Arenacross lights up Belfast
There wasn't a hockey puck in sight as the high-octane indoor motorcycling discipline of Arenacross took over the home of the Belfast Giants at the SSE Arena last night.
As always, Freestyle Motocross legend Edgar Torronteras and his contemporaries, Jamie Squibb and Petr Pilat, thrilled the impressive opening-night crowd at the Monster Energy Arenacross Tour, powered by Ford Ranger.
Local racing aces Glenn Irwin, Ryan Rainey and young Scott Swann, the 13-year-old Irish 125cc Production champion, also got in on the action - being interviewed by local favourite and former double Supercross winner Gordon Crockard.
Geartec Yamaha's Monster Energy athlete Cedric Soubeyras led the event ahead of Round Four in Belfast last night, but it was Frenchman Thomas Ramette (24) and his countryman Cyrille Coulon who were two of the stand-out performers in the all-important Pro Class for the SR75 Molson Racing Suzuki team. American Josh Hansen also proved to be a big favourite with the crowd on the number 100 plated SJR Kawasaki.
Local lads Rhys Hawthorne (10) and Charley Irwin (8) did themselves proud in the Junior 65cc category. This is the first time Rhys has ever taken part in Arenacross and he finished a credible seventh in race one.
"It's a technical track," he said. "It's cool to be riding the same circuit as the top Pro riders."
Eleven-year-old Mattie Beattie, who moved up to the Supermini 85cc group, said: "The KTM is really strong and this morning I kept wheeling off the start line!"
Doors open tonight at 6pm for the second part of the Belfast double-header at the SSE Arena, with the show kicking off at 8pm. A small number of tickets are available on the door for tonight's performance.