion David Cowan, although young Dean Colhoun from Saintfield has been encroaching on the established order, as has Terence Mackin and Sean Goss. The Quads always put on a great show at the fast Donemana circuit, so pick any one from 5 or six to win.
Clubman Quad was dominated by Mark Donnelly from Omagh at the first round, although Lisburns David Forsythe threw away his first win with a huge crash, but expect him to show well at Donemana along with Phil Harris and Chris Nelson.
In the Veterans Class, Stephen Kelly from Ballynahinch and Ravarnets Ricky Watt the ‘youngsters’ of the over 35 class showed well on their debuts at Desertmartin, but defending Champ, Waringstowns Jonathan Fairley is getting back to fitness after a training crash broke ribs.
In the Semi Expert class, Combers Paul McMinn and Ian Moore battled at Desertmartin, with Clubmans being dominated by ex road racer Denver Robb on his return to motocross, but expect defending Champion Lisburns Andy Owens to put on a strong defence of his hard won title.
In the Sidecarcross Supporters Club Sidecar class, Lisburn crew Neil Campbell & Ross Grahams three year domination was broken at Desertmartin where Lisburn teenaged crew Gary Moulds and Ben Alexander won two of three races.
Campbell & Graham have been beset with machinery troubles since, and Gary has injured his leg, so this may give Ricky Portis & Roy Beattie the opportunity of getting a win this Saturday.
Racing begins at 1100 on the circuit a few miles outside Donemana Village, entry is £5.00 children under 14 free
Photos By: Suzy Bailey
WHAT AN ICE BREAKER FOR THE 2013 MRA MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS
All Photos By: Alan Gardner - On The Edge Media
The World Famous Grand Prix Circuit hosted the opening round of the 2013 Ulster Motocross Championship on Easter Monday 1st April.
Braving sub zero temperatures and surrounded by the snow capped Sperrin Mountains, the 204 2013 Ulster Motocross Championship contenders who entered put on a red hot display of racing to warm the large crowd.
In the blue ribband Nutt Travel/Watt Motorcycles Premier Classes, Gary Gibson swept into an earlyMX1 Championship lead by winning two of three Motos, and finishing runner up in race 3.
Ballygowan native Gary, on his Bannside Pallets & Haulage Suzuki was aided to his first race win by supension problems for defending Champion Combers Wayne Garretts JAR Honda by IFS, however, the initial pace was set by Lisburns Richard Bird on the Suitor Bros/Watt KTM, taking a storming lead for a few laps before falling, he then came under severe pressure from John Meara on the TMC Honda, who passed both Bird & Garrett over the Mobil One jump, the Loughbrickland teenager making an impression already on his move to the big class.
Race 2 was a tamer affair, with Scottish visitor Tom Kelly spicing things up by crashing out of second place in a spectacular downhill get off, that left him shaken, but unable to continue the rest of the day,but the final race was a cracker until halfway, with Garrett, Bird, Meara and Gibson running nose to tail until Mera tired, Bird lost his rear brake, and Garrett stamped his authority on the race on his now sorted Honda CRF 450.
Gibson now leads the Championship on 72 points, with Garrett second on 63, Meara third on 54.
Other notabloe performances came from Larne’s Michael McCammond on his own Honda now, particularly his comeback from a first corner fall in race two that left him with tyre tracks on his back, and Carrickfergus lad Drew Goudy, showing great form on his Honda.
In the concurrently run MX2 Class, Greysteels Ed Allingham showed what a talent he is by completing a treble in a relatively trouble free trio of races, finishing only .7 of a second behind Gibson on the much more powerful machine.
Behind Ed however, battles raged between the teenagers, with UK visitor Jack Kelly taking the runners up spot on the day on his Malin KTM, followed by Glenoe teen, Glenn McCormick on his Agnew Recovery/Watt KTM, looking much more comfortable on his new mount, UK visitor Brad Todd was fourth on his Malin KTM, and Loughbrickland 15 year old Jason Meara fifth on the TMC Honda, crashes marring Jason’s day as his enthusiasm got the better of him.
In the MathesonConstruction/Bore a Hole/Laverty MX /Glenhead Engineering Semi Expert Classes, Jordan McCaw ran out the overall winner, with Ryan Glover from Meghaberryfilling the runner up spot, despite running out of fuel in race 2 while leading, Phil Harris from Saintfield rounded out the podium, with newly promoted 2012 Clubman Champion Paul Atkinson fourth, Kilkeels Chris Cully was fifth, and Lurgan man Gareth Knox rounded out the top six.
In the MX2 Class, another treble winner was Jay Lamb, his trip from Scotland with his Malin KTM paying off, Luke Smith from Millisle was runner up, with Karl Thompson from Carrickfergus third, Ballyclares Ben Mottram and Jordan Wade from Downpatrick giving chase.
In the competitive Spence Racing MX2 Clubmans Class, Chris Eccles ran out overall winner with two wins and a second, aided by runner up, Magheralin man Chris Simms and Alexander Ellison coming together at the last corner while leading the second race, Simms is second in the Championship behind Eccles, with David Morrison from Ballynahinch third, fourth is young Scott Bailey from Banbridge, with Ellison and Kieran McKinlay fifth and sixth.
The Russells Motorcycles MX1 Clubmans Championship showed a similar pattern with Jordan Blakeley from Moira leading the way with two wins and a second, the second place being the most impressive as he came from way down in 15th place on lap one. Conor Boyle filled the runner up spot, with Matthew Wren third, Tony Colgan fourth and Lurgans Barry Dummigan fifth, Stephen Pooots rounds out the top six.
Next motocross action is on the fast hard pack of Tandragee on 13th April with the second round of the Jones Plant Hire Irish Motocross Championship where more of the same is on the menu.
COOKSTOWN CLUB WELCOME NEW SPONSOR FOR
2013 MRA ULSTER MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
The World Famous Grand Prix Circuit hosts the opening round of the 2013 Ulster Motocross Championship on Easter Mondy 1st April, and the Cookstown Club are pleased to announce an extra sponsor for the event.
Altec Solar, manufacturers and installers of Solar Energy Panels, based in Limavady are sponsoring a cash prize for the ‘Holeshot’ winner of every Championship race on Easter Monday.
This means the first rider into the fearsome first corner of the Desertmartin track wins a cash prize, over and above the pot already on offer.
Not that any rider needs an extra incentive to gain the holeshot, but this will add an extra piece of excitement to the opening day of the Ulster Championship season.
For further details of Altec Solar product range and services, see www.altec-solar.com, or call them on 028-77778177
PEDAL POWER FOR CDMCC CHARITY CYCLE
Ref: ‘CDMCC13_PR02’ | Tuesday 26th March 2013
Members and friends of the Carrickfergus & District Motorcycle Club will be swapping the motorbikes for pedal power to raise funds for the NI Children’s Hospice on Saturday 6th April at their Charity Cycle Run.
The cyclists will set off on the route at 10am in Loughshore Park, Newtownabbey and follow the towpath all the way to Shaw’s Bridge in Belfast, where they double back and head towards Loughshore Park again to complete the 24 mile loop. The distance has been kept to 24 miles to encourage all ages and abilities to take part but for the more adventurous cyclists among us, a number of people will be continuing on to Lisburn before turning back, putting a few extra miles on the clock.
There has already been a good response from people planning to attend and the club hopes that a good crowd from the motocross community will come out to support this great cause and enjoy a day out along the scenic route.
Registration for the cycle will take place on the morning of the event (9.30am) where a minimum donation of £10 per cyclist will be collected for the Hospice before the start at 10am.
The Carrickfergus Club is asking folks to help promote the event as it draws near and spread the word by sharing the event with family and friends whether it is through word of mouth, text, e-mail or social media. It’s simple, the more people join in the cycle, the more money will be raised for charity!
As always, you can stay up to date with this event and other Carrickfergus & District Motorcycle Club events via www.carrickfergusmcc.co.uk or through the club’s Facebook & Twitter pages.
2013 MRA ULSTER MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
The World Famous Grand Prix Circuit hosts the opening round of the 2013 Ulster Motocross Championship on Easter Mondy 1st April.
The Norman Watt MX1 Premier Class is the big draw on the Easter Bank Holiday meeting, with all the big guns of local motocross having their first outing in Northern Ireland of the year.
Defending Champion Comber’s Wayne Garret will have his hands full on the big JAR by IFS Honda, as he faces opposition from Bannside Suzuki pilot Gary Gibson from Ballygowan, fresh from his domination of the opening Irish Championship round in Cork wanting to win the Championship he narrowly lost in 2012.
They will not have it all their own way as Watt Kawasakis Tommy Merton from Larne showed good speed at the support races at Desertmartin last week and of course, one cannot discount the like of Lisburn tiler Richard Bird on the Watt/Suitor Bros KTM, Davy Gorman and Jason Garrett on their AJ Plumbing 350 KTM’s, and new man to the class, John Meara on the TMC Honda, will be the dark horse of the day, keep an eye out for the Loughbrickland teenager, and similarly Honda mounted teenager from Larne, again a new boy to the MX1 class, Michael McCammond, and Carrickfergus man Drew Goudy, again on a Honda, could be a day for the youngsters!
In the Premier MX2 Class, defending Champion John Meara has moved up to teh MX1 class, so we will have a new Champion this year, but it may not move far as Jason Meara, Johns younger brother must start as one af the favourites on the TMC Honda 250F, he was narrowly beaten in Cork by English visitor Lewis Tombs on the JAR by IFS Honda, but no one knows Desertmartin as well as Jason, so he will be out for revenge.
Young Watt/Agnew Recovery KTM rider, Glenoe’s Glenn McCormick picked up a race win in Cork, and rode well in England at the British Championships, so he will be out to make his mark as well, and other fast yongsters will want their share too including Dromara’s Stuart Fee on the screaming 150cc two stroke KTM, his neighbour Ryan Adair on his Suzuki, Conor Campbell on the Yamaha, and Jordan McClelland on his Yamaha. Southern visitors Jordan Keogh and Jim O’Neill should also be well in the hunt.
In the Semi Expert Classes, in MX1 newly promoted Scott Leaney from Saintfield won in Cork on his Honda, but fellow new boy Gareth Mulligan on his new Honda could give him a good run, the Portadown man missing Cork, familiar names such as Chris Lynd, Jordan McCaw, Paul Atkinson, and Clifford Wilson will all play a part when the gate drops on Monday.
In MX2 Semi Experts, there was a poor showing from the MRA riders in Cork, the race being won by newly upgraded schoolboy, Dylan Coffey, but on home ground, maybe locals such as Luke Smith, Darren Grills etc., will be able to shine.
Clubmans MX1 belonged to big Moira man, Jordan Blakely with three wins from three starts, he was followed home by a returning Chris Spratt from Lurgan, and Andrew McKibben from Comber, these three should figure at the sharp end on Easter Monday as well, but the entry should be bolstered by some who did not make the long trip to Cork.
Clubmans MX2 was won in Cork by Alexander Ellison, followed home by Chris Eccles, and young Banbridge lad Scott Bailey, again, this class will be bolstered by non travellers to Cork, but expect the winner to come from these three.
Racing starts at 11.00, with three races for each class, an excellent days value for money at £5.00 per adult and under 14’s free. The track is signposted from the main Desertmartin to Maghera road, so come along and enjoy the day at a World Class venue.
JAR Honda by IFS takes first Irish Championship round with win and podium
Northern Irish team JAR Honda by IFS made their mark in the Irish Championship season opener at Vernon Mount in Cork this past weekend. In miserable rainy conditions over the weekend, the team's riders Wayne Garrett and Lewis Tombs soon proved their worth on the wet and technical hillside track.
Practice on Sunday morning already was a sign of things to come as Garrett and Tombs set pole in MX1 and MX2, and soon followed up with three hard-fought races in pouring rain.
Garrett got off the line first in the first race and soon found himself in a battle for the lead with Gary Gibson. After losing the duel, he continued to keep up the pressure, keeping the distance between himself and Gibson to a bare minimum and taking second at the chequered flag. In the second race, Garrett again fought hard for the lead, passing Michael Mahon halfway in and staying ahead from then on. In the final race, a slow start turned into a third place throughout the race. Unable to reel in the leaders, Garrett kept it steady for a third place at the finish and a second overall.
left his nearest competition far behind to take the win by over forty-five seconds. In the second race, things didn't go quite as planned. A bad start and some over-eagerness on Tombs's part led to a first-lap crash that left him in the back of the pack. With two laps remaining and Tombs back in the top three, disaster struck again. A clutch problem prevented Tombs from making any gear changes and cost several positions in the closing minutes, leaving him to push his bike across the line in sixth.
Tombs's final race proved to be the most difficult of the day, but tenacity paid off with a win. Leading the class from start to finish, he took the overall win on the day by a whisker.
The team now continues on to the season opener of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship at Fat Cat Motoparc in Doncaster.
Lewis Tombs – MX2:
“Qualifying went well and ended up with second quickest time behind Wayne, but took a rock to the nose. First race I had a pretty good start and worked my way up to fourth. I was a long way behind the leaders but was MX2 leader, which was good. Second race I had a shocking start, was too impatient and had a big crash. I got back going and was riding good but with two laps to go something in the clutch broke, I pushed it across the line and finished sixth in the MX2. The last race was difficult, but I ended up first MX2. It was a rough day, but I'm glad to get it out the way and move onto Fat Cat next week.”
Wayne Garrett – MX1
“It's been a tough day with the weather being so bad. I'm happy with my results today and to start the Irish championship off with three solid races.”
Jonathan Rea – Team manager
“The first race of the season is always interesting and with MX1 and MX2 together it was a great opportunity to have Lewis riding with the bigger bikes. Wayne rode solid in all motos for second overall and looked comfortable riding at the front. On Lewis's side we had a few dramas today, starting with getting a stone in the nose in qualifying. In the second moto, Lewis had some clutch issues but managed to finish off the day with a solid win. It was nice to get the guys behind the gate before next weekend's British Championship and this week's served as a good warm-up for that.”
JAR Honda Announces IFS as Title Sponsor
Just ahead of next weekend’s Irish Championship in Cork, the JAR Honda team can announce they have joined forces with IFS Global Logistics as a title sponsor for the 2013 season. The team will now be known as JAR Honda by IFS.
After starting JAR Honda in 2009, team owner Jonathan Rea has nurtured young talented motocross riders, and this season the team will compete in the British Motocross Championship and Red Bull Pro Nationals with their riders, Lewis Tombs and Wayne Garrett.
IFS Global Logistics is a group of companies specialising in chain supply services both internationally as well as to and from the UK and Ireland. IFS are no stranger to motorcycle racing having been a long-term sponsor to many Superbike teams and riders over the past 10 years. 2013 sees IFS take its first steps into Motocross with JAR Honda in what it hopes to be a successful and exciting partnership.
Jonathan Rea – Team Manager JAR Honda
“I’m excited to have IFS join our team this season and having known Graeme since I started my road racing career, I know that he values young up-and-coming riders and exciting racing. We share the same mentality when it comes to running a team as he has still an active role in road racing management. The IFS brand is a successful global brand and I know that our team and riders are proud to be associated with IFS Global Logistics.”
Graeme Hanna – IFS
‘’Supporting the JAR Honda team is an excellent opportunity to get our brand to a fresh fast and dynamic sport. IFS develops new ways of providing fast and dynamic transport solutions for customers of all sizes. We hope that aligning our brand with such a well-known team will help develop new customers locally, nationally and globally. We hope that supporting JAR Honda will help demonstrate our commitment to our customers in developing our business on the global stage. From all the staff at IFS we wish Jonathan and the team a successful 2013 campaign.’’
Arenacross Round 2 - The Odyssey Arena
Chatfield wins again as AX tour hits Northern Ireland
The Arenacross tour tore through Belfast on Saturday night, threatening to blow the roof off the city’s Odyssey Arena where a sell-out crowd were treated to three-and-a-half hours of flat-out indoor dirt bike racing and Freestyle Motocross from a hand-picked selection of the UK and Europe’s top professional and youth riders.
Fresh from his victory at the opening round of the series just seven nights before at The O2, London, Adam Chatfield (Buildbase Honda) won his second Pro Main Event in a row with a powerful performance. After taking the lead early on from defending champion Neville Bradshaw, the 25-year-old hardly put a wheel wrong during the 18-lap final.
“I got a great start,” says the racer from Devizes in Wiltshire, “and when Nev left the door open for me I didn’t hesitate. The track was tight and technical and I knew passing someone as fast as Nev would be tough and I needed to make every opportunity count.”
Youngest winner on the night was 10-year-old Rossi Beard from Preston in Lancashire who came home first in the 65cc class.
“It was absolutely brilliant,” says Rossi, who also won his class at The O2. “The crowd was so loud and the atmosphere was electric.”
Other youth winners were Dylan Woodcock in the SW85s, Mitchell Lewis in the BW85cc category and James Harrison in the Rookies.
While the racers were battling it out on the track, 40ft above the arena floor the Freestyle Motocross riders put on three spectacular shows. With FMX legend Edgar Torronteras missing after sustaining an injury in a crash at The O2, his place was taken by 15-year-old Spanish sensation Chris Meyer who ran through his full repertoire of whips, flips and tricks alongside Norwegian Andre Villa and Brits Dan Whitby, Jamie Squibb and Dave Wiggins.
Pic (c) Nuno Laranjeira
TAS RACING TO TAKE ‘A SABBATICAL’ FROM BRITISH MOTOCROSS IN 2013
Having decided to commit all racing resources to the British Superbike paddock in 2013, Tyco Suzuki by TAS Racing has made the tough decision to announce their withdrawal from the British Motocross paddock next season.
Team owner Philip Neill has not ruled out a return to his old stomping ground in the future, but felt it was in the best interests of his team, Suzuki and his sponsors to remain fully focused on the BSB paddock for the immediate future.
Neill said: “As a former motocross racer and a fan of the sport, this was a tougher decision to make than most people will realise. When I looked at all of our racing commitments in 2013 with BSB and International Road Racing, I felt it best for everyone that we opt out of the 2013 British Motocross programme. This will allow Suzuki to replace us in the paddock, which is important for the success of the RM-Z range, and also to allow our riders, Stephen Sword, Martin Barr and Stuart Edmonds to secure new deals for 2013. We obviously wish all three riders every success and thank them for an enjoyable season. Special mention must also go to team manager Adam Lyons and our team internally at TAS Performance.”
Stephen Sword who rode MX1 for Tyco Suzuki this season wished to comment on an enjoyable year with the Moneymore based outfit by saying: “First of all I’d like to thank Philip Neill and Adam Lyons as they were true to their word from the first day we sat down and agreed a contract. Honesty is sometimes hard to come by in sport and I really thank them for that.
“A big thank you must also go to Paul my mechanic. He’s a great worker and gives nothing but one hundred percent. Also thanks to Davy, Phil, Stu and Martin – I had great fun with you all this year. Not forgetting all at Suzuki GB, Tyco and all the team sponsors for their help and commitment.”
MXGP of Germany 2012 Race Highlights
EDMONDS & LENOIR ON PODIUM AS BARR TAKES SECOND IN CHAMPIONSHIP
Stuart Edmonds excelled on his MX1 debut for Tyco Suzuki taking second place overall on his RM-Z450 in the final Red Bull Pro National of 2012 at Culham. Martin Barr finished the day fourth overall, taking second place in the championship in his first season with Tyco Suzuki.
Steven Lenoir impressed in his first ride for Tyco Suzuki, taking third place overall in MX2 despite not having ridden or tested the Suzuki prior to Culham where team manager Adam Lyons drafted him in at the eleventh hour.
Stuart Edmonds: I’m pleased with my riding today and felt really good on the RM-Z450. It’s such a smooth bike to ride and it suited me really well and also the Culham track. I’m over the moon with taking second place overall and gives me great confidence going into next week’s Motocross of Nations. Big thanks to Tyco Suzuki for this year, all my personal sponsors and my mechanic Phil.”
Martin Barr: “It didn’t really go to plan for me at Culham. I was second in qualifying and there was not much in it. In race one I got the holeshot and was feeling great, but then I made a few mistakes and ended up third. In the second race I crashed at the second corner, which left me dead last, but I got my head down and worked my way back up to fifth. I was disappointed to finish fourth overall but we still got second in the championship, which is not so bad.”
Steven Lenoir: “Thanks to the team for a great weekend and I loved riding their RM-Z250. To jump on the bike with no testing and almost no set up time was probably not ideal, but we had to make the best of the situation and to finish on the podium is my way of saying thank you for offering me the ride so late in the day.”
Adam Lyons – Team Manager: “It’s always a bit disappointing to lose a championship but we have to be realistic and say that Martin had an uphill task to snatch it away from Aubin. To finish second in the series is no disgrace and there are a lot of positives to take away from both Culham and our season in general. Two podiums for the RM-Zs is a satsifying enough weekend’s work.”
NORTH ARMAGH MOTORCYCLE AND CAR CLUB PRESS RELEASE
CLUB MEMBERS SUCCESS IN 2012
North Armagh Club Members rounded out the 2012 Ulster and Irish Championships in some style, winning two Ulster titles, plus placing well in others.
In the Veterans solo classes, Waringstowns Jonathan Fairley took the Veterans Ulster Premier Class in a nail biting final day over Crossgars Alan Magee in a thrilling first two races, the title could have gone either way, but Jonathan’s consistency over the season was rewarded with a Championship title. Fellow Club member, Damien McGavigan from Aghagallon actually tied on points with Andy Owens at the end of the season; unfortunately Andy won the title on count back over the season, with more wins, so Damien had to settle for second.
Cliffy Bailey from Loughbrickland led the Semi Expert Class undefeated until round four, and did not turn out for the last two rounds; he then slipped to fourth in the Championship.
In the Sidecar Challenge, Neil Campbell & Ross Graham completed a ‘perfect’ season, going undefeated in every race, they were followed home by fellow Club member, Gary Moulds passengered by Ben Alexander, worthy runners up, both crews hope to compete in the last round of the British Sidecarcross Championship in two weeks, and we wish them well.
In the Ulster Semi Expert MX1 Championship, Raymond Brownlie from Waringstown, finished 11th despite breaking an ankle at the Dundalk Irish Championship round, Cliffy Bailey was 12th despite only competing in 3 rounds. Matthew Sinton from Tandragee showed well in this class too on his rare appearances.
In the MX1 Clubman Class, Portadowns Gareth Mulligan finished a fine runner up in the Irish Championship, and 4th in the Ulster Championship.
Our commiserations go to all our injured riders who had their seasons ruined through crashes, these include Mark Dynes from Lurgan, Ian Hutchinson from Armagh and Colin Cairns from Dromore, get well soon, we want to see you all out again next year.
Strijbos in Touching Distance of Sixth Place
Hot sunshine bathed the Grand Prix of Europe and the hard-pack of Faenza for the penultimate round of the FIM Motocross World Championship and HM Plant KTM UK’s Kevin Strijbos took his 350SX-F to 12th position overall but is close to sealing a very decent 6th place in the MX1 series for 2012. In MX2 Elliott Banks Browne posted his best result of a disrupted term with 12th spot also.
The fifteenth round of sixteen occurred in front of 24,000 spectators and temperatures that touched almost thirty degrees. The track was a fast and flowing layout punctuated by heavily rutted sections and corners. Overtaking chances were few and far between without a dose of aggression or risk and this placed even more emphasis on the starts for the ranking at the top of the leaderboard.
Strijbos entered the gate with 16th position after the qualification heat on Saturday and this determined any potential prowess from the line. Although the Belgian was not able to breach the top ten in either sprint (recording eleventh at both times of asking) he rode consistently to post better points than Frenchman Xavier Boog. The former world championship runner-up sits sixth in the standings and 15 points in front of his rival. Any chance of moving into fifth has been rendered impossible by the hefty gap to countryman Ken De Dycker (and with a maximum of fifty points left to win this season) but Strijbos can compliment his two podiums on the 350SX-F in ’12 with his best series ranking since 2007.
In the MX2 class Elliott Banks Browne took his 250SX-F to 12th overall with a 15-12 set of finishes. The Brit has battled injury problems all year and Faenza represented only his second double score of the campaign (and his highest). A decent qualification heat on Saturday meant EBB was inside the top ten for the 35 minute and 2 lap GP motos and got away well. The British championship title contender even felt the pace of the leaders for the opening phases of the first race until he tweaked his weak wrist on one of the descents.
Faenza was also the site of the final outing in the European 125cc two-stroke championship and James Dunn rode to 13th in the first moto and crashed out of the second in a nasty-looking accident in the rhythm section. Dunn classified fourth in the championship. The youngster had taken his 125SX to five top three moto finishes from fourteen including two chequered flags in Belgium and in front of his fans in Great Britain.
The ‘old-school’ Teutschenthal circuit will be the host for the Grand Prix of Germany for the final date on the international calendar in two weeks time.
Kevin Strijbos: “It was a very difficult GP. The track was OK with many lines but I don’t know why everybody kept taking the same ones! For this reason it was too difficult to pass and probably most of the riders finished in the same position that they started. The first race was not good, I tried to push but I was tired at the end. In the second race I went hard from the beginning but the last two laps were too much for me. Finishingeleventh is not so great but I am still sixth in the championship and that’s a good point. I’ll try to do my best in Teutschenthal and finish the job.”
Elliott Banks-Browne: “The weekend was pretty good, yesterday I finished ninth so I had a good gate pick for today. In the first race I had a very good start and I was fifth, riding well and I feeling also really good on the bike. But when I was coming down a hill I hurt my bad wrist. I felt a bit strange and it was really hard to hold on, so for the last fifteen minutes I was struggling a lot. In the second race I nearly got the holeshot and I managed to ride well in the first lap, but in the beginning of the second one I buried the front a little bit and I dropped down to thirteenth. I found my rhythm again and I was riding really good but in the last seven laps I got tired. Each race I feel like I am improving; I just need to put my fitness back together because my speed has been up there this weekend.”
Roger Magee, Team Principal: “A really tricky track for the guys today and I think James showed that it can really catch you out and thankfully his injuries were not any worse from a big crash. Kevin might be a bit disappointed by his results and his starts but the important thing was that he finished ahead of Xavier Boog and now we have a wonderful chance to seal sixth in the MX1 championship in two weeks time which will be a great achievement for the team in a memorable season. I’m pleased for Elliot that his speed has been rewarded with two consistent results. He knows he can be higher and even better than that but it was a good way in what is a step to finish 2012 GPs on the right note.”
TANDRAGEE MOTOCROSS PARK SATURDAY 18TH AUGUST 2012
This Saturday sees the return of Championship Motocross to the popular Tandragee Motocross Park near Laurelvale for the fourth round of the Quadcross, Sidecarcross, Veterans, and Under 21 Championships promoted by the North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club Off Road Section.
In the Premier Quad Class, Lisburns David Wray holds a 31 point lead over David Cowan, with Newry’s Sean Goss a further 26 points back in 3rd. Multi British Champion Justin Reid from Comber is a distant fourth in the Championship, it looks like a three horse race here on the run in to the finale.
Clubmans Quad Class is led by Kevin Lynch on 131, with Frazer Mulholland on 116 & third place is Ryan Gibson on 109, fourth to sixth is covered by 9 points, so expect close racing here on the Quad riders favourite track with its fast straights and sweeping hard pack corners, Tandragee is bilt for Quads.
In the Sidecar Class, Lisburns Neil Campbell & Ross Graham are undefeated this year and lead the Championship on a maximum 200 points, second is 17 year old Gary Moulds with his new passenger Ben Alexander on 152, but Lisburn pair, Ricky Portis & Roy Beattie are only 2 points behind in 3rd, and James Earney and Gary Bell run fourth on 143. Fifth is Gary Moulds sister Emma with her passenger Chris Madden. With quite a few sidecar crews North Armagh Club members, the Club are glad to welcome them back to Tandragee.
In the Veterans Premier Class, Waringstowns Jonathan Fairley, the North Armagh Club sponsored rider holds a 1 point lead over Crossgars Alan Magee, with Ravarnettes Ricky Watt third.
Dominating the Veterans this year, is another North Armagh Club stalwart, Loughbricklands Cliffy Bailey, who is undefeated this year in the Semi Expert Class, and in fact, has won most races overall, beating the Premier riders, Cliffy always goes well round Tandragee, so expect another treble from the Loughbrickland man. Second in the Semi Experts is Roy Kennedy from Dundrum on the Bannside Haulage Suzuki, with Francis Nugent from Castleblaney third.
In the Clubmans class, Ian Moore leads the way on his Husqvarna, again, undefeated this year in class, second is Club member Damien McCavigan from Dollingstown on his Kawasaki, third is Cookstowns Raymond Young, but with only 15 points from second to sixth, which include Ballymoneys James McClements, Lisburns Andy Owens, and Moneyreaghs Paul Heaney,anything can happen.
In the Ballymac Hotel Under 21 Premier Class, newly crowned Ulster MX2 Champion Loughbricklands John Meara on his TMC Honda leads the way on 181 points, with Michael McCammond from Larne on the JAR Honda on 167, third is Greyabbeys Craig Brown a distant 116 points.
Semi Experts are led by Meghabberys Darren Bradford on 138, with Larne teenager Connor Campbell second on 122, Karl Thompson is third on 96, the race seems to be between Campbell and Bradford here, with Bradfords MX1 machine maybe having an advantage round the fast Tandragee circuit.
Clubmans Under 21 is led by newly crowned Clubman MX1 Ulster Champion, Paul Atkinson on 178 points, on 163 in second is Bangors Kyle Darley, with Stoneyford youngster Scott Leaney in third on 148, this could be anyones race as Leaney has hit form lately, and all is to play for.
Racing starts at 11.00, the track is on the Tamnamore Rd near Laurelvale,a nd wil be signposted from the Markethill Rd/Mahon Rd Junction. Entry is £5.00, under 14’s free.
Racing will be close and competitive as the Sidecars and Quads have not had a Championship outing since May due to weather cancellations, so the riders will be eager to get out there, the track offer fantastic viewing from anywhere, and there will be podium ceremonys at the end of the day for all classes.
BARR WINS AS SWORD MAINTAINS TOP SPOT
Tyco Suzuki’s Stephen Sword maintained his Red Bull Pro Nationals’ MX1 Championship lead yesterday at Canada Heights after taking fourth overall, but now shares top spot with Nicolas Aubin.
Fellow RM-Z450 Tyco Suzuki rider Martin Barr won the opening moto and took fifth place in the second outing to give him second overall on the day. The Ballyclare lad is just eleven points behind Sword and Aubin, now holding third place in the standings.
In the MX2 class, Tyco Suzuki mounted Stuart Edmonds fought through a heavy cold to post consistent 5–5 finishes from his two motos, also holding a similar position in the MX2 championship standings with just two rounds remaining. Stephen Sword:
“Going into this round I knew it was going to be a tough day as I’m still struggling with pain in my back and also suffered with a sickness bug all week. Race one was a disaster for me. The track was really wet and I stalled the bike in the first corner, crashed three times and had to come in for gloves and goggles. Race two was better but I faded with about ten minutes to go but managed to take second and hold on at the top of the championship.”
“I got the holeshot I needed in the first race after qualifying third, and just put the hammer down and got into a comfortable lead. I was really happy after that one. Race two didn’t go quite to plan as the bike stalled in the first corner and I also crashed later in the race and finished fifth. I did take second overall and Hawkstone is next up which is one of my favourite tracks.”
“I tried my best all day despite suffering from flu and a hand injury that hampered my progress but I did manage to secure fourth overall. I did feel like a podium was on the cards this weekend but felt drained at the end of the second moto, because of the flu, and with just a few laps to go I had nothing left in the tank.”
Adam Lyons – Team Manager:
“Martin rode a great opening moto and but for stalling his bike in the second race I have no doubt he would have repeated that success. Swordy still has a hangover from his crash during the British at Desertmartin, which is understandable, after the pounding he sustained.
In saying that he still maintained his top spot despite now sharing it with Aubin, but with two men in the top three we still have a great chance of making it 1–2 at the end of the season for Tyco Suzuki. Stuart continued his consistent approach this weekend despite being hampered with the flu and if everything can fall into place for him at either Hawkstone or Culham, he could finish this series on a high.”
MX1 Standings Stephen Sword 167 points
Nicolas Aubin 167 Martin Barr 156
Gert Krestinov 130
Alex Snow 116
Marc De Reuver 83
Neville Bradshaw 168
Nathan Watson 120
Graeme Irwin 112 Stuart Edmonds 110
Matthew Moffat 102
MCUI OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE 1st AUGUST 2012
MCUI TEAM IRELAND ANNOUNCED FOR 2012 MOTOCROSS OF NATIONS
The MCUI Motocross Commission have announced their selection for the 2012 Motocross of Nations team to represent the Motorcycle Union of Ireland at the Belgian circuit of Lommel in September 2012.
The team will consist of:
MX1 Class, Martin Barr, the Ballyclare rider competing for TAS Suzuki in the MAXXIS British Motocross Championships, and the Red Bull Pro Nationals, Martin finished third in the MX1 Class in 2011< Martin is currently 5th in the MAXXIS Championship and is in good form on the Tyco TAS Suzuki, he has been a mainstay of the team since his sensational debut in the epic 2005 event in France, and will give his all as usual.
MX2 Class, Graeme Irwin, the young Carrickfergus star will ride his Race FX/Samsung Yamaha in Belgium, his first appearence on the team since 2009 in Italy as injury has made him unavailable since then. Graeme is currently joint 5th in the MAXXIS British Motocross Championship MX2 class, and with his exuberant riding style, and never say die attitude, he will be a great asset to the team in the deep sand of Lommel.
Open Class, Stuart Edmonds, riding now for the Tyco TAS Suzuki team after many years on the Italian TM marque, the fast Dubliner makes his 4th appearence at the Motocross of Nations in Belgium, currently 9th in the MAXXIS British Championship, Stuart is always immensely proud to be selected to represent Team Ireland and his determination and work ethic means he always delivers at the event, his riding in France last year was a revelation to many, but not to those who follow the sport closely.
Reserve rider will be Wayne Garrett, the JAR Honda rider clinched the Ulster Motocross Championship last weekend at Tinker Hill and has shown remarkable resilience coming back from horrible leg injuries last year, and a broken collar bone five weeks ago.
Team Manager will be Laurence Spence, the ex factory rider and Grand Prix competitor in his second year as manager, uses all his experience and skills to manage the riders and mould them into a team in a very short time, he will be hoping for an easier qualification this year in the deep sand of Lommel, in the north of Belgium.
Favourites for the event will of course be reigning Champions Team USA, but Belgium will be hoping for a win on home soil, with Italy, France and Germany also in the running with very powerful teams, and USA having no circuit with the deep, bottomless sand of Lommel in America, this could be the year that the USA win streak stops, they are unbeaten since Zolder in Belgium in 2003, this is truly a USA versus rest of the World event, and Team Ireland should be able to score a surprising result if the riders perform at their best.
MRA 2012 ULSTER MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 5 of 6 REPORT
TANDRAGEE MOTOCROSS PARK 21ST JULY 2012
The re arranged North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club (Off Road Section) Ulster Motocross Championship Round got under way on 21st July under a cloudy, but dry sky, the track prepared to its usual high standard, and with the Club festooning the circuit with banners, and a hospitality marquee, there was a sense of occasion on the day, which the racing certainly lived up to.
In the Norman Watt Premier MX1 Class, Championship leader, Ballygowans Gary Gibson on his Bannside Pallets Suzuki lost his lead after a second race crash caused a non finish and injured his hand, leaving Championship rival Combers Wayne Garrett on his JAR Honda to assume the Championship lead with one round left, a remarkable feat with a broken collar bone sustained less than a month ago.
Defending Champion Richard Bird was unable to defend his title as he has broken his scaphoid and was absent from the race, his third place has now been overhauled by Jason Garrett on his AJ Plumbing KTM, with team mate Dromore man Davy Gorman fifth. Second on the day was Tommy Merton on his No Fear Watt Kawasaki, showing a return to form at the fast Tandragee circuit.
In the Nutt Travel MX2 Premier class, another injured rider, John Meara had a clean sweep of wins on the TMC Honda to take the top slot going into the last round, the Loughbrickland teenager carrying a dislocated shoulder sustained at the MAXXIS British Championship at Desertmartin last month, Championship rivals and near neighbours Michael McCammond from Larne on his JAR Honda, and Glenoes Glenn McCormick on his Agnew Recovery Watt Kawasaki followed John home to round out the podium. This leaves the Championship table looking like a fight between Meara, McCormick and Jim O’Neill from Wexford at next week’s decider.
In the Laverty MX/Glenhead Engineering Semi Expert MX1 Class, the first Champion of 2012 was crowned with Stewartstowns Donal Teague winning the class with two wins and a second at the circuit where he claimed his first Grade C title in 2007, Donal was delighted to be able to celebrate at the podium ceremony organised by the NAMC&CC. Runner up on the day was Matthew Sinton on his home track, with Meghaberrys Darren Bradford third after having to borrow a bike for the last two races. In the Championship, the race is still on between Bradford, Lurgans Gareth Knox, and Hillsboroughs Stephen Megarry for second.
In the Core Drilling Semi Expert MX2 Class, the best racing all day was between the two Coupe de 85 team mates from Belgium last year, Loughbricklands Jason Meara on the TMC Honda, and Stuart Fee on the Fee Engineering 125 KTM, with Meara winning the battle of the 15 year olds with two wins and a second, the power of the four stroke maybe too much round the fast Tandragee circuit.
Third overall on the day was Dunadry teen, Jordan McClelland on the Samsung Yamaha, with Darren Grills from Carrickfergus a notable fourth on his KTM.
In the Championship, the fight remains between McClelland, Fee and Connor Campbell from Larne, all three teenagers fighting tooth and nail all season.
The Spence Racing Clubman’s MX2 class was won overall by Hillsborough man Andy Megarry on his 125 KTM, followed by Moiras Chris Simms, and Dromores Anthony Lyle, this leaves Megarry going into the last round with a healthy lead over Ian Moore and Andre Blakely.
The Russell’s Motorcycles Clubman MX1 class produced two wins and a fourth for Saintfields Scott Leaney on his Honda, with Championship leader Paul Atkinson from Ballyclare second, and Moiras Jordan Blakely third, this leaves Leaney with a slender lead over Atkinson going into the last round, with Laurelvales Gareth Mulligan and Colm McMullan fighting for third in the Championship.
A great days racing at a well prepared track left the riders going home happy, but tired after a hard days racing, the final round is at Tinker Hill Newry on 28th July, promoted by Quad Racing Ireland.
Good luck and bad for Strijbos in Russia
A long trip to the impressive and spectator-packed Semigorje circuit, 300 miles east of Moscow was worthwhile to see HM Plant KTM UK’s Kevin Strijbos grab more FIM Motocross World Championship points. The Belgian scored eighth position overall as the Grand Prix of Russia was the scene of the eleventh round of sixteen in the series.
It was yet another weekend of contrasting weather conditions as rain on Saturday turned the new, sandy and jump-laden course into a slimy and slippery mess. Strijbos made twelfth place through the slop on the KTM 350SX-F for a reasonable position in the start gate. Sunday dawned hot and sunny and the terrain immediately began to dry. Along with some excellent work by the track staff the surface was bumpy, rough and varied, not to mention demanding.
The former world championship runner-up made a great start in the opening moto of 35 minutes and 2 laps duration in front of the majority of a noisy 45,000 attendance (weekend figure). ‘22’ ran just outside the leading quartet and a fairly lonely race to fifth place overall. Sadly Kevin could not repeat the launch in the second sprint and had to latch onto a busy battle for slots in the second group vying for spaces in the lower top ten. Strijbos demonstrated his fine form and fitness to challenge Jonathan Barragan’s rear wheel in the closing stages but lost traction in a section entering the final lap and hit the ground. The incident dropped him from a possible eighth place down to twelfth.
The Russian venture for the team had been a novel experience and Strijbos was able to bank 25 points to add to his total of 304 and maintain a lofty sixth position in the premier class and arguably the most competitive year of MX1 since the category’s inception in 2004.
HM Plant KTM UK now make the trek back to their UK and Belgian bases. There is precious little time for respite as Kevin continues his assault on the Maxxis British Championship and will hope to consolidate his lead next Sunday in the sand of Hawkstone Park. Round eleven of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in two weeks time for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic at the fast and slick circuit of Loket, close to the tourist town of Karlovy Vary.
Kevin Strijbos: “In the first race I made a mistake in the first corner but I still came out fifth. My riding was ok and I could push really hard at the beginning but Pourcel opened a bit the gap and I could not close it anymore. I was too far from behind and I was ahead of Bobryshev, so I was happy with fifth place because I got pretty tired in the end. I did not have a good feeling in the second race. I was too slow in the beginning and I could not push harder. After a while things were better and I moved up to ninth. I was riding OK but then I made a mistake and I had a big crash. I ended up twelfth, so that was not so good! The track was really bumpy and very technical compared to yesterday and I found it really difficult. It was really good though, the layout was nice, so it was good to come here. I wanted to be on the podium or top five and I did not make it; for that I am a little bit disappointed, especially with my second race.”
Roger Magee, Team Principal: “It certainly was quite a demanding GP to get to logistically in Russia and a big thanks to all the team members who made it happen. Kevin had an unfortunate qualification race yesterday which gave him a disadvantage in gate pick for the two motos today, but you certainly wouldn't have thought it as he really nailed a really good start in the first race. Race two saw him baulked in the first corner which left a lot of ground to make up. His high level of fitness shone through as he picked off the guys in front of him methodically one by one to get up to 9th. Unfortunately the crash wasted all his good work. Thankfully, he didn't suffer any significant injury. We look forward to next weekend's British Maxxis Championship at Hawkstone Park now where we hope to extend the lead in both MX1 and MX2 Championships with Strijbos and Banks-Browne respectively."
Photos courtesy of Ray Archer
NORTH ARMAGH MOTORCYCLE AND CAR CLUB PRESS RELEASE
CLUB MEMBERS SUCCESS AT BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP
Over the weekend of 30th June-1st July, North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club (Off Road Section) members Lisburn lads, Neil Campbell and Ross Graham competed in the 4th Round of the Maxxis British Sidecarcross Championship at Wooley Grange,in the North East of England where they came home a fantastic sixth overall on the day.
Against a World Class field including Grand Prix regulars such as the Millard Brothers, the France Brothers, Stuart Brown and others, the two Lisburn men fought for a hard earned 6th overall with a 6th, 7th and 8th places over the three motos, an incredible result for the reigning Ulster Champions who are currently unbeaten in the 2012 Ulster Championships.
The track conditions were heavy in the morning, and even after work on the track by club members, although drying, the track remained heavily rutted all day, making the result even more impressive as this was a day where experience counted, and the two locals have only a year and a half competition behind them.
Despite this being their only outing so far in the Maxxis British Championship, the boys are now 19th in the Championship with three rounds left to run.
This is a tremendous result for the sport in Ulster and Ireland, as the MRA only re introduced a Championship for the chairs in 2011 after a break of over a decade, and hopefully this will boost interest in this exciting, and unique discipline in of motorcycle sport.
Neil & Ross are championing the case for Sidecarcross and demonstrating that young people have a chance against much more experienced opposition.
Their dedication and enthusiasm are a credit to the Club, their sport, and motorcycling in Ulster, congratulations go to them from all Club members, and best of luck for future rounds!
The Club are proud to have the lads amongst their membership, and look forward to seeing them in action at their home circuit of Tandragee on 18th August 2012 when the Club host their round of the Ulster Sidecarcross/Quadcross/Under21 & Veteran Championships.
2012 Watt Motorcycles Grasstrack series to conclude at Gleno
The Norman Watt Motorcycles Adult Grasstrack Championship will move to the familiar venue at McCormick’s Farm, Glenoe for the final round of the 2012 series this Wednesday evening. (4th July)
The circuit itself which overlooks Larne town has been re-designed for this year’s events by the Carrick Club with help from the NI Classic Scrambles club. While still in keeping with the previous year’s fast and flowing design, the new layout is built in a smaller area but makes more use of the contours of the land. Spectator areas have also been increased in size giving the spectators more room to move about and see more of the action on track.
2011 Champion, Richard Bird (Suitor Brothers/Watt KTM) has been a man on a mission in the Expert Class this year, having dropped just three points over six races giving him a comfortable 40 point lead at the helm. Andrew McLarnin currently occupies that second position behind Bird, with Larne’s Niall McAuley right on his tail four points back in third. McLarnin will not be present at Wednesday evening’s event leaving the door wide open for Larne’s McAuley to move up the championship but this may prove more difficult than it seems with the likes of Drew Goudy and Tommy Merton making a return to the grasstrack scene on at McCormick’s Farm.
Paul Atkinson is another rider that has been on form this year and he heads up the Clubman MX1 standings. Atkinson holds a thirty point lead over Alan Saunders from Newtownabbey with Iain Dobie still keeping his Belfast Knee Clinic KTM in the hunt in that final podium position.
Race wins has been evenly spread across the top three in the Clubman MX2 class to date so we can expect the third round to be no different. Ian Dunlop has one hand on the trophy as he leads the way after Round 2 so Don Murray and Derek White will know they have just three races left to mount a late challenge to pry it from Dunlop’s hands, a tough task so expect some hard racing in this one!
Stephen McBride moved to the top of the Veterans Championship last time out with a perfect night, three wins from three, leaving him with a twelve point advantage over Michael McBride. Looking back at 2011, Stephen scored one more point than Michael in the final round at Gleno so if history is anything to go by Stephen, don’t be surprised if he leaves with the Veterans crown. Rumour has it that Richard Watt may be making his comeback after a knee injury which could throw a spanner in the works at the top also.
Richard Toye is on course to wrap up his third Watt Motorcycles Quad Grasstrack Championship, his second in consecutive years. A DNF at the last round has all but put an end to early contender Geoff Ingram’s challenge for glory in the four wheeled class. Ingram has now been left to claw back a huge twenty seven point gap at McCormick’s Farm to catch the man from Coleraine, a feat that seems impossible if you look at the consistency of Richard over the season, but then again anything is possible in racing.
Wednesday (4th July) will see another action packed meeting run by the Carrickfergus Club with a fifteen race programme squeezed into three evening hours, take place at the circuit situated on the Ballylesson Rd, Glenoe. Practice is scheduled to begin at 6pm with racing starting at 6.30pm. Adult spectator admission is priced at just £5 with children under 16 years of age being admitted free. Free parking will be available in the venue and spectators should be made aware that parking on the roadside is prohibited. LJ’s Diner will also be on hand to provide hot food for those who want to grab a bite to eat while watching the racing.
Entries for the Youth grasstrack on Tuesday 3rd and the Adult grasstrack on Wednesday 4th are still available in the motocross shops and also on the club website. Entries will also be available on the night too but only while there are spaces left in the classes as no non-qualifier races will be scheduled.
For more information on the upcoming events you can visit the Carrickfergus Club website at www.carrickfergusmcc.co.uk, or alternatively you can find them at facebook.com/carrickfergusmcc or on Twitter, @carrickmcc
Words and Images by – Ryan Denney
Barr & Edmonds Shine at Desertmartin
Martin Barr carded 2-2-3 at Desertmartin on his Tyco Suzuki RM-Z450 to take second overall during his home round of the British Motocross Championship. It was a fantastic achievement from the Ballyclare lad who had been penalised 60 seconds in qualifying for stopping during the session, so instead of having third pick of the gate he was put back to twenty-ninth. It didn’t hamper his progress or his enthusiasm with three great results and now moves up to sixth in the championship standings.
Stephen Sword fought valiantly to finish eleventh in MX1, race one, after crashing on the opening lap, but in the second moto he was involved in a nasty incident after touching with another rider in mid air. He was subsequently run over by three other riders which ended his day prematurely, but thankfully his injuries are superficial and he will be back to defend his Red Bull Pro National championship lead in two weeks’ time.
Stuart Edmonds had his best weekend ever in Tyco Suzuki colours in the MX2 class, carding 4-5-6 results in amongst some pretty stiff opposition on the RM-Z250. This should inspire confidence in the Dubliner to edge ever closer to a podium finish in the upcoming rounds.
Martin Barr [MX1]: “Desertmartin turned into a good day for me, but started tough, getting put back to twenty-ninth pick of the gate after qualifying third, after collecting a sixty second penalty. I tried not to think too much about it and got on with the job. I got a good start and was up to second by the end of the first lap. I had a really good battle with Karro and we touched a few times on the last lap, but I managed to hold on for second. In the second race I made another good start and held second place throughout. In the third race I got away in fifth but finished the race third, which was good enough for second overall. I’m also up to sixth in the championship standings. The whole team did a mega job today and the local support really helped me, so I want to say thanks to everyone for that.”
Stephen Sword [MX1]: “Desertmartin was a day to forget for me as it just seemed nothing was going to go right for me all day. I’m disappointed not to get a good result, but I’m also very lucky to walk away from my crash just a little battered and bruised. Three riders ran over me and one hit the bottom of my back pretty hard. I got checked out at the track but will also visit my Doctor when I get home. I now have two weeks to recover for the Red Bull at Canada Heights – so that’s my main focus now. Injuries are never good, but I’ve bounced back from them enough times in the past, so this will be no different.”
Stuart Edmonds [MX2]: “After changing a few things this past couple of weeks, Desertmartin ended up a great day for me. I will be looking to progress now and chase the top step on the podium which I know I’m capable of. My RM-Z250 handled like a dream around Desertmartin, so I just want to thank everyone in the Tyco Suzuki team for a big effort, especially my mechanic Phil. Roll on Canada Heights and that podium!”
Philip Neill – Team Principal: “What a comeback weekend for Martin Barr. He did win on his debut on the RM-Z450 at the last round of the Red Bull, however, his riding display at Desertmartin against opposition that currently features highly in world championship competition, is final confirmation that he has really gelled with the RM-Z and the Tyco Suzuki team – and he is back to his brilliant best which is a pleasure to watch. Stephen really had no luck all day, especially after a scary first corner crash in race one. He showed guts to remount and come through to eleventh place. The race one crash was little in comparison to the mid air collision he had in race two, which ended his day prematurely. Thankfully he has come away with cuts and bruises.
“Stuart enjoyed his best ever weekend in British championship racing, and although he does struggle a little bit off the gate, watching him pass other riders with ease was great to watch, and no better place to do it than in front of a home crowd. Fair play to the boys in the team, it was a great day all round and a nice way to repay our sponsors, especially Suzuki and Tyco Security Products for their support.”
MAXXIS BRITISH MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
DESERTMARTIN 24TH JUNE 2012
LOCAL SPONSOR FOR PRESTIGIOUS EVENT ANNOUNCED
The Cookstown Motocross Club are pleased to announce that NI Trucks of Mallusk and Portadown are to be the title sponsor of this weekends 5th Round of the MAXXIS British Motocross Championship at the world famous Desertmartin Motocross track.
Cookstown Club stalwart Billy McKeown said he was delighted to be working once again with NI Trucks, a long standing supporter of this event, who have increased their support to become the title sponsor of the event.
NI Trucks are the main Iveco truck and van dealer in the province, with bases in Trench Rd, Mallusk and Carn Court in Portadown.
NI Trucks not only offer new and used Iveco Vans and Trucks, but also a superb after sales service covering all brands of vans, trucks and motorhomes.
The Iveco range runs from light Daily vans, through medium Eurocargo trucks, to the mighty Stralis range of tractor units.
Sales Director Albert McMullan said he was proud to be associated with the Cookstown Clubs event once again, and that he looks forward to attending every year as it is one of the biggest motorsport events on the Northern Ireland Calender.
Albert met with three local contenders to wish them well in the race on Sunday when Graeme Irwin, Samsung Yamaha, and his team mate Jordan McClelland, along with Agnew Recovery Watt Kawasaki rider Glenn McCormick called to visit the site at Mallusk.
For further details of the sales, parts and service packages on offer, see www.ni-trucks.com, or telephone 028 9083 3040
COOKSTOWN MOTOCROSS CLUB OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
MAXXIS BRITISH MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
DESERTMARTIN 24TH JUNE 2012
Although interest will be focussed on our ‘big’ names next week at the fifth round of the MAXXIS British Motocross Championship at Desertmartin on 24th June, there will be lots of other local stars making the most of home track knowledge to pick up points and make a name for themselves on the national scene.
In MX1, our two big names are of course, Martin Barr on the Tyco Suzuki by TAS and Gordon Crockard on his No Fear Watt Kawasaki, but also in there will be Comber man, and multi Irish and Ulster Champion on his JAR Honda, Wayne Garrett.
Wayne has recovered from a horrendous leg break in July 2011 to show he has not lost his speed and determination; he currently lies in 19th place after scoring no points in the opening round, and should score well at Desertmartin.
Also entered is Dubliner Michael Mahon on his VMX KTM, currently 37th in the Championship, Michael is getting to grips with the big bike after stepping up this year, and usually runs well at Desertmartin, and wild card entry, Gary Gibson, the Ballygowan lad showing maturity, and commitment this year on the Tyco Suzuki by TAS, he is currently leading the Ulster Championship and has shown tremendous speed this year, don’t be surprised if he bags a haul of points next Sunday. Christy Harnett from Kildare is also entered, Christy runs well in domestic Championships but has traditionally been a small bike rider, and this will be an outing for experience for the youngster.
In MX2, our big hope is of course, Graeme Irwin on the Samsung Yamaha, and Dublin’s Stuart Edmonds on the Tyco Suzuki by TAS, however, Larne’s Michael McCammond will be hoping to overcome the terrible luck he has had in the UK this year on his JAR Honda at his favourite circuit, as will his domestic rival, Loughbricklands John Meara, who has had a limited campaign this year at the MAXXIS rounds due to entry rules, John is the form rider at the moment, leading all three domestic Championships in Ireland, and he is a Cookstown Club member to boot!!
Jordan Keogh from Meath is also entered on the ReTink Kawasaki, a big step up for the teenager, but worthwhile for the experience.
One entry standing out on the list is Loughbricklands Natalie Kane on the HM Plant KTM UK machinery she used to win a moto of the Women’s World Championship in Slovenia last week, Natalie may embarrass some of her male competition, and again, good to see her stepping up to the challenge of a full MAXXIS race.
In the MXY2 class for under 18’s local interest is with Glenoes Glenn McCormick on his Agnew Recovery Watt Kawasaki who is currently14th.
Killyleaghs Jordan Martin, Dunadrys Jordan McClelland, Larne’s Connor Campbell and Loughbricklands Jason Meara, will be hoping home advantage will get them a result, all of these riders compete in the Semi Expert Class at home, but all are showing fantastic form at home, so should be worth watching against the cream of young riders from the UK.
The Cookstown Club would like to thank their local sponsors, including newly signed up NI Trucks, Tobermore Concrete, onmydoorstp.co.uk, Donnelly Group, BM Autoexchange, Bavarian BMW, TBF Thompsons, Charles Hurst Motorcycles, Stena Line Ferries, WJ Scarlett & Sons, Kare Kab Taxis, Belfast City Auctions, G&G Ross Stonecrushing, LJS Diner, Heron Bros Contractors, Debut Motorcycle Training, Swift Shift Removals, Ballyrobert Vauxhall, Cloverhill Fuels, EM Gray Financial Consultants, Andrew McCreanor Contractors, Roy Kennedy of Bannside Pallets, Willie Waldon & Stanley McCormick Cars.
MRA OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
MOURNE MOTORCYCLE CLUB ANNUAL CHARITY GRASS TRACK MILLBROOK LODGE HOTEL, BALLYNAHINCH, WED. 20TH JUNE
It’s time once again for the Mourne Motorcycle Club to run their annual Charity Grass Track in front of the Millbrook Lodge Hotel Ballynahinch, this year, on Wenesday evening, 20th June.
As well as a packed evening of short, sharp grass track racing, there will also be static displays of vintage cars, bikes, tractors & custom trucks etc. as the Mourne Club continue their fine tradition of Charity events, which has raised over £35,000 in the last six years.
This year the programme will consist of Premier, Semi Expert and Clubman classes, as well as quads, the ever popular sidecars, and a class for EVO machines, which are over 10 years old.
Racing should begin around 6.00 pm, and a fast and furious night is guaranteed.
The chosen charities this year are the Reece Burrows Cerebral Palsy Fund, and the Cash for Kids initiative.
The Reece Burrows Cerebral Palsy Fund is close to the members, as Reece is the son of Club member, past Chairman, and Sidecarcross enthusiast Martin Burrows. Reece and his twin brother Seth were born in May 2010 and contracted a virus 3 weeks later which left them fighting for their lives, unfortunately, Reece was left severely handicapped, and with cerebral palsy, leaving him visually impaired and having to be fed with a tube for 22 hours a day.
This obviously affects the whole family, but the Burrows family now take each day as it comes and care for Reece and Seth, who are both happy children, as much as they can in extremely difficult circumstances, and are to be admired for their courage and loving approach to their difficulties.
The Cash for Kids initiative is the official charity of Downtown Radio & Cool FM, and is run to alleviate difficulties in children aged 0-17 years, including combating illness, helping the disabled, encouraging personal fulfilment, and attainment of life goals. Cash for Kids welcomes grant applications from anyone in Northern Ireland, and have also supported various other children’s charities including the NI Children’s Hospice, Childline, Clic Sargent etc.
If you are free next Wednesday evening, come along to the Millbrook Lodge Hotel and support these worthy causes, all proceeds from the event will be split between these two charities, both worthwhile causes, and all donations on the evening will be most welcome.
The Millbrook Lodge Hotel is on the main Newcastle Rd from Ballynahinch, it cannot be missed.
Kane takes first GP Moto Victory
The Grand Prix of Portugal represented the seventh round of sixteen in the FIM Motocross World Championship and also the third outing for the European EMX125 two-stroke series at Agueda but HM Plant KTM UK were spreading their talents across the continent. In the fifth round of eight in the FIM Women’s World Championship Natalie Kane defied muddy and incredibly difficult conditions in Slovenia to post the team’s first ever Grand Prix moto victory.
The Irishwoman beat championship leader Chiara Fontanesi and would just miss out on the overall triumph by finishing second to the Italian in the second moto but the result has put the talented racer second in the standings with three rounds remaining. The opening affair at Orehova Vas was cut short after four laps due to the adverse racing conditions but Kane had already forged her way to the front and done the necessary to celebrate her first ’25 points. She now sits 63 behind Fontanesi but with six motos still to run and including her home event at Matterley Basin in mid August.
In Portugal James Dunn grabbed an equally encouraging result on the 125SX-F by finishing third overall and lifting his first trophy in the competitive junior feeder series into the European MX2 category.
The premier MX1 class of the FIM Motocross World Championship saw Kevin Strijbos nursing a slight leg injury and also battling indifferent starts on what was initially a wet Agueda circuit but a stiff breeze and afternoon sun would dry the bumpy and loose red soil. The Belgian rode to 15th and 10th to be 13th overall.
Elliot Banks Browne continues to battle small injury niggles and several meetings with the Portuguese terrain didn’t help his cause in the search for effective points last Sunday. The youngster clearly has the pace to be troubling the top ten of the leaderboard but is in need of a dose of fortune to get his season moving on the right track.
Strijbos is eighth in the championship standings and just 14 points from further promotion. HM Plant KTM UK will travel to Bastogne this week for round eight of the FIM contest and the Grand Prix of Belgium.
Kevin Strijbos: “It was another difficult weekend for me. On Saturday I got a small surgery in my hamstring and it was really painful. On Sunday morning it was still stiff but I had a good start in the first heat. I made a mistake getting into a turn, which was too wet and I slipped with both wheels. It was a stupid mistake that it cost me a lot of places. I was happy with my riding in the beginning of the race and I think I could have finished in the top seven. In the second moto I got a better start and by the end I could pass Simpson and Boog and I was very happy about that. I finished tenth, which is not the place I want but we have to deal with it. Next week I hope to do it better, especially because it will be my home Grand Prix and I will try to put a good result for my fans.”
Elliott Banks-Browne: “It was a very bad weekend for me; I got an injury last week and this weekend I could not get into it. I go back home now and I’ll try to come back and do a lot better because I should be riding among the top ten every weekend, but at the moment it’s not happening. “
James Dunn: “In the qualifying I was third, so I was very happy because I normally struggle with the qualifying. The first race was quite wet and I was in third when I crashed but I came back to fourth, so it was a good race. Today in the second race I got a decent start and I went to second but Tim had already checked out. I was second the whole race and I got third overall, my first podium in the series. I want to give a big thank to HM Plant KTM UK to help me out and get me to these events.”
Roger Magee Team Principal: “We’re thrilled for Natalie and of course it is great for the team to have their first victory at world championship level. She has been getting better and faster and this should give her confidence to take Fontanesi all the way for the title. James Dunn provided us with another reason to be cheerful this weekend and he is now fifth in a packed 125cc series. In MX1 Kevin got some points on the board today from some mediocre starts. It just wasn’t meant to be for him and the same can be said for Eliott who needs to get more out of the qualification heat for a better slot in the gate. He has the speed but just requires a bit more luck.”
Photos courtesy of Ray Archer
NORTH ARMAGH MOTORCYCLE AND CAR CLUB OFF ROAD SECTION
2012 ULSTER OPEN MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND 4 PREVIEW
TANDRAGEE MOTOCROSS PARK, 9TH JUNE 2012
The 2012 MRA Ulster Motocross Championships have reached their half way point now, and the Championships have thrown up some surprises, and some fantastic racing so far.
The Championships arrive at Tandragee Motocross Park this Saturday with everything to play for, in the Norman Watt Premier MX1 Class, Ballygowan man Gary Gibson on the Tyco Suzuki leads the field, his hard work over the winter, and his self proclaimed lifestyle changes brought on by his ‘nearly man’ reputaion have breathed new life into the youngster, and he holds a 17 point lead over Combers Wayne Garrett, on his JAR Honda, the multi Irish & Ulster Champion growing in confidence with every round after his injuries sustained last year.
Defending Champion, Richard Bird, from Lisburn is a further 29 points adrift in third on his Suitor Bros/Watt KTM, his form improved after an impressive run at the last round at Tinker Hill.
Fourth and fifth are the AJ Plumbing KTM team mates of Jason Garrett from Comber, and Davy Gorman from Dromore, Jason, unhappy with his form after his nasty crash last year, holds 4th, but Davy did not compete at Tinker Hill after a first race crash left him feeling very second hand!
Sixth is Portavogies Robert Hamilton who is having a dreadful year on his G&G Ross Suzuki, crashes and bad luck destroying his Championship challenge so far, but he, along with Larne resident Tommy Merton on his No Fear Watt Kawasaki will be strong contenders at Tandragee.
In the Nutt Travel.com Premier MX2 Class, its all change after the last round, where Loughbricklands John Meara on his TMC Honda turned a 41 point deficit into a 5 point lead in one afternoon, he is chased by teenager Glenn McCormick on his Agnew Recovery Watt Kawasaki, gaining in confidence after his first Ulster Championship race win on the four stroke, the Glenoe lad will be a strong contender at Tandragee.
Only 4 points behind him is erstwhile Championship leader Michael McCammond from Larne on the JAR Honda, hpoing to overcome his bad luck at Tinker Hill, hard pack is not Michaels favourite surface, but the determined attitude displayed by Michael will mean he will be up front too.
Graeme Irwin from Carrickfergus is only 3 points off Michael on his Samsung Yamaha, with Jim O’Neill from Wexford hot on his heels, this class has produced fantastic racing al year, with all the main contenders under 23 years old, this is where the future of motocross is on view.
In the Laverty Motocross/Glenhead Engineering Semi Expert MX1 class, Stewartsown charger Donal Teague holds a commanding 60 odd point lead over Hillsboroughs Steven Megarry, chased by Gary Addis, also from Hillsborough, Gareth Knox, from Lurgan, and Ray Brownlie from Waringstown, a North Armagh Club member , all within a race win of second place.
The Core Drilling Semi Expert MX2 is a much closer affair with Dunadry teen Jordan McClelland showing fine form on his Samsung Yamaha to lead Larne teenager Connor Campbell on his Monster Energy Cosworth Yamaha by 4 points, only 6 behind is Dromara 15 year old Stuart Fee on his little 125cc KTM, the race seems to be on for fourth with Ian Jones, Ben Mottram and Keith Finnamore battling over this place only a few points apart.
The Russells Motorcycles MX1 Clubmans class has produced some of the closest racing seen anywhere on the island this year, the championship is led by Paul Atkinson on his KTM, with youngster Scott Leaney on his Honda from Saintfield 18 points behind.
Third is Colm McMullan from Ballymoney, fourth Jordan Blakely from Moira, fifth Andrew McKibben and sixth, ex Championship leader Gareth Mulligan from Laurelvale, hoping to find his way back to the front at his home circuit, also a North Armagh Club member.
In the Spence Racing Clubman MX2 class, there is a 3 man battle here between Ian Moore on his Husqvarna, closely followed by Hillsboroughs Andrew Megarry and Lisburns Andre Blakely, Waringstowns Stephen White and Chris Simms aren’t too far off the pace either, so expect close racing here too.
Racing begins at 11.00am, entry is £5.00 for adults and under 14’s are free, there are three races per class, so there will be plenty to see for all the family .
The track is on the Tamnamore Rd near Laurelvale, postcode BT62 2LS for those with sat navs, but signposts will be posted on the main Portadown to Tandragee road.
Tyco Suzuki – Double Podium At Fatcat Red Bull Pro National
Tyco Suzuki new signing Martin Barr took the overall victory yesterday at Fatcat in Doncaster, during round two of the Red Bull Pro National series.
Barr only joined the Northern Ireland based team on Friday with barely enough time for the team to put his race numbers on the RM-Z450, but despite limited set-up time, it didn’t hamper his progress. The 24-year-old stamped his authority with pole position in qualifying; following it up with second place in the opening moto after a race-long battle with team-mate Stephen Sword who finished third.
In the second moto, Barr impressively took the holeshot then controlled the race from the front, eventually taking his first victory and overall top step for Tyco Suzuki by some eight seconds from Marc De Reuver. Series leader Stephen Sword brought his RM-Z450 home in third place which offered him the same spot in the overall results on the podium.
Martin Barr: “I’m really happy with my first race for Tyco Suzuki. It started off perfectly when I was fastest in free practice and backed it up with the fastest lap in qualifying. I had a really good battle with Swordy in race one and I was happy to be back racing at the front. I managed to get past Stephen with two laps to go and finished second.In the second race I got the holeshot and controlled it from the front and took my first win on the RM-Z450. I let my riding do the talking and hopefully proved to a lot of people that I still have it. Thanks to the whole team and especially Philip Neill and Adam Lyons for giving me the opportunity.”
Stephen Sword: “It was a steady, safe and consistent day for me. The weather and track conditions were bad so it would have been very easy to get into trouble and lose points. Two third places is satisfactory and I still hold the lead in the championship. Canada Heights is next and one of my favourite tracks so I will be looking to extend me lead when we get there.” Adam Lyons – Team Manager: “That was a great day for Tyco Suzuki. Days like that make us all very proud and with both men on the podium we’ve again demonstrated just how versatile and competitive the RM-Z450 package really is. That first moto was a classic with the boys racing together and swapping positions about eight or nine times. It was hard racing but they showed each other big respect.
“Martin has come in and done an unbelievable job this weekend, showing that with the right package he’s a top class performer. Swordy was also on the money today and looked every bit the quality rider we knew we were signing this year. This sets us up well for our home round of the British championship at Desertmartin in a few weeks’ time.”
Stephen Sword 90 Marc De Reuver 83 Martin Barr 80 Nicolas Aubin 74 Gert Krestinov 56 Josh Waterman 48
Meara Forges Ahead in Ulster Premier MX2
Last Saturday, team TMC MOTOX’s John Meara went to Tinkerhill track for round 3 of the Ulster championship with one thing on his mind and the goal was to try take the lead in the premier mx2.
With a combination of governing factors, mainly hard, fast riding, the 17 year old Loughbrickland Honda rider left the track that evening with “Mission accomplished”
Practice seemed to go quiet well for him and it didn’t take him long to familiarise himself with the well watered track. He emerged 4th overall and fastest mx2 bike.
In race 1 he got caught up in another rider off the start gates and threw him almost last around the first corner but he played a great game of “catch-up” and slotted himself nicely in to 2nd at the flag. Race 2 John got a mid-pack start and struggled a bit (as did everyone) on the freshly watered track but carved his way up through the field to take the win.
Race 3 went very well from start to finish and had an epic battle with JAR Honda’s Michael McCammond, but managed to hold him off to take another win.
These results gave him the overall win behind Wexford’s Jim O Neill (2nd) and Glenoe’s Glenn McCormick (3rd) JOHN “The day went very well for me and I done what I set out to do, I went from being 41 points behind at the start of the day to 5 points ahead at the end of the day.
Report by Bignoel PR Photos by On The Edge Media
Strijbos Celebrates Milestone Podium Result
Kevin Strijbos finished third overall at a wet, muddy and difficult Beto Carrero for the Grand Prix of Brazil and the fifth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. In taking his HM Plant KTM UK 350SX-F to the rostrum the Belgian not only captured his first trophy since 2007 but also gave the British team cause for celebration by marking their very first rostrum appearance in the premier class of the series.
Strijbos and the team flew to Brazil from Mexico and could not have encountered a more contrasting event in terms of organisation, presentation, climate and ultimately track conditions as the heavens opening on Saturday night and all through race-day morning.
A jumpy and narrow course, surrounded by two days of sold-out attendance in the five grandstands (crowd figure 42,000 for the weekend), became a sludgy mess of ooze, deep ruts and flying mud. Strijbos made a reasonable start in the first drawn-out moto of 35 minutes and 2 laps duration but had to sacrifice time and positions with a quick pitstop to change goggles and gloves. Freshly equipped the veteran then produced one of the performances of the meeting by charging from outside the top twenty to capture 5th by the chequered flag.
On a drier and rougher surface in the second outing Strijbos ensured that Beto Carrero will live long in the memory by plotting a course to 3rd position to snare the bottom step of the podium. It was a result that was in-the-making after good speed, fitness and increasing form in recent weeks. The finish was also a boost for KTM in having their flagship 350SX-F in the top three after such a tricky event.
Strijbos is now 7th in the MX1 standings and faces the fourth round of eight in the Maxxis British Championship next weekend at Milton MX Park in Northampton before consecutive Grands Prix in France, Portugal and Belgium.
Kevin Strijbos: “I´m really happy because all went really good. The track was very muddy, we didn’t make the warm-up and I didn’t know what to expect in the first race. I just tried to make a good start but it pushed me wide and I crashed in the first corner and stared in the last position. In the first lap I went inside of the pitlane to put new gloves on and I started last again, but then everything went well, I was riding good, I found really good lines and I managed to go up to fifth. So I was surprised about that and I wasn’t too tired, I felt very good before the second moto.
In the second race I just tried to take a good start again and it happened, I was fourth I think, or even third, then Clement passed me and I had some problems with my goggles, there was some sand inside and I could not see well, so this is why I needed to slow down a little bit because I could not pass Tanel. When Desalle passed me he then passed Tanel and I followed his lines and I could also pass him (Tanel).
My mechanic put in the pitboard that I needed to pick up on place, so when Clement passes Christophe I also passed him, so I was really happy for that. I didn’t know I was on the podium; I’m very happy to be on the podium because it has been five years now and I’m also happy for the team and also for Roger because he has done all his best to make it happen.”
Roger Magee, Team Principal:
"What a weekend for HM Plant KTMUK with our first podium of the 2012 season and our first podium ever in the MX1 class. I don't know whether it is a coincidence, but I wasn't present trackside for our first MX2 podium back in 2008! Earlier today before the start of proceedings in Brazil when I knew what the track conditions were going to be like due to the torrential rain, I sent Kevin Strijbos a text reminding him of his GP win at the last MXGP in Northern Ireland in 2007 at Moneyglass in very similar circumstances! Unfortunately Kevin was involved in a crash just after the start the first moto today that saw him recover from last place to 5th at the flag - a truly awesome performance. My thanks to all of the Team members and sponsors whose hard work and commitment over the past months have led to this memorable day.
Back in Europe, the team was unfortunate not to secure it's second podium of the day when Natalie Kane was robbed of a runner-up position in the Women's World Motocross Championship in Italy when a technical fault cost her second place in the second moto after finishing second to Championship leader Fontanesi in the opening encounter. This sport can be really cruel at times! The team now travels back to the UK for next weekend's fourth round of the British Maxxis Championship where Strijbos will be looking to strengthen his lead in the MX1 Championship and Elliott Banks-Browne to chase down the leader of the MX2 class."
SUITOR BROTHERS WATT KTM TEAM RACE REPORT DESERTMARTIN 12TH MAY RETINK IRISH CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 3
Although Team owner and manager Rowley Suitor was absent for this race, the team was out in action for the third round of the Retink Irish Motocross Championships at the GP circuit at Desertmartin.
The day was cold but bright, and team leader and reigning Ulster Champion Richard Bird had a problematic day, despite leading race 1, the Lisburn man was hampered by a slipping clutch which dropped him to third by race end.
After some frantic work in the pits between races, Chris Ross had the KTM on the line again, but after two laps leading once again, the clutch let go and Richard struggled to a fourth.
Once again, Chris and Adrian worked hard and re bled the clutch, this time it held, and Richard once again led the race, but dropped behind race winner Gary Gibson to finish runner up, and third overall on the day.
Richard, although frustrated by the machine problems, was happy to finish all three races with a good haul of points, and showed no ill effects after his fall at Doon in the last round.
His team mate in the Premier MX1 class, Larnes Niall McAuley had a frustrating day too, but finished a fine 11th overall at the end of the day, while fellow MX1 rider Phillip Harris finished just behind in 12th overall, one point behind his teammate.
Mark Patterson was out in the ultra competitive Semi Expert MX2 Class, where he finished 8th overall with race results of 14th, 8th, and 6th, a good day in a fast, competitive class.
The team will be in action again at the next round of the MRA Ulster Championships at Tinker Hill Newry on 26th May.
Mudfest at Seaforde
Seaforde Motocross Parc was the venue for Round 2 of 2012 Ulster Motocross Championship on Mayday Monday 7th May 2012. Although it was fairly dry leading up to it, mother nature bestowed vast amounts of rain on the hard circuit Monday morning. So much so that the organising club (Mourne Motorcycle Club) would decide to shorten the event to two races each instead of three.
The JAR Honda team were fresh home from the British championships on Sunday in Lyng, after an all night driving session from Norfolk in England to Cairnryan in Scotland to get the boat back to Northern Ireland.
Wayne Garrett, riding his CRF 450R, was going into the day leading the championship and after having a tough day before, wasn't looking forward to it as it is one of his least favorite tracks because he sustained a very bad leg injury there in July of last year. The track was failing quickly due to the amount of rainfall there had been on Monday morning.
Michael McCammond didn't really mind the amount of rain that fell, as he doesn't really like hard pack tracks and this way it was evening up the odds a bit if not even pointing them a bit in his favor. And with a great lot of effort he was to capitalise on this.
Wayne Garrett MX1 - 7-3
“I was glad the event had been shortened to two races because all day I struggled with traction problems and seemingly a lot more than the rest of the riders. In the 1st race I got a very good start but got taken out on the 1st corner by somebody hitting me from behind, so I had to work my way up through the field and vision was nearly non-existent. Race 2 felt better but still had traction issues but ended up 3rd”
Michael McCammond MX2 - 2-3
“Today I tried to make amends for yesterday and got two good starts. In race 1 I managed to keep it upright and battled on to 2nd and in race 2 I also had a good start and got hit on 1st corner which drove me off the track but after a lot of hard work I pulled back up to 3rd. I am happy with the way the day went, picking myself up some valuable points”
Jonathan Rea – Team Manager
“First of all I would like to thank all the team for their big effort this weekend, especially Richard, Chris and Kenny for driving through the night after the British Motocross on Sunday. Days like this it is important to finish and although Wayne gave himself a lot of work in race one, he managed some valuable points. Michael again is showed determination to take two strong race results.
ROUND 2 MRA ULSTERMOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS SEAFORDE, CO. DOWN, MAY DAY 7TH MAY 2012
May Day produced some typical wet and cold weather, but the hosting Mourne Club pressed ahead with the second round of the Ulster Motocross Championships in unpleasant conditions, truncating the meeting to two races per class.
In the Premier Class, Carrickfergus rider Graeme Irwin produced two impressive wins on his MX2 Samsung Yamaha, this the day after finishing third overall at the Maxxis British Championship in Lyng, Norfolk.
Graeme passed the early leaders early on in both races and simply rode away, in the MX2 class, Larne’s Michael McCammond on his JAR Honda produced a second and a third in the tricky conditions, with Dromara’s Ryan Adair finishing a fine second in race 2 on his Adair Electrics Suzuki, and Moira teenager Scott Hamilton finsihing third in race 1, and impressive result in his debut Premier Class season.
Also impressive on the day with a fourth after a fall was Greyabbey lad, Craig Browne on his Dennis Browne/Stove Factory Kawasaki, the change to KTM obviously suiting the lanky hard working kid.
In the MX1 Premier Class, Ballygowans Gary Gibson on his Tyco TAS Suzki claimed the honours in race 1, with Robert Hamilton, from Portavogive on his G&G Ross Suzuki taking the other race win.
Runnere up in both races was Dromore charger, and crowd favourite, Davy Gorman on his AJ Plumbing/Elite Bathrooms KTM 350, with ex Champions Comber Men Wayne Garrett on his JAR Honda, and Tommy Merton, returning after injury on his Watt/No Fear Kawasaki sharing third places.
In the Semi Expert Class, Irwins teammate, Jordan McClelland had two equally impressive wins aboard his Sansung Yamaha, the Dunadry teenagers first wins in adult racing.
Jordan was followed home in the MX2 class by Dromora’s Stuart Fee on his Fee engineering 125cc KTM in one race, and by Ballyclare teenager, Ben Mottram on his Agnew Recovery Yamaha, a fine ride from the diminutive youngster in very wet conditions..
Fee also had a third, with the other third being claimed by Mark Dynes from Lurgan on his Dynes Motorcycles Honda. Mark is also recovering from a broken collarbone, so he was glad to finish so well in the tricky conditions.
In the MX1 Semi Experts, Chris Lappin from Comber on his TM, and Kawasaki mounted Donal Teague from Stewrtsown shared the honours, with Lougbrickland Veteran Cliffy Bailey claimed a pair of second places, showing impressive throttle control on his two stroke 250cc Yamaha, Teague claimed one third place, with Lurgan man Gareth Knox claiming the other.
In Clubmans MX1Col McMullan from Ballymoney ran away with race 1, while young Scott Leaney from Saintfield, newly Honda mounted won race 2. Paul Atkinson claimed two second places, with Leaney and McMullan the two thirds. Championship leader Gareth Mulligan had a bad day at the office, complaining of no grip, with a 6th and a twelfth.
Clubmans MX2 produced two winners, with Omaghs Ian Moore and Waringstowns Stephen White sharing the honours, Scott Bailey and Paul Henderson runners up, and Chris Simms and Henderson sharing the thirds.
The Mourne Club coped well with the conditions, the cold being worse than the wet according to the riders and spectators, but with few injuries, and the riders being happy enough with two races in the atrocious conditions, the day was a relative success, the next round is in three weeks, where the Temple Club will host at Tinker Hill near Newry on 26th May.
Premier MX1: Race 1: 1:Gary Gibson, 2: David Gorman, 3: Tommy Merton, 4: Jordan Scott, 5: Jason Garrett, 6: Richard Bird
Clubmans MX2: Race 1: Ian Moore, 2: Scott Baliey, 3: Paul Henderson, 4: Steven White, 5: Keith Redmond, 6:Andre Blakeley
Race 2: 1:Steven White, 2: Henderson, 3: Chris Simms, 4: Blakeley, 5: Kristofer Rea, 6: Bob Smyth
2012 MRA ULSTER MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND 2
SEAFORDE MAY DAY MONDAY 7TH MAY 2012
This Bank Holiday Monday sees Round 2 of the MRA Ulster Motocross Championships hosted by the Mourne Motorcycle Club take place at the popular Seaforde venue owned by Club member, Norman Green.
To add spice to the event, the Club are running the circuit the opposite way to normal, and with support from local businesses, have increased the prize fund to over £3,000 spread over all classes.
The Mourne club are extremely grateful for the support from B.L.R.C. Land Rover Specialists, Saintfield Livestock Market, Brent Dorman John Deere Engineer, Carmedic Saintfield, Brennans Service Station and The Stick Restaurant, McKibbins Motors, Noel Cochrane Car Sales and Spares, Frenchies Mace, Clough, Bore-a-hole, Kane Trailers in Ballynahinch and Watson’s Flowerstop in Ballynahinch.
Along with the motocross action the Ballynahinch Lions will be holding a retiring collection on the day for their chosen charities for 2012.
In the Norman Watt Premier MX1 Class for the big bikes, the Championship is led by JAR Honda mounted Comber man, Wayne Garrett, returning to the track where he sustained a season ending injury in July 2011, he is chased by Ballygowans Gary Gibson on his Tyco by TAS Suzuki, fresh from his triple win at the Tandragee 40 two weeks ago, he is a man on form at the moment, however, defending Champion Richard Bird on his Watt Motorcycles Suitor Brothers KTM and Gordon Crockard on the No Fear/Watt Kawasaki will have something to say on the day too.
In the ultra competitive Nutt Travel.com MX2 Premier class, Carrickfergus man Graeme Irwin leads the charge on his Samsung Yamaha on a perfect score so far, his County Antrim neighbour Larne’s Michael McCammond is second on his JAR Honda, and like his teammate Wayne Garrett, he returns to the track where his season ended last year also, third, but adrift, is Wicklow’s Jim O’Neill on his Suzuki, tied with Glenoe teenager, Glenn McCormick on his Agnew Recovery/Watt/No Fear
Kawasaki, with Stuart Edmonds on his Tyco by TAS Suzuki, and a fine sixth by William Donnelly.
In the Laverty MX/Glenhead Engineering Semi Expert MX1 class, Stewartstown charger Donal Teague has a perfect score on his Kawasaki; Ryan Fenton lies second, chased by Hillsborough’s Stephen Megarry.
In the concurrently run Bore a Hole Core Drilling Semi Expert MX2 class, Connor Campbell from Larne leads the class on his Monster Energy Cosworth Yamaha, chased by Dromora teenager Stuart Fee on his little 125cc two stroke, third is Jordan McClelland having a great start to the season on his Samsung Yamaha, local teens Jordan Wade from Downpatrick, and Jordan Martin from Killyleagh aren’t too far behind this pack either.
Russell’s Motorcycles Clubman MX1 class has been dominated by Laurelvale’s Gareth Mulligan on his Honda 450, Kieran McKinlay is second, with Paul Atkinson and Geoff Leaney on his tail, also expect Moira man Jordan Blakely to have a say in this class too.
The Spence Racing Clubman MX2 class is lead by Hillsborough man Andrew Megarry on his KTM, with Ian Moore second on his Husqvarna machine, third is Colm Gardiner, with returnee to the sport Andre Blakely, and Combers Stephen Gill rounding out the chasing pack.
Racing starts at 11.00, entry is £5.00 with under 14’s free, a great day out for all the family with three races per class on the day, great value for money too.
Round 2 of the MRA Ulster Quadcross/Under 21/Veterans/Sidecarcross Championships take place this coming Saturday, 28th April at the scenic Tinker Hill Circuit just off the A1 north of Newry, promoted by QRI.
The first round of the series was shortened to two moto’s due to serious incidents at Desertmartin, so QRI will be hoping to complete all three moto’s per class on Saturday.
The Quad Premier Class always produces close and exciting races, and with names like Lisburns David Wray, locals Mayobridge man Sean Goss, Markethills Gareth McClean, and fliers like David Cowan, and the hopefully recovered, Michael McAnenny from Limavady, along with young chargers Saintfields Dean Colhoun, and Magheralins Alexander Thompson, along with Newry’s fastest lady Emma McQuaid, fresh from her win at Tandragee last week, expect close racing all day.
The Clubmans Quad class is led by Norman Bell at the moment, with a host of young chargers hot on his tail, such as Lisburn’s David Forsythe and others; this will provide an appropriate support to the big stars of the 4 wheel game.
Turning to the three wheel stars, Neil Campbell and Ross Graham have started this year where they left off last year, unbeaten so far, despite a close race with Lisburn neighbours 16 year olds, Gary Moulds and Shane Taylor in the Sidecarcross class.
Hugh Evans an Ian Harrow, runners up at Tandragee, along with James Earney & Gary Bell, with Tony Willis & Ian Glenn, all Lisburn based will provide the chasing pack behind the youngsters in this class of youth versus experience.
Turning to the experienced solos, in terms of the Veterans, this class has been dominated by local man Cliffy Bailey from Loughbrickland, with Waringstowns Jonathan Fairley, Ravarnet man Ricky Watt, and Ian Moore from Cookstown so far, with close racing through the pack as all three grades run concurrently.
The Ballymac Hotel Under 21 class produces the best racing in the country at the moment, with all the young stars out in force, including local man, Loughbricklands John Meara, Glenoes Glenn McCormick, , Larne’s Michael McCammond, Tyrone’s, Steven Smyth, and giant killer Dromara schoolboy Stuart Fee on his little 125cc two stroke, this class was oversubscribed at Desertmartin, and should provide the highlight of the two wheeled programme on the day.
Racing will start around 11.00 am at the picturesque, atmospheric Newry circuit, signposted from the main Belfast Newry A1 road just north of the city, entry is £5.00 per adult, with under 14’s free, a great family day out for all.
McCORMICK JOINT 3RD IN RETINK IRISH MX2 CHAMPIONSHIP
Sunday 15TH April - Round 2 of the Retink Irish Motocross Championships - Doon
Practice / Qualifing went well for the Co Antrim teenager, this being his first visit to this fast open track and good sunny but cold weather meant very fast qualifying speeds Glenn qualified 21st in the combined MX1 & MX2 Premier Class.
Moto 1 - Glenn got a mid pack start again and started picking off riders to finish 5th,just losing out in a good battle in closing stages for 4th.
Moto 2- a much better start this time to run 3rd for much of the race only to lose out in the final laps after another good battle to finish 4th.
Moto 3- a bad start left Glenn with a lot to do, coming through the pack he got his front wheel taken out by anther rider and went down on lap 2. Picking himself up and charging through the field with bars bent, he managed to climb up to a well deserved 6th place at the flag.
This was another good day for the 16 year old on his Watt Motorcycles/Agnew Recovery Kawasaki, to be joint 3rd in championship after 2 rounds is great confidence boost.
Glenn said ‘I really enjoyed today, learning new tracks is fun and I felt my pace was good. I had James Ambrose and Clarence Bell from PLR set my suspension up before this weekend and I really noticed the difference. I now really feel I can up my speed and push on for better results.’
Considering the entry included regular British Championship runners, Stuart Edmonds and Graeme Irwin, a Maxxis Race winner, Glenn’s performance is all the more praiseworthy, and there is more to come from the Glenoe teen as he spends more time on the new four stroke machine.
NORTH ARMAGH MOTORCYCLE AND CAR CLUB OFF ROAD SECTION - PRESS RELEASE - TANDRAGEE 40 ATTRACTS TOP NAMES AND NEW SPONSOR
The North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club Off Road Section are pleased to announce a sponsor for the Tandragee ‘40’ Superpole event on Saturday 21st April 2012.
Local businessman, Ervine Fairley, owner of Fairleys Garage, Moore’s Lane Lurgan, has stepped in to sponsor the unique ‘Superpole’ part of the this Saturdays Tandragee ‘40’ Spring Open Motocross.
The Superpole will feature the top ten qualifiers running one fast lap at ten second intervals to finalise their gate picks for the feature races, the winner of the Superpole session will receive £75, second qualifier will receive £50, third place qualifier will receive £25, this is on top of any prize money they win in the main race, which has a first place prize of £250.
The Club are extremely grateful to Ervine, a longstanding supporter of the Club, through his son Jonathan, and a motorsport fan generally; his garage in Moore’s Lane Lurgan supplies the full range of automotive services, and offers a fast, efficient, and keenly priced service to the motorist.
This event has also attracted most of the top names in Irish Motocross, with GP winner and multi British Champion Gordon Crockard on the No Fear/Norman Watt Kawasaki 450f, British Championship Race winner and multi Irish & Ulster Champ Graeme Irwin on the Samsung Yamaha 250f, British Championship runner and Irish Champion Stuart Edmonds on the Tyco by TAS Suzuki 250f, British Championship regular and multi Irish & Ulster Champion Wayne Garrett on his JAR Honda 450f, Ulster Champion Richard Bird on the Suitor Bros/Norman Watt KTM, Gary Gibson on his Tyco by TAS Suzuki and many others, this will be an exciting days racing with three races each, plus support races by the top Quad riders in Ireland, and the resurgent Sidecarcross class, headed by young chargers Neil Campbell and passenger Ross Graham, Gary Moulds and Shane Taylor and others, and a Club members handicap, to add a bit of fun, this will be a super family day out for everyone.
Tandragee Motocross Park is on the Tamnamore Road near Laurelvale Village, signposted from Mahon Rd, entry is £5.00 per adult, under 14’s free.
On a cold bright day at Doon, a big entry enjoyed a great days racing across all grades, in the Premier MX1 & MX2 races, run concurrently, Gordon Crockard on his No Fear/Norman Watt Kawasaki 450f and Graeme Irwin on his Samsung Yamaha 250f had three wins out of three, but that only tells half the story.
On the weekend of the centenary of one Titanic story, the two stars had their own ‘Titanic’ battle in the second two races for the ‘overall on the day.
Race two was a long battle with Gordon leading and being chased by his young rival, Graeme made an ’ambitious’ move which paid off on the last lap, beating GC by the slimmest margin.
Race three started with Gary Gibson leading for almost a third of the race on his Tyco By TAS Suzuki 450, but soon after half distance, the old dog and the pup of Irish Motocross were past and bar to bar once again, but this time, experience triumphed over youth, and GC ran out a worthy winner, and the handshake afterwards showed a mutual respect between the two stars.
Behind this, there were numerous battles through the pack, notably amongst the MX2 boys, where Jason Meara on his TMC Honda, and Michael McCammond on his JAR Honda renewed their Under 21 rivalry and set a hot pace, and youngster Glenn McCormick showed he is coming to terms with his Agnew Recovery/Norman Watt Kawasaki 250f.
Wayne Garrett is improving every race on the JAR Honda 450f, and Gary Gibson is showing very impressive form on the Tyco Suzuki 450f, as is Michael Mahon, reigning Irish MX2 Champion on his switch to the MX1 class on the Vigors KTM 350f.
Semi Expert MX2 was the realm of the teenager with Connor Campbell on the Monster Energy Cosworth Yamaha claiming two wins and a second, with Jordan McClelland showing much improved form on the Samsung Yamaha, but race three belonged to 15 year old Dromara schoolboy, Stuart Fee on his giant killing Fee Engineering KTM 125, beating the mixed MX1/MX2 field to win the race overall.
Semi Expert MX1 was dominated by Stewartsown youngster, Donal Teague on his Kawasaki 450f, with Clifford Wilson, Chris Lynd, Chris Lappin & Darren Bradford making up the chasing pack.
Clubmans MX1 also produced a triple winner in Laurelvales Gareth Mulligan, riding Matthew Sintons Suzuki 250. Michael McGrath and Moira’s Jordan Blakely rounded out the podium .
Clubman MX2 again produced a triple winner, with Loughbricklands Andrew Blakely dominating the class, but behind him, Alexander Ellison, Kristofer Rea, Stephen Gill and Keith Redmond chased hard all day.
A great days racing in all classes in cold, bright weather on an excellent track.
Race 1: 1. Andrew Blakely, 2. Alexander Ellison, 3. Jonathan Merriman, 4. Don Murray, 5. Kristofer Rea, 6. Brain McCarthy
Race 2:1. Blakely, 2. McCarthy, 3. Murray, 4. Merriman, 5. Stephen White, 6. Rea
Race 3: 1. Blakely, Stephen Gill, 3. Rea, 4. Keith Redmond, 5. Murray, 6. Merriman
NORTH ARMAGH MOTORCYCLE AND CAR CLUB - MEMBERS REPORT
RETINK IRISH MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 2 DOON 15TH APRIL 2012
Most of the solo Club membership made the trip to Doon near Athlone for the second round of the Retink Irish Motocross Championship on Sunday 15th April, and it was a mixed day for the lads.
Laurelvale man Gareth ‘Mully’ Mulligan, again riding fellow Club member Matthew Sintons Suzuki 250 two stroke added to his Clubmans MX1 Championship lead by winning all three races on the day, utterly dominating the opposition once again, coming from behind in all three races to win by a convincing margin. The big man looks like odds on favourite for the title, and is also leading the Ulster Championship after one round, with 5 wins from six races so far in the Irish, he is the man to beat.
Unfortunately fellow club mate Colin Cairns did not do so well in this class as a bad fall left the Dromore man with an injured foot that put him out of the running for the day.
In the ultra competitive Semi Expert classes, Waringstown man Raymond Brownlie decided that enough was enough and that he actually belonged in the MX1 class, and riding with an renewed confidence, Raymond stormed to the lead in all three races, however, a bruising encounter with Championship leader left Raymond on the deck in Race 2 while leading, and falls in the other two races left him with an overall result of 13th, 8th and 6th, an excellent day all considered, and one that should help the Waringstown mans confidence.
In the MX2 Semi Expert Class, Lurgan man Mark Dynes showed remarkable speed, and courage, three weeks after breaking a collar bone, Mark, on his Dynes Motorcycles Honda250f was able to post a 9th and a 12th in this super fast class dominated by teenagers, he remarked, ‘when I’m able to hold onto the bike, I’ll maybe do better!’
The Club members now look forward to this Saturdays Club race, the Tandragee 40, at their home circuit, at which time they’ll have an opportunity to shine in the Club members handicap, for bragging rights at least!!!
The Suitor Brothers/Norman Watt KTM Teams 2012 roller coaster season shows no sign of change so far, with Doon throwing up the usual highs and lows.
With Premier MX2 rider Carrickfergus ‘Drew Goudy out for 6-8 weeks with a dislocated shoulder, and youngster Crossgar’s Jonathan O’Neill still sidelined with his broken wrist, Doon was no kinder to the team members.
In the Premier MX1 class, team leader and reigning Ulster Open Class Champion Richard Bird from Lisburn fell in race 2 while following up his fine third place in race one and injured his hip, meaning he was unable to start race 3. The crash was no fault of the rider; Richard was in a strong third again when after a jump the bike hit a bump wrong and pitched Richard over the bars. Team manager Rowley Suitor said ‘Richard feels stiff and sore, but does not think there is any serious damage’.
Fellow Premier Class MX1 team mates, Niall McAuley from Larne, and Saintfield’s Phil Harris had largely uneventful rides in the three races, with Niall finishing with a 12th, 10th and 9th, excellent results for the hard working Larne man, and Phil with a steady 15th,14th & 13th.
In Semi Expert MX2, the ever smiling Chris Patterson from Crossgar showed tremendous speed and determination in this ultra competitive class, when in race 1 and race 2 he was taken down by other riders at the first corner, and fought back in both races to finish 10th and 7th, followed by a fine ride to 9th in race 3.
In the Clubman’s MX2 class, Comber lad Stephen Gill had another topsy turvey day, with a hard ride after a fall in race 1 to 9th, but a non finish in race 2 after having to pull out with a tightening engine while lying second, he redeemed himself riding teammate Patterson’s machine in race 3 to keep his Championship hopes alive.
Team Manager/Owner Rowley Suitor was well pleased with the teams overall performance, although concerned with the injury to Richard, he is looking forward to the coming season with enthusiasm.