Five titles wrapped up at Tinkerhill test

Banbridge rider Josh McKnight won the Ulster Junior 250 Championship.
Banbridge rider Josh McKnight won the Ulster Junior 250 Championship.
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The 2019 Ulster Quadcross & Sidecarcross Championships came to a close at Tinkerhill last Saturday with five champions being crowned.

Lisburn’s Neil Campbell - with passenger Ross Graham - cruised to three wins from three starts in the Ballymac Hotel sidecarcross races to claim his seventh Ulster Championship.

“We had a good day taking all three wins and the championship but it would have been good to have Gary (Moulds) at more rounds to make it more of a battle,” said Campbell. “Now we just need to sit down and put a plan together for the 2020 season.”

Lisburn’s Moulds completed his sidecar Grand Prix season in Germany with 11th overall alongside passenger Brian Anthony.

With 15 more points in the bag, the team finished 21st in the Championship.

“Going into the final races of the year we were 56th in the World so to finish 21st I reckon was some achievement,” said Moulds. “It was a pity we couldn’t get inside the top 20 but I’m happy.”

Jonathan Wilson and Louise Houston took runner-up on the day at Tinkerhill, while Emma Moulds and Niki Adair did enough to wrap up second in the Championship, despite a day that had its fair share of mechanical issues for the Lisburn-based team.

With Hillsborough man Mark McLernon already crowned ATVs Only Premier Quad champion, it was second place up for grabs and Comber’s Justin Reid claimed the runner-up spot after Moira’s Dean Dillon had machine issues in the second and third races.

“I enjoyed the three wins and it was good to have Justin up there fighting at the front,” said McLernon.

Reid added: “It was a tough day and I had my fair share of issues.

“In the last race I had a healthy lead over Mark when I lost the front brake, four laps into the race, I had to ease the pace and cruise to the finish for second and second in the Championship.

“Now the hard work begins for the ‘Nations’ in Germany.”

Dillon explained his day: “Race one went to plan but in the second race, after a bad start, I was catching Justin when the engine seized with a lap-and-a-half remaining.

“I used my spare bike for race three but it wouldn’t start on the line, Jamie Quinn let me loan his machine but I couldn’t finish higher than sixth.

“I was disappointed at losing second in the Championship but before the season started my goal was top three in the series, so I achieved that.”

Lisburn’s Jack Young only needed to finish race one to be crowned champion in the Gilchrist Plant Hire Clubman class but instead a crash on the opening lap of practice resulted in the teenager ending up in hospital with a badly broken wrist.

By the end of the day’s racing, Dromore man Kyle Orr claimed the title by four points, thanks to two wins and a second.

Fourteen-year-old Josh McKnight from Banbridge took the 250 Ulster title in only his third season of racing, finishing third overall at the international meeting earlier in the season at France’s Pont-de-Vaux to add to his domestic delight.

Harry Minish secured the 110 Class title with three second places, while in the Y1 50cc Automatic Class it was Conor Bradley who was crowned champion.

Ballyclare’s Martin Barr finished runner-up in the MX2 Michelin MX Nationals event after finishing fourth overall at Foxhill.

The Crescent Yamaha rider, who is still recovering from surgery on a broken collar bone, qualified fifth fastest and took third in race one and fourth in race two.

“Obviously, I would have loved to have won the Championship but 12 days after my operation and two DNFs over the year, second isn’t too bad,” said Barr. “I do have to thank Glenn McCormick for beating my closest rival, Michael Ellis, into third in race two which helped in the final standings.

“All things considered, second in the Nationals and winning the Bridgestone Masters hasn’t been too bad a season.

“This weekend, hopefully, I can get inside the top three at the final round of the Maxxis British at Landrake.”

Glenoe’s Glenn McCormick had a great day - taking third overall and fourth in the Championship on the Unique Fit-Out Husqvarna.

McCormick qualified third fastest behind champion-elect Josh Gilbert before going on to finish fifth in race one followed by second in race two.

“I reckon that was my best performance all season.” said McCormick. “After qualifying I was confident going into race one and was second after a good start but I tucked the front and went down and had to fight my way back to fifth.

“I led race two for a few laps before Josh Gilbert came past, I decided I wasn’t letting him go and tagged on to him and in the end finished second, beating Michael Ellis and taking the final spot.

“If I can get a top-10 finish at Landrake this weekend it will be a great end to the British season.”

In the MX1 Pro class, Loughbrickland brothers John and Jason Meara were in action along with Stuart Edmonds. John was the best of the locals, finishing sixth overall on the Watt Motorcycles Kawasaki - with Edmonds 11th and Jason 15th.