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Cookstown 100 plans slammed by motorcycle chief

 

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In front: Derek McGee leads at last year's Cookstown 100

In front: Derek McGee leads at last year's Cookstown 100

In front: Derek McGee leads at last year's Cookstown 100

Cookstown and District Motorcycle Club have had a shot fired across their bows by the president of the governing body in the south of Ireland, Sean Bissett, just two days after announcing their intention to continue preparations for the running of the Cookstown 100 road race on September 11 and 12.

In a statement issued yesterday, Mr Bissett said: "Motorcycling Ireland announced on March 19 that all its 2020 events are cancelled for the foreseeable future to ease the pressure on the Health and Medical Services in these difficult circumstances.

"We are alarmed and annoyed to read that some individual organising clubs within the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) are still intending to promote events in this current climate.

"They do not have the authority or support of the Motorcycle Union of Ireland to promote these events in 2020.

"We also feel that they are bringing our sport unnecessarily into the public spotlight, when the governments of Ireland are still trying to keep this epidemic under control.

"We have accepted that as far as for 2020 our motorcycling sport will not be adding any pressure on the various health and public departments throughout Ireland and would hope the Ulster Centre follows that lead as we look forward to joint planning for 2021."

In an immediate, strong response Ulster Centre Secretary David McAllister said: "A statement will be issued (today) after all the Directors of the Ulster Centre have been contacted as to their views on the Cookstown Club proposal."

Mr McAllister also said that in his own personal opinion: "When people cannot access cancer treatment or have normal hospital appointments and while race medical personnel may not be available it would be somewhat irresponsible for any club to organise a race meeting at this moment in time."

So, it would appear that this proposal by the Cookstown Club has opened up a major rift between the Ulster Centre and Motorcycling Ireland at this crucial time and could lead to all Motorcycling Ireland license holders being banned from the proposed Cookstown 100.

• MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez joked he was worried he may have lost his edge during a two-month break before his first training session this week.

Spaniard Marquez and his Honda team-mate and brother Alex went out training on motocross bikes.

"I was really nervous in the run-up, saying to myself 'maybe you've lost it', but I soon shook off any fears," he said.

Belfast Telegraph