Mark McLernon’s brilliant 2019 season just keeps getting better.
The Hillsborough rider won the only ATVs Only Premier Quad race to be run at the Killinchy Club meeting at Seaforde, after coming through from fifth on the opening lap to pass up race leader and coming star of quad racing 21 year-old Dean Dillon on lap four with a spectacular overtake at the ‘table top’.
From there the newly crowned Irish Champion controlled the race at the front with Justin Reid bringing the Can-Am DS 450 XMX home in third.
Sunday saw McLernon win all three races at the Nora-MX Quad championship meeting at Milton MotoPark, Northhampton and wrap up his second title of the season. It could be a spectacular end to the season as he currently leads both the Ulster and British championships with only four rounds left in each.
“It has been a pretty good weekend with four wins from four starts,” said McLernon.
“Saturday’s race was fun but I didn’t make a very good start. I think I must have been asleep on the start. I had to work hard on the opening laps to catch Dean (Dillon) but when I did I passed him on the big ‘table top’ I knew I could win.
“It was good to wrap up the Nora-MX title the following day but I don’t know what the secret is this year apart from I’m doing a lot of racing and it’s paying off. A big thanks to Quadbikes R Us and Rea Engineering for supplying great bikes.”
Walsh Honda rider Dean Dillon, who moved into second in the Ulster championship added.
“For me Saturday was a day of firsts with my first hole shot and the first time I have led a premier race albeit for only three laps,” he said.
“I made a real good start and because of that I wasn’t getting caught up in the dust. I like the track and was able to lead until lap four when Mark (McLernon) made the pass. I have to say it was quite impressive where he did it. When he got past I could see where he was pulling time and I learned from that and was able to pull him back in again.
“To be able to keep him in sight until the finish which was another first for me. I certainly came away with a few positives from Saturday and I’m looking forward to this weekends British round at Preston Docks.”
In the sidecar race there was no one getting near Gary Moulds and Steve Kirwin as they dominated the 15 minute plus one lap race after taking the lead on lap two from Neil Campbell and Ross Graham. At the line Emma Moulds and Niki Adair completed the top three.
The Moulds/Kirwin team used the meeting as preparation for this weekends British round and the following Dutch and German Grand Prix.
“It was good practice for the up coming races,” said Moulds.
“I’m happy enough with our speed and fitness and the most important thing from today is Steve’s back problem, that caused us to miss the last couple of GPs, seems to be sorted.
“The track today was great practice and helped us set the bike up for our next three races especially the hard pack of the German GP on the 14th July. After all the bad luck we have had in the first half of the GP season let’s hope the second half will all be good luck.”
Lisburn’s Jack Young qualified fastest for the clubman class and when he took the lead on lap two of his race he went on to set the fastest lap of the race on lap four to eventually win by 13 second from Jamie Quinn.
Josh McKnight won the 250 junior class while Harry Minish took over the lead in the 80/100cc junior championship after winning race two and finishing second to Travis Toye in the opening race. Conor Bradley now leads the Ulster 50cc Cadet title after his double win on Saturday.
Racing was called to a halt when a rider crashed in the second race of the junior class 2 and had to be taken to hospital leaving no ambulance cover. Thankfully he was only bruised and shaken.
“We made the decision as one ambulance is the minimum cover needed to race and with it away we had no choice but to stop the meeting.” explained Mark Sanlon (Clerk of the course).