Cody Nally added the Adelaide Mondello Masters title to his already impressive CV, when he took his first ever overall series win last weekend.
For the Athlone man it was the proof, if ever it was needed, that a small, self funded team can win at top level.
With three races at the weekend, Saturdays Superbike outing gave us a taster of what was to come from the class over the weekend. In perfect racing conditions, the top four riders, Nally, Brian McCormack, Marshal Neill and local man Jamie Patterson broke away from the rest of the field. For the entire race places were exchanged at almost every corner, although it was McCormack who held sway.
On the fifth lap BMac dropped to fourth, with Portdowns Marshal Neill taking over at the front. That was the way it stayed till the finish, with Cody Nally just .3 back at the line. McCormack recovered to finish in third place, over 3 seconds back. With the threat of storms and heavy rain looming for Sunday afternoon Cody Nally was aware that all he needed were a couple of steady finishes take the overall title. Afterwards Cody admitted that he had, for the first time ever, taken advice and thought of the championship instead of a race win. His third place, behind Marshal Neill and Jamie Patterson, was enough to give him his first Adelaide Masters title.
The final race of the championship was red flagged after Marshal Neill had a nasty crash. Neill was, at the time, running in second place behind Nally, and ahead of Brian McCormack. Rain had started to fall out the back of the circuit and despite riders, including Brian McCormack waving to indicate asking to have a race stopped due to weather, the race continued.
On the sixth lap Neill ran onto a kerb and was highsided from his bike. He has sustained, as I understand it, a double break in his arm, which must now make him a doubtful starter for the end of season Sunflower meeting. Nally was declared the winner, but sportingly, before the podium ceremony could take place, he walked back out onto the track to see how his rival was. Nally won by .6, ahead of BMac, while Peter Moloney was promoted to third place, over 13 seconds back.
In the Supersport 600 class we have come to expect, over this season, to have some close and exciting racing. Again, thats the way things panned out. On Saturday Lisburns Carl Phillips took the race win, making a break from the rest of the field. He took victory by some 3 seconds. Antrims Jamie Patterson finished in second place, just .1 of a second ahead of Jason Lynn.
On Sunday, Jamie Patterson, with one of trademark lightening starts, took a narrow win in the first Supersport 600 race. As the race progressed Carl Phillips was the only man able to match Pattersons times. Phillips went ahead and tried to make a break in the middle part of the race, but Patterson hit back, winning by .01 of a second. Jason Lynn had been moving up to try to get on terms with the leaders, but sadly his challenge disappeared when he slid off his Suzuki. He did, however remount to finish down the field. Richard Glasgow was third, well behind Phillips.
Another fast start gave Jamie Patterson the early lead in the last race for the 600s. He couldn’t maintain it, however, and it wasn’t long before Carl Phillips moved ahead. All this time Jason Lynn was recovering from a sluggish getaway. At the mid point of the race, Lynn slotted into second behind Phillips. By now the top four, Lynn, Phillips, Patterson and Robert English had broken away. Lynn grabbed the race win, just .2 ahead of Carl Phillips. Jamie Patterson was still well in touch, finishing only 1.6 seconds behind second place.
Paul Swords was unstoppable in the Superbike and Supersport Cup class. On Saturday he was totally dominant, winning Krzysztof Kapiczak. Better known as Kris, the Polish rider was over 29 seconds adrift at the finish, but still comfortable ahead of Niall Gillick. Corks Stephen Casey was the early leader of the first race in Sunday. Before long, however, Paul Swords had moved ahead and using the low down power of his Ducati, started to open an ever increasing gap. Noah Holmes, on a bike borrowed from Willie Kane, finished in second place, well ahead of Mike Meskell. It was a similar story in the last race as well. Swords took the race win, with Kris Kapiczak finishing in second place, some 9 seconds behind him. Anthony Derrane was third, right in Kapiczak’s wheel tracks.
The Pre Injection riders again gave us some great entertainment, with a number of hectic down field dices. Ronan Shanahan was the winner of the race that was held on Saturday. He dropped pole man Melvin Griffin soon after the start, steadily building on his lead. Shanahan eventually won, moving away from a dice for the lower places involving Kevin English and Austin Wilson. That went almost to the wire, but sadly Wilson dropped his R6 with a couple of laps to go. Mervyn Griffin was promoted to third after Wilson slid off. It was again Ronan Shanahan who took the win in the second Pre Injection race. He was never headed, winning by 6.6 seconds from Thomas Lawlor. Lawlor had seized his Honda earlier in the day and run it in during the first race. Mervyn Griffin took third. The running in completed, Thomas Lawlor set the pace in the final race. He took the win, by 7.6 seconds, with Griffin in the runner up spot. A similar distance in arrears, Stephen Doyle took third.
The Supertwins category was also hard fought. Here, Drew Jamison had no equals. On Saturday he cleared off to win by over 12 seconds. Philip Nally had pressured Jamison for the early few laps of the race, but had to bow to James Chawke on the final lap. Chawke took second, 1.6 seconds ahead of Nally. Jamison had things a bit harder in Sundays opening race. While he took the win, there was under a second between him and Philip McNally. James Chawke, who for me is a very under rated lad, was third.
Michael Rea took a win in the final race. He made a great start and held on to win by under a second from Thomas Whitmore. Wayne Sheehan finished in third place, over 8 seconds behind Whitmore.
Alvin Griffin and Andrew Whearty had a great race in the SS400 class on the Saturday. The race win eventually went to Griffin with Whearty runner up, just half a second back. Gavin PJ Quinn was a distant third place.
It was again Griffin and Whearty in Sundays opening race, this time Griffin getting the best of it by less than 2 seconds. Graham Whitmore finished in a distant third. On a now soaking wet track, the final SS400 race was won by Alvin Griffin. Dropping his foot as a precaution at the first corner, Griffin moved steadily away from Graham Whitmore. The Gorey man rode a thinking race, realising early on that he was not going to catch Griffin. He was 5.8 seconds back at the finish, with Ian Whearty a couple of seconds back in third.
In dreadful conditions, only 11 riders came to the line for the Grand Final. It was a race of attrition, as one by one Brian McCormacks rivals slid off. First it was Jason Lynn, then Jamie Patterson and then Damien Byrne who all slipped off, although thankfully none of them were hurt. All this served to leave McCormack well away, with him taking the race win.
For a few laps young Ross Patterson had been running in second, but the Antrim 18 year old, in the trickiest of conditions, wisely rode to finish. He eventually finished in 5th place.
With the absence of James Conroy, with bike problems, his dad Alex was the man to beat in the Classic races. On Saturday it Herbie Ronan who gave the most bother to the Comber rider. Big Herbies best just wasn’t good enough, and Alex took the race win by 2.4 seconds. George Stinson, on his beautifully prepared Honda, finished in third place, albeit some 10 seconds adrift.
On Sunday Alex was forced to give best to Tony Willis. Herbie Ronan kept the pressure on Conroy, but was .3 back at the line.
In not very nice conditions, Alex Conroy won the final. He was 6.5 seconds in front of Ronan at the finish, while Tony Willis was well back in third.