Belfast Telegraph

Bird is on course to wrap up Ulster series

By Roy Harris

With motocross buoyant following Graeme Irwin's Maxxis British MX1 championship success at the weekend, all eyes turn to Tinker Hill, Newry on Saturday where the penultimate round of the Ulster Motocross championship, a title Irwin has never won, is promoted by Quad Racing Ireland.

Irwin won the opening three races of the Ulster season at Desertmartin in preparation for his home round in the British series, which he duly won.

In the Ulster series Lisburn's Richard Bird is the clear leader of the Nutt Travel Premier MX1 championship and could well wrap up the series on Saturday if results go his way.

Currently, the Five5Motorsport KTM rider has 281 championship points while the similar machine of Wicklow rider Jim O'Neill is 53 points behind Bird, still well capable of upsetting the apple cart if Bird has any problems around the spectacular Tinker Hill circuit, with 75 points up for grabs on Saturday.

Bird has won five of the last six races, losing out to Sean Devlin at Seaforde in the last race. In fact Bird has not finished off the rostrum this season with seven wins, three seconds and two thirds in the twelve races to date, championship form from the man who won the title in 2011 and 2014.

Greyabbey rider Craig Brown currently lies in third position on 198 points riding the Smoke Vent KTM, and 41 points ahead of the Adair Building Services KTM of Banbridge rider Ryan Adair with Jordan Scott (HTM Husqvarna) fourth.

With three races and a maximum 75 points up for grabs the action should be fast and furious come Saturday.

The Precision Project Premier MX2 class James Mackrel (KTM) from Dundonald has a healthy 43 point lead over Dubliner Jordan Keogh (Kawasaki) with Donegal teenager Aaron Gardiner (Honda) in third spot 47 points behind Keogh.

The semi-expert classes for MX1 and MX2 are still wide open with Josh McCorkell and Mark Dynes separated by 37 championship points in MX1, while Loughbrickland rider Cailum Devlin and Paul Laverty are just 31 points apart in MX2.

With 150 points available over the final two rounds Johnny Haywood is all but secure in the Clubman MX1 category, a handy 110 points ahead of nearest rival Barry Dunnigan while in Clubman MX2 Johnny Presco has an advantage of 38 championship points over Darren McMullan.

With no other events taking place this Saturday why not head out and visit Tinker Hill to sample Ulster Championship MX, with racing scheduled from 11am.

The track is situated on the old A1 road just North of Newry - admission £5.

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