A windy day at Dunmore didn’t deter the masses

By Stuart Campbell

THE second round of the HTM Off-Road Cross Country Championship was held at Dunmore Mountain, Spa, on Saturday, February 8.

The championship event was held by the Mourne Motorcycle Club, on behalf of the Foyle District Motorcycle Club for the fourth year in a row.

There were 86 riders taking part on the day, with Expert, Senior and Clubman class riders all out on the track together in a single two hour race.

The riders were led off the line by Expert class rider Jordan Scott, from Newtownards, who held the lead for the duration of the race to take the win after he had completed 12 laps. Scott was the fastest man on the day, finishing one lap ahead of his closest competitors, with Beragh man Barry Donaghy taking second in the Expert’s class and Moneyreagh man Harry Crawford, who won the race in 2019, the third Expert rider home this year.

In the Senior’s class the top finishers all completed ten laps of the course in during the two hours, with David McMahon taking the win. McMahon was followed home by Portadown man Adam Thompson in second position, N Devlin in third, Ryan Thompson was in fourth place and Newry man John O’Neill came home in fifth position.

The clubman class made up the majority of the riders in the race, with 61 men amongst the starting line-up. At the end of the race M Conlon took the honours ahead of I McMahon, with both riders having finished ten laps, with Jude Crawford, from Coleraine, coming home in third position after he had completed nine laps of the track.

Overall Winner Jordan Scott

Dunmore XC kicks off 2020

By Stuart Campbell

THE off-road racing calendar will start in County Down on Saturday, February 8, with a cross-country event at Dunmore Mountain.

The Mourne Motorcycle Club will be hosting the second round of the HTM Off-Road Cross Country championship, on the demanding terrain at Spa.

This will be the fourth year that the Mourne club has hosted a round of the cross country championship on behalf of the Foyle District Motorcycle Club.

There will be a single two hour race, or two races depending on the number of entries on the day. Bikes will be on the track for a sighting lap from 9.30am before the race starts at 10am. Entry for spectators is free on the day.

Mourne Mystery Weekend Away

MEMBERS of the Mourne Motorcycle Club went for their annual MAD (Mourne Away Day) excursion recently.

The away day is one of the main social events held by the club when their racing calendar has ended, giving members the chance to socialise when they are not running off-road events.

After the latest MAD, Mourne club vice-Chairman Matthew King, from Saintfield, said: “Our Chairman, Billy McLarnin, has to take the credit for coming up with the idea for MAD.

“As a club we already had our Christmas dinner and annual prize giving, but then Billy came up with a plan for an annual day out.

“As a club we have always had a good number of members attending meetings and other events, so this has been a good way to let everyone relax in good company,” he said.

This year was ninth MAD held since Billy McLarnin came up with the idea in 2011.

At first the club held an annual day out, but this year they enjoyed a weekend away from September 6-8, travelling to watch the British Super Bikes at Oulton Park, Cheshire, and the JCB factory, Uttoxeter.

Speaking about the continued success of MAD Billy McLarnin, from Annahilt, said: “The original plan for the MAD was to take a few club members out for the day, with a few surprise stops along the way.

“The idea was to offer people the chance to offer the chance for a day’s craic amongst friends.

“I would organise the day and tell everyone what it would cost. Everything else would be a surprise, as we stopped off at places of interest that we take for granted at home.

“Through the years we have visited places such as Crumlin Road Jail, the Ulster Aviation Society, the Bushmills Distillery, we have enjoyed bowling, archery and we have met Uncle Hugo.

“Last year I came up with the idea of a weekend away and I had to tell everyone some of my plans in advance so they could get time off work if necessary.

“Once again it was another fantastic trip for the Mourne club and guests, showing how well the members of the motocross fraternity get along,” he said.

Ulster Championship racing on Bank Holiday 13th July

By Stuart Campbell

THE Mourne Motorcycle Club held the fifth round of the 2019 Adult Ulster Motocross Championship at Seaforde Moto Parc on Saturday, July 13.

This was the second round of the championship to be held at Norman Green’s Seaforde track this year and the track was run the opposite way from normal, to offer the riders something different on their latest visit.

The combined Expert MX1 and MX2 class was first to the line, with championship leader James Mackrell, from Dundonald, missing through injury and Loughbrickland rider Jason Meara racing in the British Championship for the rest of the 2019 season. In the first race Loughbrickland man John Meara took the honours after 11 laps, leading second placed Glenn McCormick, from Glenoe, by almost ten seconds at the chequered flag. John Meara was the top MX1 rider, with Jordan McCaw in second, Ryan Adair in third and Annalong rider Lindsey Newell in fourth position. McCormick was the top MX2 rider, with Jake Sheridan in second and Aaron Gardiner in third position. In race two Meara took the chequered flag again, with McCaw second, Adair third and Newell in fourth in the MX1 class. In the MX2 class, McCormick took the honours for the second time, with Sheridan and Gardiner rounding out the top three.

The Clubman’s MX2 class was next on the line with Ardglass man Eoin Duffy taking two wins on the day, Scott Fisher in second and Conor Devlin in third position after seven laps in race one. In race two Duffy was followed home by Devlin, Robert McCauley and Fisher in fourth position.

In the Clubman MX1 class championship leader Lee McGrath won race one ahead of Terence McGlone in second and Roy McGarvey in third position. In the second race McGlone took the honours ahead of Richard Greer, Ryan Canning in third position and Lee McGrath came home in 15th position. A collision between two riders in the second race meant that both ambulances had taken the men to hospital and racing couldn’t continue on the day without medical cover.

In the only combined Semi-Expert MX1 and MX2 class race Nathan Green took the chequered flag on his home track, ahead of MX2 championship leader Connor Mullan, from Crossgar. Green and Mullan were the first two men in the MX2 class, with Ivan Kerr coming home in third position. Australian man and MX1 championship leader Aaron Ashton took first in the MX1 class, with Anthony Brown in second and Russell Tanahill coming home in third position.

In the one Veteran’s class race Temple rider Richard Watt took the honours, with championship rival Jonathan McBride from Comber taking second and Ballynahinch man Chris Bell coming home in third position.

Bank Holiday Racing fast approaching at Seaforde

By Stuart Campbell

THE Mourne Motorcycle Club will bring the Ulster Motocross Championship back to South Down on the July public holiday weekend.

The fifth round of the 2019 Ulster Adult Motocross Championship will be held at Seaforde Moto Parc on Saturday, July 13. The Mourne club has already held a championship round at the Seaforde track this so year, so this time the riders will tackle the circuit in the reverse direction.

In the Premier MX1 class Loughbrickland brothers Jason and John Meara are trying to catch Belfast man James Mackrel for the championship lead.

Ballyclare rider Martin Barr leads the premier MX2 class, with Glenoe rider Glenn McCormick chasing for honours.

The Semi-Expert MX1 class is led by Australian rider Aaron Ashton, while Conor Mullan, from Bells Hill, leads Seaforde man Nathan Green in the Semi-Expert MX2 class.

The Clubman MX1 class is being led by Lee McGrath, while Scott Fisher leads the ClubmanMX2 class, with Ardglass man Eoin Duffy sitting in third position in the championship.

The Veteran’s class is a fight between three south Down riders, with Comber man Jonathan McBride leading the championship, Downpatrick man Brian Presho in second and Temple rider Ricky Watt in third position.

Once again, the Mourne club will hold the event with support from Brennan’s Ice Cream & Service Station, Cochranes Car Dismantlers and Rowly Suitor. The Mourne club will also be helped on the day by the Ballynahinch Lions Club, who are always on hand to help at the Mourne club’s events.

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.

Cancelled Charity Grasstrack for 2019

THE Mourne Motorcycle Club have been forced to cancel their 2019 chartable motocross event.

The event was due to be held at Millbridge, Ballynahinch, on Wednesday, June 19, to raise monies for the Jenny Foundation and the Ballynahinch Lions.

This would have been the Mourne club’s thirteenth annual charitable event. The club’s fundraising started in 2007 and at this time they have raised more than £80,000 for 24 different charitable causes.

The planned event was going to feature solo bikes, quads and sidecars racing on the night. But the recent weather led to club members taking the decision to cancel the event this year.

After the decision to cancel the event had been taken, Mourne Motorcycle Club Chairman, Billy McLarnin said: “Our annual charity event has been one of the highlights of our calendar since 2007, when we raised money for the Children’s Hospice.

“Every year we try to choose local charities which have touched the lives of club members, or people close to the club.

“It was not an easy decision to make to cancel the event, but unfortunately the weather has beaten us this year.

“When we arrived to set up the track on Saturday, June 15, we found the ground was completely sodden.

“We knew that the event had to be cancelled, as the ground is so wet it could be badly cut-up with bikes on the track and cars in the paddock.

“Hopefully we’ll be back fundraising again next year with the Jenny Foundation and the Ballynahinch Lions at the top of our list,” he said.

All entries already received will be refunded over the next few days.

13th Charity Grasstrack just around the corner

THE Mourne Motorcycle Club will hold their thirteenth annual off-road charity event in Ballynahinch on Wednesday, June 19th.

The event started in 2007 and at this time the Mourne club has raised more than £80,000 for 24 different charitable causes. This year the event is being held to raise monies for The Jenny Foundation and The Ballynahinch Lions.

Speaking at the launch, Mourne Motorcycle Club Chairman, Billy McLarnin said: “The Mourne club’s charity work started in 2006 and we held our first event for the Children’s Hospice in 2007, which raised £7,500.

“We always try to support something local and when we received Alana’s letter, we knew that then Jenny Foundation was the right choice.

“We also chose the Ballynahinch Lions as they have helped us every year and it is nice for us to help them in return,” he said.

The Jenny Foundation was chosen as one of two recipients this year, due to its close connection to the motocross fraternity, but more importantly, the fantastic work that it has been created to carry out.

The Jenny Foundation was set up in memory of the late Jennifer Newell, by her family, to support children from Northern Ireland who are living with cancer. The foundation’s work will predominantly be carried out through the Cancer Fund for Children, but when a child needs specialised treatment outside of the NHS, the foundation aims to focus support towards them.

Explaining the aim of the Jenny Foundation, Alana Newell said: “All of the money that we raise is to help people in the Province, specifically with the Daisy Lodge.

“Our first event was a charity walk in Annalong on April 13, which raised £1,620, in memory of my mum Jennifer Newell.

“Since then a group of friends raised more money running in relay at the Belfast Marathon,” she said.

The Ballynahinch Lions will receive half of the money raised from this year’s event to help their ongoing charitable work.

Ballynahinch Lions club President Jimmy Green said: “I am a lifelong Mourne club member and it’s great that the club has chosen the Lions this year. Hopefully we will have a great night.”

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. Once again, the Mourne club will be helped by The Ballynahinch Lions, Cafe Rossi, Keith Cullen from Herrons Country Fried Chicken and Watsons Flowers on the night.

Admission to the event will cost £5 for adults, while children go free and car parking is also free.

Rider entries for this event are open online and via post… click here

Picture caption: Front row (L-R) – Cecil Newell, Billy McLarnin (Mourne Motorcycle Club Chairman), Alana Newell & Lindsay Newell.

Back row (L-R) – Junior Burrows (Mourne Motorcycle Club), Robert Hamilton (Ballynahinch Lions), Wayne Gibson, John Murphy (Ballynahinch Lions), Mike Richer (Ballynahinch Lions), Francie Casement (Ballynahinch Lions) & Nathan Green (Mourne Motorcycle Club).

Mayday Monday 2019


Photos credited and copyright to Ian Cairns – Dirt Bike Ireland

Mayday Monday 2018

Selection of photos taken at Mayday Monday’s Ulster Adult Championship 2018

Photos credited and copyright to Nigel McKinstry