Riders gear up 
for new season

Jonny Hanna, from Antrim, on his Supertwin. Picture: Roy Adams.
Jonny Hanna, from Antrim, on his Supertwin. Picture: Roy Adams.

A number of racers took to the track for the first time this year at Kirkistown on Sunday, to assist in their preprations for the new season.

After being forced to retire due to injury, Antrim’s Alan Glasgow was out giving his younger brother Mark’s Honda a shakedown.

Alan was lapping steadily and seemed happy enough with the test, although he did stop early in one of the sessions.

Another name from the past is that of Ryan Rainey. I had heard a whisper recently that Ryan was planning a comeback, but until I saw him at the weekend I had just dismissed it as a rumour. Now it seems that it’s true.

I didn’t get a chat with Ryan, but hopefully it won’t be long before he’s up at the sharp end, and challenging for race wins. He’s definitely a man who can run at the front.

Antrim’s Ross Patterson was at Kirkistown while his elder brother Jamie took in the World famous Daytona race meet in Florida. More on that later.

Luke Hazlett was another local rider who was out for a run round, his first since the Sunflower last year, as was Jonny Hanna. Hopefully, all the local lads can have decent seasons.

JAMIE AT DAYTONA

As I mentioned in the last paragraph, Antrim rider Jamie Patterson tackled the Daytona meeting for the first time in his career. Despite not having been on a bike since October of last year, practice went well for the Milltown rider.

Jamie told me: “The first day of practice was a shock to the system, as I hadn’t been on a bike since the Sunflower last year.

“After a few steady laps, hitting the famous banking was a bit special. At the end of the first day I was sitting in 24th place out of 58 riders.”

Sadly, things went downhill slightly after that. “I posted a good time but wasn’t able to get a decent tow on the banking. It was just down to inexperience. I started the race in 25th place.” In the early stages of the race, the clutch on the local rider’s Suzuki cried ‘enough’, and he was forced to sit and watch from the sidelines.

Jamie wanted to thank his team for all their hard work, especially his parents Alan and Michelle. “Everybody worked hard all week to get the bike right for me. Thanks to all concerned.”

Jamie is a lad who has improved a lot recently. This has been especially noticeable in the Mondello Masters championship. The trip to Daytona will give him a lot of important track time and he will start the domestic season running. Good luck to both Jamie and younger brother Ross for this year.

CLADY AUTOJUMBLE

The Clady Vintage Motorcycle club will host their 23rd Great Northern Autojumble at a new venue this year.

Over recent years the charity event was held at Muckamore Abbey, but this year, for the first time, they will move to St. Clares Community Hall, on the Chapel Road, in Glenavy. The event will also change in that it’s a single day run instead of the normal Friday and Saturday. It all gets under way at 9.30am until approximately 4.15pm.

MINIMOTO SUMMER SERIES

Having been troubled during their Winter championship by bad weather, the Minimoto racing club will have their fingers crossed that it’s slightly better for their Summer series. The first round will be at Aghadowey on the 28th March.