Alistair Kirk lifted the newly-re-vamped Neil Robinson Trophy at a chilly but sunny Bishopscourt track last Saturday.
The Dromara man blasted off the line and although he was pushed hard he always seemed to have it covered.
In the early few laps Dundrods Robert Kennedy, on an R6, rode a brilliant race to stick right on the rear wheel of Kirk and Gerard Kinghan, but towards the end he made a mistake and slipped back to finish fifth.
At the finish, it was Kinghan who finished in second place, less than two seconds adrift of Kirk, with another local man, Crumlin’s Stephen Thompson, in third place.
Kirk was undefeated in the Superbike races as well. In the first he had a close call, with Gerard Kinghan finishing as runner up. Kinghan pushed Kirk all the way, finishing just 1.6 seconds back as they crossed the finish line. Crumlin man Ryan Rainey, who has recently returned from retirement, took third, well back.
The second Superbike race was stopped and restarted a couple of times. Eventually it was run as a four lap dash. Alistair Kirk made no mistakes as he was hounded by Stephen Thompson. Thompson was .9 back at the end, and was showing signs that he could have gone faster. The top two had pulled well away from Philip McNall
Bangor’s Robert English was in great form in the Supersport 600 races. In the first he came from behind to relegate Robert Kennedy to second place with a few laps to go. The top two edged away from third finisher Jason Lynn. At the line Kennedy was just half a second back of English. The second race was one of the best of the day. Korie McGreevy led on the opening lap, but was chased hard by English and Kennedy. English made his move but couldn’t gap the rest of the field. McGreevy took second place, just .8 adrift, while just over a second back, Robert Kennedy finished in third place.
Christian Elkin won both Supertwins races. In the first he was well ahead of another local lad, Ross Patterson, who had to work hard to keep English rider James Folkhard behind him. Elki got things a bit harder in race two, with Folkhard just .1 back at the finish. Ross Patterson finished in third place.
Run concurrently with the Supertwins, the Production Twins gave Antrims Luke Hazlett his best race day to date. With his dad Stephen deciding to go to Portugal to play golf, Luke Hazlett won the first race, finishing at the front of a close contest. Hazlett was only .1 ahead of Mark McConville at the finish, while Jason Cash was a further .7 back. It could so easily have been a double for Hazlett, but he was beaten on the final sprint to the line, with Drogheda man McConville getting the better drive out of the final bend. Luke had to give best by just .05 of a second. Jason Cash was third, .3 further off the pace.
The F1/Superbike and Superbike Cup races were good entertainment. Alvin Griffin easily won the first F1 race, finishing 7.6 seconds ahead of Chris Campbell. Campbell was well ahead of Charles Stuart and local man Adam O’Boyle. It looked like it was going to be another Griffin benefit in the second race as well, but halfway round the final lap his bike spluttered and stopped, handing the race win to Stuart. Peter Magowan was runner up and Ballymena man Adam O’Boyle, on the Rathkenny Track and Enduro Kawasaki, third.
Run along with the F1 race, John Shearer took the first ISB Cup race. He pulled well away from Robert McMurran, while Paul Russell finished a distant third. McMurran won the second encounter, almost lapping second finisher Scott Bell. Roger McBride finished third. Dean Fishbourne had a double in the ISS Cup races. He built up a lead of almost 3 seconds on the opening encounter, with William Saunderson taking second place. Philip Giles was third, but not really within striking distance of the leaders. It was again Fishbourne and Saunderson in race two, but this time Chris Dundee just edged Giles out of third place.
Former Manx Grand Prix winner Andrew Brady was the winner in both Pre Injection races. He moved ahead of Stephen McKeown in the first one, winning by 3.7 seconds. Johnny Aiken finished in third place, at the head of a brilliant three rider dice involving himself Stevie Titterington and James Conroy. Aiken took third, by only .006 over Stevie Titt. Brady was given a harder time in the next race. Stephen McKeown led and was chased hard by Brady from the start. Brady eventually got ahead, but couldn’t manage to shake the Maghera man, who missed out by .5 of a second. Johnny Aiken was third. Paul Robinson was the best of the 250Gp riders, with Michael McKerr in second place. McKerr was the only GP250 finisher in the second outing.
Alvin Griffin scored a double in the SS400 races. In the first he was hounded by Ballymena man Kirk Dickey. Despite setting the fastest lap of the race, Dickey just missed out on a win, being .2 back at the end. Third place was filled by Ian Morrell.
It was again Griffin who took the win in the second race, but Kirk Dickey knocked almost half a second off Carl Phillips’ 5 year old lap record for the SS400 class. Despite that, Rathdrum man Griffin took the race win, just a second ahead. Seamus Elliott finished in third place, well back of the leaders.
The GP 125 races also went along with the 400 class. Paul Robinson had a fairly comfortable win in the first one, with Toomebridge’s Eugene McManus runner up. Nigel Moore, like Robinson, was just using the meeting to sort his bike for Cookstown, finished in third place. Young McManus won the second outing, just nipping across the line ahead of Nigel Moore.
Connall Courtney, from Warrenpoint had a well earned double in the Production 125 and 250 4 stroke races. Jordan Burrows was the early leader, but young Courtney kept his head down, grabbing the win on the final dash to the finish. Shane Sweeney took third.
I didn’t see the second race, due to the fact that the prizes for the Neil Robinson race was being given out during racing. I do know that Connell was only .09 ahead of Burrows and Shane Sweeney taking third place yet again.
Glarryford man Barry Davidson, another man at Bishopscourt to set his bike up for Cookstown, ran out as the double winner in the Junior Classic races. In the first he took a hard earned win over George Stinson and Dromores Mark Johnston. Johnston got the better of Stinson in the second race, but it was not enough to put any serious pressure on the local man, who won by 5.5 seconds. Bert McCrum won both the senior classic races, while Keith Millen won both the FE350 outings.
A very enjoyable days racing. Great credit must go to the Mid Antrim club for running the meeting. A decent prizefund, sadly lacking in race meetings now, and the riders raced hard for it. Well done to all concerned.