Crumlin man Ryan Rainey grabbed a win in the opening Superbike race of the weekend at a cold windy Mondello Park, last Sunday.
Rainey, who just this season has returned from a short retirement, was made work for the win, by Lisburn’s Declan Hoey.
Hoey just missed out on the race win by .4 of a second, while Antrim’s Mark Glasgow finished in third position, 6 seconds adrift.
Just from memory, it’s Ryan’s first race win since returning to racing.
Rainey led the second race from the start, but gradually slipped back down the order.
His misfortune opened up a great dice for the lead between Alan Kenny and Declan Hoey. Hoey eventually got ahead, opening up a 3.1 second gap at the finish. Kenny was runner up, with Mark Glasgow again amassing steady points in third.
Robert English had a win in the Supersport 600 race. We only had one 600 race as a nasty accident left the second race red flagged and, as the circuit doctor had travelled with the injured rider to hospital, racing was abandoned with two events left to complete.
Jason Lynn simply couldn’t work with English, and had to give best by 2.2 seconds. Dundrod’s Robert Kennedy took third.
Magherafelt lad Adam McLean took a double in the Supertwins races.
In the first he finished well ahead of Dave Butler, while Antrim’s Ross Patterson was third, still well in touch.
McLean overcame a bad start in the second leg, moving away to win by 5.5 seconds from Patterson. Dave Butler was third.
Charles Stuart made the long trip from Ballycastle worthwhile when he ran out a double winner in the Superbike and Supersport 600 Cup races.
In the first he led from the lights, finishing 1.4 ahead of John Hannon and Paul McCartney.
Stuart was somewhat lucky to win the second race. He had lost the lead to Hannon on the second lap. There seemed no way that he could match the speed of the Tralee man.
Due to a crash involving John McCartney, the race was stopped, and rerun over 4 laps. This time Stuart made no mistake, moving away to win by 1.7 seconds over Hannon, with Chris Campbell slightly off the pace in third.
Daniel O’Connell was in top form in the Pre Injection class. The Dublin man had a steady win in the opening race, moving away from Stephen O’Dolye by 3.1 seconds. Brian Keohane finished in third place, a couple of seconds back.
Bangor man Steven Titterington recovered from a slow start to win the second outing. He took a comfortable victory from O’Connell, while O’Dolye was third.
David Ging and Willie Maher had a win and a second place each in the Lightweight 400 class.
Ging won the first race, with Maher second and Philip Harding third. The best 125 was Randalstowns Eugene McManus, on Roy Hanna’s 125 Honda. Eugene finished in fourth place.
Maher took the race win in the second encounter. Ging was right in his slipstream at the finish, just .4 behind. Again, Harding was third.
Best 125 this time was another Randalstown lad, Cahal Graham, who finished the race in 7th place.
For once, the sidecar class was well supported. Peter O’Neill and Jack Galligan ran out as double winners here.
In the first they were pressed right to the end by Pat Gaffney and his brother Paul.
Taking a brilliant third was Jamie Masterson and Ben McBride. It’s worth remembering that Masterson had never driven an outfit till the start of this year, and hasn’t had the same passenger more than once this season. The top three finished .6 apart.
O’Neill/Galligan had things a bit easier in race two. They led from the lights and held off anything that Mick Donovan/Dave Butler could throw at them, taking the win by 3.6 seconds. The Gaffneys were third in this one.
With the threat of rain, and the fact that circuit doctor left the track with Kyle Cross, the decision was taken to abandon the final two races, the Supersport and the Newcomers.
I was talking to Kyle himself on Facebook and the news is that he has two broken femurs and a broken wrist.
It was nice to see most of the riders, media and track personnel pay tribute to Aidan Lynam, our friend who died as a result of the bike accident the previous week.
Better known as Magnets or Ted, Aidan had organised the Rev up for DSI run for 10 years and had personally been responsible for raising over €1.6 million for the charity. That apart from probably another half million from his other ventures.
To say he will be missed is a gross understatement. To his wife and family, I offer my condolences.
NORTH WEST THIS WEEKEND
The fact that the North West is this coming week can’t have gone unnoticed.
Arguably one of the biggest sporting events on the island of Ireland over the year, the meeting will be attended by race fans and riders from all over the World.
Due to the amount of space that these notes are allocated each week, I can’t obviously go into everything thats happening over the week.
Details of the whole programme and sideshows can be found on the North West 200 website.
One of the top teams, RC Express, who were to run Ivan Lintin, has already pulled out of the meeting, after a very public row with the race organisers.
In a statement, that was issued via Twitter, the team said that they were “very disappointed with the attitude of the race organisers after the show that RC Racing put on last year compared to some of the teams that get prime positions”.
The Coleraine club said that they had “tried to accommodate RC Racing, but with the dozens of other teams it simply wasn’t possible”.
Roads close for practice today, Tuesday, at 9.15am until 2.45pm. Again, roads will be shut on Thursday at 9.15am till 2.45pm for a second practice session, while on Thursday evening the first of three races will take place.
The Supertwins, Supersport and Superstock races are to be held then. Roads close for the races at 5.15pm and are due to re open at 9pm.
On Saturday the roads will close at 9.30am until 7pm for the 5 planned races.
I will, of course, have a round-up of all the races in next week’s Times.