Ulster Superbikes: Norman Brown Memorial Trophy tops bill at Bishopscourt

Gerard Kinghan leads the Ulster Superbike Championship.
Gerard Kinghan leads the Ulster Superbike Championship.

The Ulster Superbike Championship continues this weekend with the Norman Brown Memorial Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt in County Down.

Round six of the new-look series takes place on Saturday, when Gerard Kinghan will be aiming to maintain his dominance after winning seven races from nine starts on his Kawasaki ZX10-R.

Newry man Brown tragically lost his life in a racing accident at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1983.

One of Ireland’s most talented and promising motorcyclists of his time, he famously won the prestigious Senior race at the Isle of Man TT on his debut in 1982, riding a Suzuki RG500 for Hector Neill. He also finished as the runner-up in the 250cc Junior race.

The following year Brown made history with a new absolute lap record of 116.19mph in the Senior Classic race and finished third in the 250 Junior TT.

Progressing to the World Championship, his life was cut short in an accident at the '83 British Grand Prix on July 31.

Brown had slowed down and raised his hand when he was struck by Swiss rider Peter Huber, whose view was obscured by other riders. Both men tragically lost their lives in the incident.

Norman had also competed at Irish road races such as the Ulster Grand Prix and Tandragee 100 in the early eighties, with his achievements including a treble at the Skerries 100 in 1982.

His memory lives on through the memorial race at Bishopscourt, which is backed by one of Norman’s friends, Jim O’Brien, and Ulster Superbike Championship sponsor, AJ Plumbing Supplies.

In the Superbike class, Kinghan will start as the favourite.

The Randalstown rider leads the way on 202.5 points from Alistair Kirk, who has 102, and Ryan Gibson in third with 98 points.

Riding his Yamaha R6, Jason Lynn impressed in this class at the previous round, while Barry Graham from Kilkeel will be aiming to force his way into contention after being upgraded from the Cup class prior to the previous round, when he was involved in a six-rider incident on the first lap. Fortunately, all involved escaped serious injury.

The Supersport 600 races could again provide the most exciting action of the day.

Lynn took control at the last round of the championship on the Walter Bell Yamaha R6 and will be the man to beat in the class tomorrow.

He leads the championship with 145 points over Christian Elkin on 109 and Korie McGreevy with 106 points.

Mark Conlin, Darren Keys Jamie Rea are also entered.

Championship races will also be held for Supertwins, Production Twins, Pre Injection, Lightweight Supersport, Junior Cup and Young Guns, Classics, Moto3 and the Superbike and Supersport Cup classes.

Practice is due to commence at 9am followed by an 18-race programme from 11am. All races count towards the Ulster and the Irish championships.

Admission is £10 with children under 12 admitted free.