The opening three races for this year’s Adelaide Mondello Masters series took place at the Co. Kildare circuit last weekend.
In the Superbike class, Dubliner Derek Sheils had no peers, as he ran out a treble winner.
In Saturday’s opening race, Brian McCormack outbraked himself at the first turn, allowing Sheils the space he needed to get through.
He moved away from the rest of the field and although McCormack recovered well, he was never within striking distance of Sheils.
Finishing second, BMac was less than two seconds ahead of Randalstown’s Gerard Kinghan.
After racing was delayed on Sunday morning, due to a flooded track, there was more of the same form Sheils.
He went ahead more or less from the lights and try as he might, Kinghan was never able to get on terms with the Dubliner. Paul Maloney, on one of the older versions of the R1, finished in third place, well adrift of the top two.
Now on a dry track, the last Superbike race went to Derek Sheils. Brian McCormack finished in second place, while Gerard Kinghan rounded off a good weekend with third.
Antrim’s Jamie Patterson led Saturdays Supersport 600 race for the first few laps.
In bitter cold, Patterson soon slipped back to second, passed by Bangors Robert English.
Chasing English hard, Conor Parkhill also nipped by the local rider into second.
At the line, English took the win, 1.2 ahead of Parkhill, and Patterson third, a further 8.5 seconds behind.
On a nearly dry track, the first 600 race on Sunday was easily the best race of the weekend.
Parkhill led away from the lights, with Robert English and Jason Lynn hard on his rear wheel.
These three were within touching distance of each other, while Robert Kennedy and Luke Johnston filled the lower places, still well in touch with the top three.
English went ahead, but could make no real inroads into his rivals. He took the win, 1.2 ahead of Parkhill, with Lynn third, half a second back.
Jason Lynn led Sundays final race, but was highsided on the second lap.
That left English to take the win, with Richie Ryan 4 seconds back in second.
Ryan was under pressure from Ahoghill’s Luke Johnston, who had moved up through the field after a sluggish start.
Randalstown’s Eugene McManus - on a tiny GP125 bike - was in great form in the 400/125GP races.
In Saturday’s race he chased Willie Maher, across the line, but the Cashel man was just too quick.
David Ging was well in touch in third place.
The race win went to McManus on Sunday morning, after the start was delayed to clean an oil spill.
He held off a determined challenge from Maher, taking the win by only .1 of a second, while Ging again finished in third place.
Ging had a win in the final race of the weekend.
This time it was Willie Maher who provided the main opposition, but he had a hard time holding off Graham Whitmore.
Dave Butler got back to winning ways in the Supertwins class on Saturday.
He grabbed the win from Brian Coomey by under a second, while James Chawke finished in third place.
Dave Butler had a fairly handy win in the first race on Sunday. He went ahead at the start, winning from Adam McLean.
Still trying to get used to riding the four stroke bike, McLean finished in second place, with Thomas Whitmore in third.
Butler won the final race of the weekend as well, with McLean in second.
James Chawke, in third place, was moving up to catch McLean, but ran out of laps.
Former Clubmans champion, Paul McCrea recovered from a slow start to take the win in Saturday’s Pre Injection race.
McCrea had to come from behind to get by Kevin Dempsey, but once he had done that, it was pretty much job done.
The Glengormley man took the win by over 6 seconds. Enda Delaney finished as runner up, while Dempsey was third.
A lightening start from Dempsey made sure that McCrea couldn’t get on terms with him in the first race on Sunday.
Enda Delaney had another third place.
Paul McCrea came from behind again in the final race of the weekend, to win from Kevin Dempsey.
This time Robert Toner had a good result in third place.
Enfield man Niall Gillick has a win in Saturday’s Superbike and Supersport Cup race.
Daryll Tweed from Ballymena hounded Joe Brouder for second place, but missed out by .2 of a second.
Brouder, from Rathangan, won the second race, with John Cahill in second place, right on his case.
Stephen Tobin finished in third place, but was far from outpaced.
John Cahill was the early leader in the last race, but he was soon passed by Anthony Derrane.
Cahill didn’t give in, and was little over a second back at the end. Finian McGahon took third.
The Newcomers class had both their races on Saturday.
Eugene McManus won the first of these, with well in touch Luke O’Higgins in second place.
Jordan Burrows finished in third place, well behind the leaders.
Young Luke O’Higgins had revenge for his first race defeat in the second outing, where he relegated McManus to second place by .8 of a second.
Again Burrows finished off the pace in third.
An enjoyable weekend’s sport, but, strangely, the entry was well down on previous Masters meetings.
I do know that at one point racing had been called off on Sunday, but Clerk of the Course Darragh Lowe decided to hold off the announcement to see if the rain would ease.
The decision proved the correct one, and once the track dried, racing, especially the first Supersport 600 one, was worth the drive down.
Resurrected again this weekend, the Neil Robinson Memorial Trophy will be the feature race at Bishopscourt.
Unlike the norm at race meetings now, the race, which is organised by the Mid Antrim club, will have a substantial prize fund.
The winner will take home £1000, plus the Neil Robinson trophy and replica.
Second place will lift £500 and trophy and third £300 and trophy.
Some of our top short circuit racers will compete, including Gerard Kinghan, Stephen Thompson, Alistair Kirk and Ryan Rainey.
There is a full supporting programme as well.
Practice will get under way at 9am with the first race scheduled for 1pm.
Admission is £10, with under 15s free.