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.