Alistair Kirk wins Neil Robinson Memorial Trophy at Bishopscourt
Randalstown's Gerard Kinghan powered to a Superbike treble at the Ulster Superbike meeting at Bishopscourt over the weekend, but it was Alistair Kirk who came out on top in the Neil Robinson Memorial Trophy race.
Dromara man Kirk prevailed in a close battle to win the £1,000 cheque after an 11-lap tussle, narrowly holding off David Haire by four tenths of a second, with Kinghan forced to settle for third on his Kawasaki, only two tenths further behind.
Jason Lynn finished in fourth place ahead of Ryan Gibson and Aaron Armstrong.
Neil ‘Smutty’ Robinson was tragically killed at Oliver’s Mount in Scarborough in 1986, only a few weeks after the Cullybackey man famously won the Formula 1 race at the Ulster Grand Prix on the Skoal Bandit Suzuki.
His older brother, Donny – who raced at Grand Prix level – also sadly lost his life in a crash at the North West 200 in 1999 after coming out of retirement.
The Mid Antrim 150 Club established the race in memory of the County Antrim brothers, who were both members of the club.
Kinghan may have lost out in the showpiece race, but he increased his overall lead in the Ulster Superbike Championship after chalking up three victories.
On Saturday, he won the first race by 1.1 seconds from Kirk, with Lynn completing the podium places ahead of Thomas O’Grady, Luke Johnston and Gibson.
In race two, Kinghan again had the upper hand, but he was made to work hard by Kirk, who was just a tenth of a second down at the finish.
O’Grady finished third, one second behind race winner Kinghan, with Adam McLean taking fourth on the McAdoo Racing Kawasaki.
Young Tobermore rider McLean was left shaken by team-mate James Cowton’s tragic death at the Southern 100 and said last week that it was ‘unlikely’ he would race on the roads again this year. However, his appearance at the County Down track may suggest a change of heart.
Armstrong and Gibson finalised the top six.
In the third Superbike race of the weekend on Sunday, it was Kinghan again who had the bit between his teeth and he once again scored a narrow win by one second over Kirk to complete his hat-trick. Lynn finished third ahead of Gibson, Armstrong and O’Grady.
In the Supersport class, Lynn was out on his own as he won all three races, beating Christian Elkin and Emmet O’Grady in both races on Saturday, who finished second and third respectively in each race.
Lynn completed a treble on Sunday as he won by eight seconds from O’Grady, with Dean McMaster taking third ahead of Elkin.
Elkin and Denver Robb claimed a victory apiece in Saturday's Supertwins races, with Robb making it a double as he won Sunday's race.
Robb won the Donny Robinson Memorial Trophy race by three seconds from Gary McCoy.
Elkin sealed a treble in the 125/Moto3 races, beating Paul Robinson twice on Saturday and Andrew Cairns on Sunday to make it three from three.