Belfast Telegraph

Kinghan chases elusive crown at Bishopscourt

 

Missing trophy: Gerard Kinghan hoping to win his first Neil Robinson race
Missing trophy: Gerard Kinghan hoping to win his first Neil Robinson race

By Roy Harris

The sixth round of the AJ Plumbing Supplies Ulster Superbike Championship takes place tomorrow and Sunday at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit courtesy of the Mid Antrim 150 Club.

The two-day meeting incorporates the Neil Robinson Memorial Race and the Donny Robinson Memorial Race.

It is hard to believe it is 33 years since Neil Robinson lost his life at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough, just a few weeks after winning the TT F1 race at the Ulster Grand Prix on the Skoal Bandit Suzuki, while it is 20-years since Donny Robinson died following an accident at Mill Road Roundabout during Tuesday evening practice at the North West 200.

The Neil Robinson Trophy and £1,000 will be awarded to the winner of the second Superbike race on Sunday over 15 laps, while the Donny Robinson Trophy and £300 will go to the winner of the second Supertwin race, also on Sunday, over 12 laps.

One man who would like to get his hands on the Neil Robinson Trophy is Randalstown rider Gerard Kinghan (IFS Yamaha), as he has won every other feature race except this one.

Others on the grid looking to thwart Kinghan's Trophy plans will include runaway Ulster Superbike Championship leader Carl Phillips (JMcC Roofing Kawasaki), Ali Kirk (McCurry Motorsport BMW), Aaron Armstrong (HydeOut Fitness Suzuki), Ryan Gibson (JMC Suzuki) and Barry Graham (BG Boats Kawasaki).

The first Supersport machine home in the Neil Robinson race will receive a Special Award with Jason Lynn and Kia McGreevy in contention for this.

In the Superbike championship chase Phillips, on 245 points, leads Kirk by 82 points with Armstrong a further 53 points back in third, with one race tomorrow and two on Sunday to add to the scores.

The Supersport class also has three races this weekend in what is a Thundersport GB-style programme over the two days, with championship leader Christian Elkin, who has seven second place finishes and three fourth place results in the 10 races to date, 18 points clear of Mark Conlin, who has 50 to spare over Mark Hanna in third with Lynn, having won all four races he has contested, in fourth.

Last year's Donny Robinson Trophy winner was Denver Robb and he is sure to be in contention again with Gary McCoy, Ross Irwin (brother of Graeme, Glenn and Andrew), Kevin Lavery, Cahal Graham and Elkin, if he participates, the likely challengers.

A rather special sidecar is expected to line up at Bishopscourt with Tommy and Neil Wheatley from Doncaster entered on a 1978 Trevor Ireson-built outfit powered by a TZ 750cc Yamaha. The performance against today's modern machines should be interesting.

All classes get four races over the two days except for Superbikes and Supersport, which get one tomorrow and two longer races on Sunday

Practice tomorrow is from 9am with Sunday's programme starting with the warm-up also from 9am.

Admission is £10/€15 each day or a weekend admission of £15\€20.

A competitive day's racing is expected in all classes during the penultimate round of the MCUI Irish Motocross championships at Desertmartin tomorrow.

Riders to watch out for in the Premier MX1 class are Lougbrickland brothers Jason and John Meara on their Kawasakis, who are currently 1-2 in the series, with Jason 11 points ahead of his older brother.

Defending champion Richard Bird is not giving up his title without a fight, the KTM mounted Crosskey's resident 14 points behind Jason and three behind John.

Fourth placed James Mackrel is a non-starter, out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, leaving Stephen Mullaly, Jordan McCaw and Ryan Adair the opportunity to overtake him in the championship table.

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