Neil Robinson Memorial Race revived at Bishopscourt

Neil 'Smutty' Robinson was tragically killed in 1986
Neil 'Smutty' Robinson was tragically killed in 1986

The Neil Robinson Memorial Race, last held in 1988, has been revived by the newly-formed Mid-Antrim 150 Motorcycle Club and will be held at Bishopscourt on Saturday, April 18.

A rider with incredible promise, ‘Smutty’ Robinson was tragically killed at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough in September 1986, weeks after the 24-year-old from Cullybackey defeated reigning Formula One World Champion Joey Dunlop at the Ulster Grand Prix.

It was an untimely end for the Northern Ireland rider, who was also an exceptional talent on the short circuits and a British champion in the 250cc class.

One of the sport’s most popular riders, Robinson was tipped for great things but sadly he never got the chance to make the most of his special talent.

In his memory, the Neil Robinson Memorial Race was first held in 1987 at Kirkistown, organised by the Hillsborough Club, when TT legend Dunlop emerged victorious.

The following year, World Superbike great Carl Fogarty took the honours on the final occasion the race was held.

However, Trevor Armstrong - who was chairman of the ‘90’ Supporters Club originally set-up to organise the memorial race in Robinson’s memory - has rekindled interest in the race and the event will now take place in April with the assistance of the Mid-Antrim 150 Motorcycle Club, which was formed in December by ex-members of the Mid Antrim Motor Club Ltd with the aim of running the national road race again in 2016.

A prize fund in excess of £2,000 is up for grabs at Bishopscourt and the event will count as a round of the Ulster and Irish Short Circuit Championship.