Classy Neill puts on super show
Portadown’s Marshall Neill was back to his best at Bishopscourt, taking the coveted Norman Brown Memorial Trophy and a nice £2,000 cheque for his efforts in the combined Adelaide Masters’ Superbike Grand Final.
It certainly was a battle royale in the 12-lap encounter on Saturday, with just six-10ths of a second covering the top four, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going — and there’s no tougher than the little Portadown dynamo.
Double Superbike winner on the day Lee Johnson closed the gap on series leader Brian McCormack on his Millsport Racing Ducati with his Masters’ victories, but just came up short in the Norman Brown Memorial Grand Final by a miniscule 2/100ths of a second.
McCormack took third place in the Grand Final ahead of Athlone 21-year-old Cody Nally and Lisburn’s David Haire.
Johnson’s opening Superbike victory was an all too easy affair, taking the win by four seconds after Neill, his closest rival, binned his ZX10R Kawasaki.
Haire was the beneficiary of Neill’s mistake, taking second place ahead of Nally, with series leader McCormack minimising the damage in fourth.
The second outing was a closer affair with McCormack coming through from fifth to second place after 10 pulsating laps. Neill held off Nally for the final podium spot with Haire fifth.
Johnny Buckley and Haire shared the victories in the Supersport class with Timothy Elwood also in the podium mix on both outings.
There were double victories for Adam McClean in the 125GP class ahead of emerging talent Ross Patterson, with 15-year-old Londonderry schoolboy Conor Parkhill a double winner in the Supertwins class aboard a Ryan Farquhar prepared ER6 Kawasaki.
A bit of history was also made at Bishopscourt with veteran racer Paul Cranston taking the non-qualifiers victory, his first top step since the Cookstown 100 in 1995.
Ironically Cranston began racing in 1982, long before some of Saturday’s young starlets were even born.
After a disappointing start to the Manx Grand Prix on Saturday, with just one controlled lap for newcomers taking place due to a limited number of marshals signing on, everyone is hoping for a more positive session this evening on the Isle of Man.