The first round of the Irish motocross championship produced a quality entry that had a healthy crowd enthralled by a superb days racing.
Graeme Irwin, Stuart Edmonds and Gary Gibson were last minute entries to add to a field that included MXY2 winner at Lyng Jason Meara plus Wayne Garrett, Richard Bird and Risk racing Yamaha duo Robert Hamilton and Michael Mahon as well as Glenn McCormick.
In race one it was Edmonds into an early lead but Graeme Irwin got himself into second in the first few laps and started to hunt Edmonds down. But the Mad dog/CCR Suzuki man wasn’t giving in and Irwin had to work hard until after the halfway point to make his move. Irwin eventually got the lead but Edmonds was keeping him honest until a slip by Edmonds gave Irwin over a ten second lead.
But the battle was nose to tail from third to tenth for a large part of the race. Defending Ulster champion Gary Gibson had his hands full trying to hold the MX2 rider Jason Meara and Glenn McCormick. Meara passed Gibson but then crashed allowing McCormick to take over the lead. Gibson eventually regrouped and got his rthymn back to move up the leader board to third behind Edmonds. McCormick took the win from a disappointed Meara in MX2 as Irwin cruised to the MX1 win.
In race two it was all going on. Gibson this time nailed the holeshot with Irwin buried in the pack. Edmonds meanwhile had rear tyre trouble and was out of the running for the lead on lap one.
Richard Bird had a bad start in race on but he was right there in the second and pressuring Gibson for the lead as the duo began to pull away. Irwin meanwhile was starting to make some moves and had a hot line scrubbing the table top to get to the inside in a right turn. He made most of his passes there to get to but he still had to catch Bird and Gibson!
Irwin began to inch up to the leading battle and with five minutes to go made his move, Gibson tried to retaliate but had to make sure he didn’t open the door for an impressive Bird on the KTM. Irwin took the win with Gibson just holding off Bird for second. Jason Meara took a hard fought win from McCormick in yet another very close race between the pair with Jason Garrett not far behind in third.
Irwin was looking to make it a hat trick of wins in race three but Stuart Edmonds had other ideas! The Dubliner lead race the race after an early flurry of speed from a very excited new dad, Davy Gorman. Irwin had another average start but once into second set his sights on Irwin. Gibson meanwhile crashed on lap one and ended up battling Jason Meara and Glenn McCormick for most of the race!
Out front Irwin and Edmonds went to battle, Irwin making the move only for Edmonds to get him right back! Irwin tried again and this time made it stick but only just as Edmonds stayed close. Then, with two laps to go, Edmonds was right on Irwin’s rear wheel but a back marker held him up on the last lap letting Irwin get away to make it a hat trick of wins on stock looking Suzuki.
But behind them the racing wasn’t over. Gibson has almost knocked Meara off in his frustration to get by as McCormick then passed Meara for the lead in MX2 with two laps to go. But on the last lap on the run down to the final turn, Meara squared McCormmick off and made the move right at the death win the MX2 class overall!
It was a superb race and typified a great day’s racing – the crowd just didn’t know what battle to follow right up until the chequered flag!
But it was Irwin and Meara who came out on top in their respective classes after a tough days riding for both winners.
Report and Photo: Jonathan McCready