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Back-to-back racing at Laurelbank Motocross Park this weekend

The Jeff Wright Memorial Motocross will take place on Friday 20th May while The Brian Bell Memorial race on Saturday 21st May at the Temple Motorcycle & Athletic Club’s Laurelbank Track, Saintfield.

Two days of first class racing are planned at the Temple this weekend with the Ulster Classic Motorcycle Club hosting the Jeff Wright Memorial Race, a charity event on Friday evening kicking off the racing weekend.

There will be classic racing machines from the 1960s through to the mid 80s from the golden age of motocross competing to win the honours.

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With a rare appearance from the youngest ever Irish Champion and former GP rider Laurence Spence on a borrowed CZ machine, another old school legend taking part in the event is William Burgess, a multi Irish and current Over 50 British championship title holder.

Brian Bell

Event practice will commence at 5pm with racing from 5.45pm.

Adult admission £5, under 16s free.

All proceeds from the meeting go to MNDA (Motor Neurone Disease Association) Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, this Saturday sees the 2022 Brian Bell Memorial Race take place at Laurelbank Motocross Park, the home of The Temple Motorcycle & Athletic Club.

Jeff Wright

The Temple Club have a huge day of motocross racing planned with both adult and junior categories, and prizes for the first 10 places in the Brian Bell feature race with trophies for the top six.

There’s money prizes across the classes with trophies for the top three and a few special awards on the day.

A roster of champions have held the title as winner of the Brian Bell Memorial and there are more than a few local riders set to vie for this year’s title.

Event practice will commence at 9.15am with racing from 11am.

Adult admission £5, under 16s free.

A spokesperson for The Temple Motorcycle & Athletic Club said: “You can often tell the measure of a person in life by how they are memorialised in death, without ever having met them, you are inherently aware of their importance and presence in the lives of others.

“In October 2018 Millisle rider Jeff Wright sadly lost his battle with the cruelly unfair Motor Neurone Disease. Jeff is remembered as a champion, fiercely competitive, and wildly successful as a sports car and motorcycle racer.

“In the annual MX Classic de nations Jeff represented Northern Ireland countless times. In honour of his memory and with the blessing of his family the third annual Jeff Wright Memorial Scramble will be held this Friday.”

While reflecting on the life of Brian Bell the club spokesperson said: “Brian Bell was 24 when he was killed in a factory fire near his home in Moira, February 1969.

“Prior to his untimely death Brian had been one of Northern Ireland’s most promising up and coming riders, he and his brothers dominated the local grass tracks and scrambles in the 1960s.

“The Brian Bell Memorial Race, as proposed by Brian’s friends and family to the Temple Club, has been running annually since 1969 across five venues and the title of winner of the Brian Bell Memorial Cup has gone to many prestigious riders throughout the years.

“The Bell family have continued to race throughout the generations and avidly support the Brian Bell memorial ensuring it continues as the prestigious race it has become.”

The spokesperson for the club added: “Both these riders have left their mark on the sport of motocross and all that it embodies. The back to back racing in their names will be a weekend for all to enjoy.

“There’s sure to be big air and some flair as the riders give their all to become the next title holder of the Brian Bell or Jeff Wright Memorial.

“It is the Temple Clubs’ honour to host both events on their home ground and look forward greatly to a fantastic and safe weekend of Northern Irish Motocross at its finest from old school classic to modern day magic.

“See you at Laurelbank Motocross Track off the Saintfield Road, BT247LT.”