Champion Glenn keeps the big wheel turning

GLENN McCormack wrapped up the Irish Big Wheel 85 MX Championship in Race 1at Donamana on Saturday with a start-to-finish victory.

The Gleno teenager had the title wrapped up with two races remaining, which was good as in his second race a mechanical fault with his KTM meant an early retirement.

Glenn made amends in Race 3 with another victory to end the day on a high.

The new champion now prepares for the eighth and final round of the Ulster Championship at Desertmartin on September 18. He leads the Ulster standings and hopes to make it a double for the season.

Laverty’s championship back on track

Parkalgar Honda’s Eugene Laverty won his seventh World Supersport Championship race from 11 starts at the Nurburgring in Germany, to slash the gap in the title fight to just eight points, with two races remaining.

With Eugene’s main title rival Kenan Sofuoglu finishing third, it means the local rider can now win the championship if he wins the last two races.

A delighted Eugene said: “We needed that and it was not easy. We went a wrong direction with our set-up and the bike was a little loose in the race.

“I knew I had to break Kenan though so had to push the whole race and Gino came with me. The nice thing now is the title race is in my hands, which it wasn’t before.

“If I win both the last races then I will be champion. That’s a big ask as Kenan is strong, particularly at Imola, but with Parkalgar Honda I have the bike, package and team to do it.”

The next and penultimate round of the championship is at Imola on September 26.

Rea on the podium twice in Germany

Larne’s Jonathan Rea enjoyed a race win, a second-place finish and set a new lap record in Sunday’s two 11th round World Superbike championship races.

Starting from the inside of the front row of the grid, Rea was first into the Nuburgring’s tight first corner in race one and, although pressed hard in the early stages by Japan’s Noriyuki Haga and Spanish rider, Carlos Checa, both on Ducatis, the 23-year-old from East Antrim was never headed as he took a well-deserved victory.

Race 2 was not quite so straightforward for Rea, who was fourth on the opening lap before passing series leader Max Biaggi and eventually finishing second to the hard-charging Haga, after Checa crashed out on lap 10.

However, the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider took the fastest lap in Race 2 to go with the new Nurburgring lap record he had established in the first outing, itself almost a second inside the time he established last year.

Rea has now finished in first or second place in the last six World Superbike Championship races and heads into the last two rounds of the series boosted by the fact that Imola and Magny-Cours are two of his favourite circuits.

Jonathan was well pleased with his day’s work and said: “We were really behind the eight-ball on Friday but did a lot of work that night and came back yesterday with a bike we could challenge with.

“We managed to turn that in to a win in the first race today by making a break at the front and controlling the race, so all credit has to go to the crew for turning things around.

“Nori was really fast in the second race, so I’m really happy with a one-two and really think that was probably the maximum points I could get today. It was a lap of two halves really and I while I was weak in the first two splits, the last two were really strong.

“I’m enjoying riding the bike and it’s fun to turn up to a racetrack and just ride the CBR. If you’d offered me a one-two on Friday I would have snapped your hand off.”

Championship points after 11 of 13 rounds - 1, Biaggi 397; 2, Haslam 339; 3, Rea 288.

Fatal crash shock for Moto

Shoya Tomizawa, aged 19, died of injuries sustained in a Moto2 race at the Misano World Circuit on Sunday.

World champion Valentino Rossi led the tributes to the teenager, saying: “I’m so sorry for Shoya because he was a strong rider. He was also very young, with a great career ahead of him, so we are all very sad.”

In the MotoGP race, Pedrosa went on to claim his first back-to-back premier class victories, finishing first at Misano ahead of championship leader and rival Jorge Lorenzo and home favourite Valentino Rossi.

Lorenzo’s lead at the top of the standings is now 63 points over Pedrosa, with Rossi moving into fourth overall at nine points behind Dovizioso.

Barr has tough day at Foxhills

Doagh’s Martin Barr had an up-and-down day at the recent Red Bull Pro National meeting at Foxhills. He qualified his PAR Honda second-fastest and in Race 1, after a downpour, he crashed twice in three laps on the slippery track. By the flag he had managed to fight his way back to fifth.

In his second race, Martin took the chequered flag in third to give him third overall and 15 points clear in the championship with one round to go in a couple of weeks.

“At least I am still leading the championship after Foxhills,” he said. “I made a stupid mistake in Race 2 after lying second in the opening stages, but thankfully I made third by the finish and gained valuable points.”

Neill takes Irish superbike title

Marshall Neill wrapped up the Irish Superbike Championship with two wins at Kirkistown on Saturday.

The Portadown rider was in great form, coming from fourth in race one, run in very wet conditions, to lead by the halfway stage. From then was never under any threat from early leader Brian McCormack and Matthew Percy, who completed the rostrum.

Glengormley’s Colin Thompson finished eighth with Richard Rea, who was with the front runners in the opening laps, taking 13th after slipping off at the hairpin.

”I grabbed too much front brake and lost the front,” said the Ballyclare rider.

In race two, Neill took the flag and the title, with McCormack again second with Mark Johnston third this time. Rea, despite having a big moment on the opening lap and losing the leading bunch, finished fifth, with Thompson taking 14th.

Irwin still in charge of Irish Championship

In the Ards Tourism supersport races, Carrick’s Glenn Irwin set pole and in Race 1 splashed his way to a convincing win, with Kirk Jamison second. In Race 2, things didn’t go quite to plan for the local rider and he slid off the Honda and remounted to finish ninth.

After the racing, Glenn said: “Overall, I am happy. To take pole and a race win was good and put the smile back on everyone’s faces in the team after mechanical trouble at the last round.

“I made a small mistake in Race 2, pushing too hard with a wet front on a fast -drying track. To remount and finish 9th and match the race winner’s time who picked correctly with intermediates is a positive!

“We only lost one point to Kirk Jamison, as he also picked the wrong tyre for Race 2. That leaves us 33 points ahead with five races remaining.”

Bonar makes his presence felt

Another local, Jordan Bonar from Islandmagee, had a good outing on the Bonar Cars Suzuki, taking two top-six finishes.

The ex-supermoto champion had never ridden a race bike on tarmac before Easter Saturday and progressed through the clubmans ranks so fast that he has moved in to the full Irish supersport championship earlier than expected.

Now riding the ex-Mar Train Suzuki under the Bonar Cars banner, Jordan is making his presence felt at the front of the supersport pack. On Saturday, he took fifth in really wet conditions in Race 1 and in Race 2 took sixth in drying conditions after making the wrong tyre choice, using full wets. He was with the leaders in the early laps but his tyres were destroyed before the finish and he had to settle for sixth by the flag.

Jordan’s results at Kirkistown move him into second in the supersport cup standings and he is focused on winning the Killdare Cup in a few weeks at Mondello Park.

Hill settles for two seconds

In the supertwins races at Kirkistown Doagh’s Lee Hill had to make do with two second places behind Marty Lennon.

The local rider was a late entry to the meeting, only deciding to race on Thursday after his Suzuki engine broke rings at Dundrod a couple of weeks ago and was not back from England.

He hurriedly put last year’s bike together and was pleased with his performances.

“It was my best results of the season so I can’t be to disappointed. My Suzuki just hasn’t got the same drive as Lennon’s Kawasaki, as was shown in both races.

“I led at the hairpin in Race 2 and lost the race as we drove for the line,” explained Lee.

At the line in race two the pair were separated by .081 of a second.

Championship leader Mark Glasgow, a non-finisher in Race 1, just beat Mark Shields to the line to take third. In both races Larne’s Richard McCartney was an early retiree when his Kawasaki suffered mechanical problems.

Paul Robinson and Nigel Percy shared the 125 race wins while in the 250 races it was Robinson and Mark Hanna who were the winners.

In the classics, James Conroy was a double winner, as were Jon Clarke and Stuart Graham in the sidecars.