Gary Gibson led from start to finish to win the prestigious Brian Bell memorial for the first time in his career.
On a natural grassy course that had you believing it was 1983 instead of 2013 the riders had to adapt to a lack of jumps and plenty of corners on a track that was cutting up quickly with lots of braking and acceleration bumps. The old school track was continually forcing the riders to search for new lines throughout the day.
The riders had three motos before the Brian Bell shootout race and it was Richard Bird who took the first two race wins. He got the lead early in race one to take an impressive win despite some late pressure and took advantage of a Gordon Crockard crash in race two.
2012 Brian Bell winner Crockard, back on Honda, had went down in the first turn in moto one but holehot race two until he crashed under pressure from Bird and didn’t go out in the final two races.
This left Gibson, Bird and Merton to battle it out and in race three Gibson lead the entire race only for a determined Merton to dive up the inside of Gibson on the last lap and block pass his way to the lead and a mightily impressive win.
In the main Brian Bell moto Gibson took the holeshot with previous race winners, Bird and Merton, right on his tail. It was all set up for the battle but it didn’t materialise. Gibson held off the early pressure and gradually inched away using great balance in the ruts to minimise the mistakes compared to his rivals.
Gibson took the chequered flag and was visibly delighted to get the win and more importantly his name on the much sought after trophy.
“I made a few mistakes in the first corner in the first couple of races,” admitted a delighted Gibson. “But in the last race I made a perfect start and put in the laps with no mistakes. I pulled a nice gap and just controlled the race from there. It was nice to get back on top, Dicky (Richard Bird) has been dominant the last couple of weeks so it was good to get back in there. I struggled at the start of the day with the lines but as the day went on I came to grips with it and got a better set up with the bike. “
- Gary Gibson
- Richard Bird
- Tommy Merton
- Michael Mahon
- William Donnelly