Riders overcome tricky conditions to produce superb racing at Mondello
The second round of this year’s Adelaide Mondello Masters took place at the cold and windswept Co. Kildare circuit last weekend.
With showers, particularly on Saturday, playing havoc with tyre choices and riders falling off all over the place, racing suffered a series of delays as organisers struggled to cope.
Cope they did and we had some great racing with Derek Sheils grabbing a treble in the Superbike category.
In Saturday’s opening race of the weekend. Damien Byrne held the lead in the early stages, but Sheils moved through to claim the win, just .5 of a second back, while Lee Johnston finished in third place. The first race on Sunday was pretty much a carbon copy, with Byrne leading before Sheils made his move. Byrne was over 3 seconds back at the finish, with Johnston well adrift in third.
Sunday’s final race saw Byrne about 4 seconds ahead at one point before Sheils started to chip away at his lead. In the closing part of the race the Dublin man relegated David Haire to third, before taking over at the front.
Saturday’s Supersport race was shaping up to be an absolute classic until a shower of rain caused a number of riders to slide off, and bringing out the red flags. Carl Phillips had opened up a useful lead with David Haire settled into second place.
A light shower made part of the track wet, while other bits were dry. Phillips slid off at the last corner, and was immediately followed into the gravel by Haire. That put Joseph Loughlin into a lead, which was short lived. Robert English had a heavy fall and with 3 bikes and riders lying about, the Clerk of the Course, Jim McDonnell hung out the red flags.
The race was re run later. It gave a win to Riche Ryan, from Carl Phillips and Joseph Loughlin. On Sunday, Haire was pushed hard by Ahoghill’s Luke Johnston, with the local lad just .8 behind at the end. Jamie Patterson was a similar distance back in third place. The final race saw stopped after a multi bike pile up.
A 5 lap re-run gave Antrim’s Jamie Patterson what I think is his first Masters win. He shot off the line and was never headed, winning by .1 from David Haire. Luke Johnston took third just over half a second back.
Ben Mullane won the Supertwins race on Saturday. He finished well ahead of Denis Lynch with Paul Tobin in third.
Tobin improved, winning Sunday’s first outing with Rory Quinn second and Athlone man Thomas Molloy third. The last race of the weekend for the Supertwins riders went to Thomas Whitmore from Tobin and Quinn.
The Production twin races were run along with the Supertwins. Niall Power had a fairly simple win on Saturday, finishing well ahead of Paul O’Rourke and Keith Lynch. With Dave Butler, who was missing on Saturday, due to work commitments, returned for Sunday’s races, winning both with ease. Niall Power was runner up both times, with Droghedas Mark McConville third.
The Pre Injection on Saturday afternoon gave Colm Kearney a useful win. Paraic Dooley was well ahead on Thomas Whitmore to complete the podium. Kearney took Sundays first race win, from Mervyn Griffin and John Cassells. Any thoughts of a treble for Colm Kearney were knocked on the head in the last race, when Pariac Dooley blasted off the line and quickly opened a lead. He was over 9 seconds ahead at the finish, with Kearney second and John Horgan in third place.
Stradbally man John Cahill took a treble in the Superbike and Supersport Cup races. He was pressed hard by Brian Hartnett on Saturday, the Cork man just .3 adrift at the end. Thomas O’Grady was third.
Re run after a red flag, O’Grady improved to second on Sunday morning, but Cahill was still the man to beat, with Edward Comerford third. Sundays final race was red flagged due to a shower of rain making track conditions tricky. On the re run it was again Cahill who hit the front, winning from the fast improving Comerford and Anthony Derrane.
The Supersport Cup races were fun to say the least. On Saturday it was Des Makess who overcame a slow start to move through to win ahead of Darragh Trappe and Paul Tobin. The opening race on the Sunday gave Mackness another win. Raymond McNeill took second place, just ahead of Stephen Casey. Another sluggish get away left Mackess with too much to do in a 5 lap dash, and he could only finish in third place. Stephen Casey won this race, with John O’Donovan in second.
The Lightweight Supersport, or SS400 races, included the GP125s of whom there were only two competitors.
Kyle Cross, who is a nephew of former Manx GP winner Darren Burns, was the only finisher on Saturday after Kevin Keyes stepped off his little Honda.
On Sunday it was similar, but this time Cross dropped out of both races. On Saturday, the SS400’s gave Tom Gregory a race win. He finished ahead of Andrew Whearty and Mark O’Byrne. Gregory won the first race on Sunday, but was pushed hard by O’Byrne, on a superfast 250 Aprilia. James Ging took third.
It was the top step for O’Byrne in the last race. One of the closest finishes of the day saw Andrew Whearty just .01 behind the little 2 stroke Aprilia, while Tom Gregory was over 8 seconds back in third.
Despite the weather, the racing was first class, particularly the Supersport 600 events. Saturday’s race, until the rain hit, was fantastic. It’s a pity the TV coverage only extends to Sundays races in the 600 and SBK classes.
Clerk of the Course Jim McDonnell did a first rate job with quick decisions red flagging races when the rain showers hit. At times some parts of the track were dry and others wet. Absolute nightmare for riders.
MCUI PHOTOGRAPHERS UP IN ARMS
The debacle that has been ongoing with the MCUI since the start of this year has taken a new twist, with the governing body now not issuing any passes to photographers.
A spokesman for the photographers association, IMPA, said ‘It beggars belief that a so called governing body of any sport should actively attempt to drive away all their media coverage.
“If they (MCUI) carry on the way they are now motorcycle racing in Ireland is like a dead man walking,” the spokesman added.
BISHOPSCOURT TEST DAY
Originally planned as the date for the Bush road races, this Saturday has been changed to be a test day at Bishopscourt.
Further details as to cost etc can be found on the Bishopscourt website.