The Ulster Motocross Championship kicks off, as is now traditional, with the Cookstown Club hosting Round 1 at their Desertmartin Grand Prix track on Easter Monday.
British championship contender Graeme Irwin will make an appearance on the Heads and All Threads Suzuki to try and repeat the treble he had at the first round of the Irish championship.
The Nutt Travel.com Premier MX1 Class reigning Champion, Ballygowans Gary Gibson has been showing tremendous early season form with some good results in the MAXXIS British Motocross Championship, but he will not have it all his own way as his nemesis from 2013, Richard Bird from Lisburn will be out for victory on his KTM after the controversial finish to the season in 2013.
Also in the hunt will be multi Ulster Champion Wayne Garrett, back on his beloved KTM machinery after two years on Honda’s, young charger Ryan Adair on the Adair Building Service Suzuki, veteran Tommy Merton on the Monster Norman Watt Kawasaki, and a host of other names, including, hopefully, Dublin’s Stuart Edmonds on the CCR Suzuki too, close racing is guaranteed.
The hotly contested Norman Watt MX2 Premier Class also has a defending Champion in Glenoes Glenn McCormick on his Agnew Recovery Watt KTM, however, his rival for the past two years, reigning Ulster Under 23 Champion, Loughbricklands Jason Meara is full of confidence after his domination of the first round of the British BYMX2 Championship last weekend on the Monster Watt Kawasaki, when you add to the mix riders like Stuart Fee from Dromara, Jordan Martin from Killyleagh on the Manchester Extreme Yamaha, and newly promoted Luke Smith on his Kawasaki, the depth of talent amongst these teenagers is fantastic .
Moving to the Matheseon Contracts/Laverty Motocross supported Semi Expert MX1 Class, this should be a fascinating class this year with some young riders moving to the big bikes, expect Jordan Blakely from Moira, triple Irish & Ulster Clubman MX1 Champion to be up there on his promotion, now KTM mounted, he is a strong rider, also expect Saintfields Scott Leaney to be up there, as well as recently promoted Clubman Stephen Poots from Dromore.
In the Bore a Hole/Eunisure Semi Expert MX2 Class, new sensation young James Mackerel has been setting the class alight on his 125cc KTM Two stroke, with 6 wins from six at the first round of the Under 23/Two Stroke Championship last month at Desertmartin, this 15 year old has a bright future ahead of him.
Up against James will be relative veterans such as Alexander Atkinson, Scott Bailey form Markethill & Chris Eccles from Lisburn.
The Russell’s Motorcycles Clubman MX1 class and Spence Racing MX2 Class will produce some surprises this year as all the established fast riders have been promoted, but Kyle Darley from Bangor showed well at the Under 23 round on his 450 Kawasaki, and if there, Ross Blakely’s switch from 4 wheels to 2 may produce surprising results.
Racing starts at 11.00, track is off the main Desertmartin to Draperstown Rd, entrance is £5.00 under 14’s free, and each class will have three races each.
Come along for a great family Bank Holiday day out.
Words: Malcolm Beattie/MRA Press Officer
Picture: Jonathan McCready