Irish Champions crowned at Seaforde

By Stuart Campbell
THE penultimate round of the 2018 Irish Motocross Championship was held at Seaforde MotoParc on Saturday, with six riders winning titles on the day.
The Clubman MX2 class was first to the line with Scott Bailey, Ruairi Grimes and Newcastle man Daniel McFerran fighting for the championship. Bailey led race one from the start to take the win, with McFerran in second and Grimes in sixth position. McFerran led race two from the first corner to take the chequered flag, followed home by Bailey in second and Grimes in third position. In the final race McFerran got the holeshot and won comfortably ahead of Bailey in second and Grimes, who dropped back from third with two laps to go and finished in 12th position.
Belfast man James Mackrell raced in the MX1 and MX2 Experts classes, so he had over two hours racing on the day. In the combined Experts and Semi Experts MX2 class he was up against Loughbrickland’s Jason Meara. In race one Mackrell took the holeshot and led to take the chequered flag, as Meara came home in second position. Mackrell led race two from start to finish again and was followed home by Meara. In the third race it Meara’s chance to lead from lap one to take the chequered flag as Mackrell, who was racing in his fifth race of the day, came home in second position to become Irish Experts MX2 Champion. In the Semi Expert class there were three winners on the day, but only one man could take home the top honours. Seaforde’s Nathan Green won race one ahead of Saintfield man Ben Kennedy, Lee Coffey in third and Kilkeel man Rhys Graham in fourth position. Graham won race two, ahead of Coffey and Kennedy, as two falls on lap one left Green a lap down, but he came home in eighth position. In race three Coffey took the full honours, winning the race and he became Semi Expert MX2 Irish Champion. He was followed home by Graham in second, Green in third and Kennedy in fourth position.
In the Clubman MX1 class Comber man Jordan Wade left his championship rivals behind as he took a hattrick of wins. Wade was followed home by Ballykinlar’s Fintan Fallon, who had three second placed finishes and Derry man Calvin McCorkell with a fourth, ninth and fifth placed finishes.
Lisburn man Richard Bird led the first Experts and Semi Experts MX1 class race led from the first lap to take the chequered flag, ahead of James Mackrell in second and Portavogie’s Robert Hamilton in third position. In race two Bird left the line at the back of the pack, as Hamilton had also dropped to the back of the pack after the first lap. Meanwhile Mackrell enjoyed a good start and took the lead on the third lap. Bird moved into second position before the halfway stage of the race, but Mackrell held first to take the chequered flag. He was followed home by Bird in second and Hamilton in eighth position. In the final race Hamilton led until lap two when Bird took the lead, as Mackrell had to come from the back of the pack. At the halfway stage Mackrell had moved into eighth position, before he cam home in ninth position, behind Hamilton in second and race winner Bird who also won Experts MX1 Irish Championship. In the Semi Expert class two Downpatrick men led the way, with Jonny Presho earning a first and a fifth in the first two races, as Christopher Orr has a fourth and a first position. In the final race Presho took his second win of the day and won the Semi Expert MX1 Irish Championship, as Orr came home in second position.
The combined Veterans, Over 35 Grade A, B and C class was last to the line and Moneyrea man Lawrence Spence won all three races, as he claimed the Irish Veterans Championship. Comber man Jonathan McBride took two wins and a third in the Over 35 Grade A class, but third, second and a final race victory helped Castlewellan’s Shaun Kelly to win the Irish over 35 Grade A Championship. In the Grade B class Ashley Allerton won the first two races, as Laurance Ruddock had two second placed finishes and a final race win. In the Over 35 Grade C class Comber’s Graeme Jellie had a win a second and a fourth, as Peter Jones finished race one early, but won the final two races.

2018 Charity Grasstrack… another huge success! £5.5k total

By Stuart Campbell


The Mourne Motorcycle Club has continued its charitable success raising £5,500 to be shared between two local causes in 2018. Starting in 2007, the Mourne club has now raised more than £80,000, which has been presented to 24 different charitable causes.
Now the proceeds from the twelfth annual charity event will be shared between the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Northern Ireland and the Perinatal Trust Fund (NI). Speaking at the cheque presentation, Mourne Motorcycle Club Chairman Billy McLarnin said: “This has come about through the work of the people in the club, it’s a real team effort.
“It’s a privilege to do this. People come out of the woodwork to race and to help. They are all happy to help,” he said. The event was held at the Millbridge, Ballynahinch, in June with solo, quad and sidecar grass-track racing.
After receiving the cheque for the Perinatal Trust Fund, Sharon Murray (Regional Neonatal Unit) said the money would go towards everything, large and small: “Just today we asked Dr Tubman for money to buy something simple – baby grows.” Then Dr Tubman added that it had been a pleasure to be a chosen charity: ”The money is most welcome.”
The Mourne club held the event with help from The Ballynahinch Lions, Café Rossi, Watsons Flowers and Keith Cullen from Herrons Country Fried Chicken, Ballynahinch. The collection had been started by a £150 donation from Watsons Flowers before the event was held and Keith Cullen supplied the trophies for the twelfth year in a row, although he still hasn’t attended a single event launch or cheque presentation.
Speaking on behalf of the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Northern Ireland Stephen Thompson said: “This is a disease that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. There is a lot of work and research going on at the minute. “There is also a lot of work to make everyone comfortable. It’s a real team effort. “Just like our friends in the Neonatal Unit, it’s a real team effort,” he said.
(l-r): Stephen Thompson, Billy McLarnin, Sharon Murray (Regional Neonatal Unit),
Fionnula O’Hare (Regional Neonatal Unit) & Dr Richard Tubman.

Bank Holiday MX returns to Seaforde on 13th

By Stuart Campbell


The Ulster open Motocross Championship will return to County Down on Friday, July 13.
The Mourne Motorcycle Club will host the fourth round of the Ulster championship at Seaforde MotoParc on Friday, with local riders set to challenge for top honours.
This will be the second Ulster championship round to be held at Mourne club man Norman Green’s Seaforde track this year.
In the Experts MX1 class Portaferry man Robert Hamilton and Annalong’s Lindsay Newell will be challenging for top placed finishes.
In the MX1 Semi-Experts class Kilkeel man Christopher Cully and Downpatrick’s Johnny Presho are challenging for top honours.
Loughbrickland’s Jason Meara will be challenging for top honours in the MX2 Experts, along with his brother Cailum.
In the Semi Expert MX2 class Seaforde teenagers Nathan Green and Ben Kennedy will be competing for points on their local track.
Bikes will be out on the track from 9.30am, with the first race to start at 11am. Entry to the event will cost £5 for adults, while children go free and car parking is also free.

Race review Charity Grasstrack 2018

By Stuart Campbell
The Mourne Motorcycle Club hosted their twelfth annual off-road racing event for charity at Millbridge, Ballynahinch, on Wednesday, June 20.
This year the event was held to raise monies for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Northern Ireland and the Perinatal Trust Fund of the Royal Jubilee Maternity Service (at the Royal Victoria Hospital).
The racing involved solo motorbikes, quads & sidecars split into seven different classes, with each getting three competitive six lap races, before an extra four lap race for fun.
The Clubman red class was first to the line and Carryduff man Chris Boles came home in first and second positions in the first two races, as Ballygowan man Ivan Cairns came home in second and first positions. In the third race Boles led from the start, until he stalled on lap three and dropped back to fourth position as Callum McCartney moved into first and won the race. Boles fought back to take the overall victory by passing Cairns on lap five, before they finished in second and third positions.
In the Clubman blue class Downpatrick man Micky Galloway was fighting Ards man Jonathan Carolan and Saintfield’s Sam Simpson for the overall victory. Carolan took the honours after two wins and a second placed finish, as Galloway earned second overall with fourth, third and victory in race three. Simpson finished third after a second and two third placed finishes.
The Clubman Green class was won by Newcastle man Daniel McFerran, with fourth, second and first positions. He was followed home by F Dunn with second, fourth and second positions and David Kane finished third after two wins and a tenth placed finish in race three.
The Sidecars class was won by the former British Champions Neil Campbell and Ross Graham, from Lisburn, with a second placed finish and two wins. They were followed by Hillsborough’s Gary Moulds and Nikki Adair with a win and two second placed finishes. Third overall was taken by Dean Faulkner and Gary Ringland, from Maze and Boardmills, after two thirds and an eighth-place finish.
The Evo class was won by English rider Ashley Greedy, who won all three races, ahead of Annalong man Lindsay Newell with three second placed finishes and Ballynahinch man Jason Garrett in third position after two thirds and a fourth placed finish.
In the Quad class Saintfield man Dean Colhoun led from the start to take the chequered flag in his first race in three years following an injury. In the next two races Colhoun let the pack start ahead of him, but he still came through to take two more wins. Josh Crozier, from Banbridge, finished in second overall with two seconds and a third placed finish and Armagh man Gareth Graham took third overall with two thirds and a second placed finish.
In the Combined Grade A and B class Greedy lived up to his name as he won a second class overall on the night, with two wins and a second placed finish. Glenoe man Glen McCormick finished second overall after fourth and second placed finishes in the first two races were followed by victory in race three. Moira man Scott Hamilton secured third overall on the night with seventh, sixth & eighth place finishes. The top Grade B finisher was Lurgan man Gareth Knox, followed home by Ballynahinch man Chris Bell and Bobby Irwin, from Lisburn.
Full results can be viewed by clicking here

Press Launch Charity Grasstrack 2018

By Stuart Campbell
THE Mourne Motorcycle Club is gearing up to hold its twelfth annual charitable motorcycle racing event on Wednesday, June 20.
The event will be held at Millbridge, Ballynahinch, with bikes on the track from 6pm, when there will be solo, quads and sidecars all taking part on the night.
Launching the event and addressing the members of the two charities Mourne club chairman, Billy McLarnin, said: “We try to choose local charities and causes that benefit everyone, or in some cases we choose individuals who are close to the club. “This has become a popular annual event and whatever money we get from the event, you get,” he said.
In the previous eleven years the Mourne club has presented £75,000 to 22 different charitable causes and this year we plan to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Northern Ireland and the Perinatal Trust Fund (NI). Speaking at the launch Marie Holmes, Northern Ireland Secretary of the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Northern Ireland was first to address the Mourne Club members. Marie Holmes started by thanking the Mourne club and said that there are people living in and around Ballynahinch that they are trying to help: “We do our best to spend our money in Northern Ireland each year. “There are only between 110 and 120 people with Motor Neurone Disease in Northern Ireland and it can be quite isolating. We have volunteer visitors, who visit people in their homes and contact people by email. “We provide grants for people living with Motor Neurone Disease, along with grants for carers and for children. “We hold afternoon tea support services throughout Northern Ireland, where people can come to enjoy a cup of tea and company. “We also help with research as well. Our aim is a world free from Motor Neurone Disease,” she said.
Then Dr Richard Tubman, from the Perinatal Trust Fund, said: “The Perinatal Trust Fund is a small local charity that has been in existence for about 30 to 40 years. “We support the Regional Neonatal Unit in the Royal Maternity Hospital and we do a variety of things for this. “Mostly we help by buying equipment, but we also support the education of staff in the unit, which has a knock-on effect by helping the babies and their families. “We also help to support research into problems of newborn babies. I can’t thank you enough for choosing our charity, so thank you,” he said.
Once again, the Mourne club will be helped by The Ballynahinch Lions, Cafe Rossi and Keith Cullen from Herrons Country Fried Chicken on the night. The Mourne club is always grateful for the help they receive from Café Rossi and Ballynahinch Lions, but would also like to thank Keith Cullen, who is never seen with the club. Since the Mourne club’s first charity event in 2007 Keith has gladly supplied the trophies every year, but still doesn’t attend the event launch. This year the Mourne club is also receiving assistance from Watsons Flowers, Ballynahinch, who have already started the collection with a £150 donation, coupled with £150 donated at the Mourne club’s latest race day at Seaforde Moto Parc.
Admission to the event will cost £4 for adults, while children go free and car parking is also free.
Front row (l-r): Fionnula O’Hare (Regional Neonatal Unit), Billy McLarnin, Sharon Murray (Regional Neonatal Unit), Dr Richard Tubman & Marie Holmes.
Back Row (l-r): Nathan Green, Jimmy Green, Junior Burrows, Norman Green, Richard Portis and William Campbell (kneeling), with Noel Maitland (white shirt & standing) who suggested the MNDANI to the Mourne club, after the passing of his wife Alison to MND.

2017 Season… wrapped up with Prize Giving

By Stuart Campbell

The club held their annual prize giving night at the Temple Golf and Country Club on Saturday 17th February 2018.

The prize giving was held to celebrate the top Grade C and Grade B finishers at two racing events held by the Mourne club in 2017, at Seaforde Moto Parc on May Day and the charity motocross night at Ballynahinch.

The biggest prize winner was Loughbrickland rider, Cailum Meara, who was presented with two cups. On May Day Meara won three races at Seaforde Moto Parc, on his way to lifting the Ulster and Irish Grade B MX2 Championships. He was presented with the Seaforde Cup as the top Grade B rider overall and the John Heron Cup as the top Grade B MX2 rider for his results on May Day.

The Bertie Campbell Cup was awarded to Derry rider Joshua McCorkell, who was the top Grade B MX1 rider on May Day, on his way to lifting the Ulster Grade B MX1 Championship.

The Harry Palmer Memorial Cup was presented to Carrick man Johnny Haywood, who won all three Grade C MX1 races on May Day and lifted the Ulster Grade C MX1 Championship, winning all but one race through the year.

Comber man Johnny Presho won the Mourne Motorclub Cup, as the top Grade C MX2 rider at May Day. Presho also carried this form through the season to lift the Ulster and Irish Grade C MX2 Championships.

The Presidents Cup was presented to Newry’s Emma McQuaid, as the top quad rider at the Mourne club’s charity race. Away from offroad racing McQuaid is preparing to leave for Australia to represent Northern Ireland in crossfit weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games.

Kilkeel man Chris Cully took the Harry Palmer Perpetual Trophy as the top Grade B finisher at the charity race.

Winning the sidecar class at the charity race earned Lisburn’s Dean Faulkner and Boardmills man Gordon Ringland the Jim Boyd Cup.

The final presentation of the night, the Norman Campbell Cup, normally goes to a club member who has done a lot to help the club in the previous year.

Presenting the award Mourne Motorcycle Club Chairman Billy McLarnin said: “This cup has always gone out to a rider, club member or someone who has done a lot for the club.

“The person tonight is technically not a Mourne Motorcycle Club member, but the Mourne club couldn’t run without this person.

“This person also does a lot for the sport outside the Mourne Motorcycle Club,” he said, before presenting the award to his wife Anne McLarnin.

Loughbrickland’s Cailum Meara receives the Seaforde Cup from Seaforde Moto Parc track owner Norman Green

Robin Campbell presents the Bertie Campbell Cup, in memory of his father, to Thomas McCorkell, who collected the award on behalf of his son Joshua

Loughbrickland’s Cailum Meara receives the John Heron Cup from Leitrim man John Herron

Carrick rider Johnny Haywood is presented with the Harry Palmer Memorial Cup by Mourne club man George Porter

Comber man Johnny Presho is presented with the Mourne Motorclub Cup by Mourne Motorcycle Club Chairman Billy McLarnin

Newry quad racer Emma McQuaid receives the Presidents Cup from Mourne Motorcycle Club President Junior Burrows

Kilkeel man Chris Cully is presented with the Harry Palmer Perpetual Trophy by MRA Chairman Jimmy Walker

Anne McLarnin, from Annahilt, is presented with the Norman Campbell Cup by her husband Billy

2017 Charity Grasstrack… HUGE success!

By Stuart Campbell
The members of the Mourne Motorcycle Club continued their charitable endeavours in 2017, running their eleventh annual charitable motocross event.
The event was held on June 21 at Millbridge, outside Ballynahinch, with all proceeds raised being shared between the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Service and injured motocross rider Wayne Garrett.
This year the Mourne club is delighted to announce that with £8,000 raised through the event, Wayne and the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Service will each receive £4,000.
The members of the Mourne club, along with everyone supporting our events, should be proud to know that the eleven charity events held between 2007 and 2017 have led to the Mourne club presenting almost £80,000 to 22 different charitable causes.
With so many worthwhile charitable causes, the members of the Mourne Motorcycle Club have always tried to support causes close to home.
Speaking about the charity choices Mourne Motorcycle Club Chairman, Billy McLarnin, said: “Every year we always arrive at the right charitable causes to benefit from the event.
“We don’t want the money that we raise to go into a big pot, but to be used locally.
“The Air Ambulance is for everyone and while we hope that we don’t need it, we know that it will be there. I have known Wayne since he was a boy and he started racing and we are happy to do anything that we can to help him,” he said.
At the cheque presentation Breige Mulholland, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Office Manager, and Mike Patton, paramedic, spoke about the Air Ambulance and that the high-end work is that they are now saving lives. Now patients who have suffered major traumas and head injuries can go straight to the Royal Victoria Hospital.
On the day of the event the Mourne club was helped by The Ballynahinch Lions, Herrons Country Fried Chicken and Cafe Rossi, along with Uncle Hugo who brought his road show to Ballynahinch to drum up support for the event. The event involved racing from motorbikes, classic bikes, quads and sidecars.
Once again a HUGE thank you to everyone who supported this years event to allow us to hand over the amounts we did!
Wayne & Sarah Garrett with Mourne Motorcycle Club Chairman Billy McLarnin.
Billy McLarnin & Mike Patton, who is a paramedic with the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Service.
Wayne Garrett, John Murphy (Ballynahinch Lions Secretary), Billy McLarnin, Breige Mulholland (Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Office Manager) & Mike Patton

Battle for Quad/Sidecar championships at Seaforde Moto Parc

The Mourne Motorcycle Club hosted a combined and Ulster and Irish Quad and Sidecar Championship event at Seaforde Moto Park on Saturday19th August.
All points earned by competitors on the day counted towards both championships, with one more Ulster Championship round to follow and two more Irish Championship rounds for riders to fight for points.
The first class to the line was the Clubman’s Quads with Saintfield man Ben Colhoun’s Ulster Championship lead being spoilt when he only took points in one race. The first race was won by Ballykelly man Connor Canning, with Newcastle’s Stephen Mulholland in second, Lisburn man Dean Dillon in third and Colhoun taking fourth position in his only race on the day. The next two Clubman’s races were both won by Dillon, as Canning had two second placed finishes and Mulholland came home in seventh and third positions.
In the Sidecars class there were two Lisburn duos fighting for top positions in the Ulster and Irish Championships. Neil Campbell and passenger, Craig Parmenter won the first race, before taking second and fourth place finishes to lead the Ulster Championship. Following a second-place finish in race one Gary Moulds and passenger, Steve Kirwin won the next two races and they hold the lead in the Irish Championship ahead of the final two rounds.
The final racing of the day came from the Premier Quads class and the top points scorer on the day was Newry’s Emma McQuaid. A win in race one, followed by fifth and third placed finishes led to McQuaid becoming the first female competitor to win either an Ulster or Irish championship race and the first female to win overall on the day. Following disappointment in race one, after it ended on lap three, Banbridge rider David Cowan came back to win the final two races. Limavady man Michael McAnenay leads the Ulster Championship ahead of the final round after taking 11th third and ninth placed finishes, as a second and two fourth place finishes have given Justin Reid, from Comber, the lead in the Irish Championship.
Along with the adult classes there were three youth classes competing for Ulster and Irish Championship points on the day.
In the Junior Quad 50cc class, Coleraine’s Travis Toye comfortably won all three races.
The second Junior race was the 80/100cc class with three different winners. Mark Mulholland won the first race, followed by sixth and second placed finishes in races two and three. After finishing tenth in race won Ross Dillon won race two and came home in third in race three. The final race winner was Andrew Black, following second placed finishes in the first two races.
The final action from the Junior riders came from the 200/250cc class, with Lisburn rider Jack Young winning all three races.