Crash mars Mondello meeting

A NUMBER of riders took double race wins at a sun scorched Mondello on Sunday, but for many the meeting was marred by a horrendous accident that involved a number of riders at the start of the second Supertwins/SS400 race.

I didn't see the accident, but it appears that Ken Molloy either stalled or missed a gear leaving the start line, and was rammed by a number of other riders.

Ken was taken to hospital, and I understand from speaking to his team that he has back injuries, and little or no feeling in his left hand side. None of the other riders were seriously hurt. I wish Ken well in his recovery.

The small bike races were, as usual, tough affairs. Ballynahinch lad Korie McGreevy had a double win in the 125 Production class. In the both races he beat Adam McLean comfortably, with Kevin Keyes third on both occasions.

Run concurrently, the GP125 Newcomers provided easily the best race of the day. In the first outing Ahoghill's Luke Johnston, Sam Wilson from Ballymena and Lurgan's Nigel Parks diced wheel to wheel for the entire race distance, with never more than a few bike lengths separating them. Johnston took the win, by just over 5 seconds from Wilson with Parks third.

The second race was brilliant to watch, and must have been great fun to ride in. Sam Wilson, who had problems in practice when his little Honda just stopped, leaving him last on the grid, worked his way up to mix it with Johnston and parks.

Starting the final lap Sam was in third, but got the better the run through the tailenders, taking a win from Jason Lynn and Luke Johnston. Luke was boxed in in the final lap.

Little Island rider Daniel McConnell had, what from memory, was his first double win in the Clubmans series. On his recently aquired Suzuki led more or less from the start, winning the first race from Paul Dornan by almost 11 seconds. Anthony Rogan was third. Rogan and Dornan reversed their positions in race two, this time O'Connell was just 4.4 seconds ahead at the flag.

Sean Hurley took a comfortable win in the seriously oversubscribed SS600 class. Almost 80 riders came to the line for practice. In the first race, Hurley won by 5.1 seconds from Keith Merre. Meere, on his ex John Burrows machine, with former GP125 Clubmans champion Drew Jamison in third.

Hurley took an early lead in the second race, but stepped off, leaving Jamison in the lead. This didnt last long, as the Lisburn lad also bit the dust. There were quite a few others who didn't make the finish as well, leaving Carl Phillips to take the win, by 3.3 seconds from Meere, who had Oisin Watson for close company at the finish.

Alan Kenny had no equals in the Pre97 races. He was pressed in the first by James McCann, finishing 1.1 seconds ahead of the Oldcastle man, with Aiden Fitzpatrick third. In the second race, Kenny finished 6.8 seconds ahead of Fitzpatrick, with McCann a couple of seconds further back.

With the awful accident to Ken Molloy, the Supertwins only had a single race. It was won by Coleraine's Malcolm McKinney. He finished 7.5 ahead of Michael Sweeney, while David Howard was well back in third.

The only National race that was run went to Brian McCormack, the Waterford man being simply in a league of his own. McCormack best Derek Shiels by 3.7 seconds, with Richie Ryan third.

James Conroy bext his dad Alex into second place in the Classic race by over 10 seconds, with Eanie Horan third, a further 8 seconds adrift.

JEFF CONSIDERS OPTIONS

A man I have a lot of time for, Cloughmills' Jeff Shaw, has been ordered to take a bit of time out from his racing.

You will remember that Jeff had a pretty nasty bang at Kells a couple of years ago, when the front brake disc on his bike exploded and fired him into safety bales at 100mph plus. He broke an ankle in that crash, as well as damaging his back.

Recently Jeff, who had been having horrendous back pain, started experiencing problems with his right leg and losing feeling in his toes. He spoke to Yvonne Ward and MCUI Doctor Fred McSorley. They advised an MRI scan, and the results have told Jeff's own Doctor that he had two discs in his back damaged.

According to Jeff: “They had popped in instead of out, like they normally do. I was just one move away from a wheelchair.

“They have punctured the outer coating of my spinal cord. If I'd had another bang, or even something as simple as jumping down a couple stairs, I could have cut the spinal cord and put myself in a wheelchair.”

It’s very sobering news, and now Jeff has been told to sit out the first part of the racing season, until Doctors can get him sorted out.

Jeff tells me that he had already decided to make this his final season, before hanging up his leathers.

“I spoke to Bobby Logan a couple of weeks ago, and he has offered me the best deal I have ever had as regards sponsorship. Now this happens to me. I will be back though.

“I have spoken to Bobby about it, and he has just told me to sort myself out and come back to him. I’m annoyed about not getting to do the 125 race at the North West. I don’t like four strokes, and two strokes are dying out now. Hardly any clubs want to cater for them, and I have no interest in riding what are only road bikes. Now is as good a time as any to quit.”

Pretty typical of Jeff, though, is that he has already seen the benefits of his injury.

“Instead of riding in the very last 125 race at the North West, I'll be going to see Metallica in concert.” I would have thought that you had the better option there, Jeff. Any spare tickets?

Jeff's wife Carole, and sons Jeff and Matt will now have all the fun of having Daddy about the house every weekend until he is able to pass the medical to allow him his racing licence back.

I hope he gets sorted out sooner rather than later. Race paddocks will be too tame without him. I’ve spent many an hour sorting out the problems that have beset the world in Jeff's company. There’s a few to sort yet, so you cant leave yet, Jeff!

DICKEY TAKES TITLE

Congratulations Ballymena's William Dickey, Jnr. who has clinched the Irish and Ulster Trials championship in Grade B.

In the final round, the Patland Cup at the weekend, William took what has now become his customary win in the class. The overall event went to Michael Burton, who dropped 25 marks, 6 less than runner up Sean Doyle.

In the B Grade, the local man lost 25 marks, putting him 12 ahead of Stuart Martin at the end, while Ben Braithwaite finished third on 41.

The result gives William the Irish title, but with the Ulster series still having one round left, he is untouchable there, and so goes into the last round knowing that he cant be beaten.

According to his sister Laura, all his family are very proud of William’s achievments, and are fully behind him when he competes. Again, well done to the Mid Antrim club rider.

THIS WEEKEND

According to the calendar I have, there is no racing this weekend.

The following weekend will be the first road race of the year, the Cookstown 100. I do know the Cookstown has a programme of something like 16 races planned. Im not normally given any information by the Cookstown club, so perhaps www.irishbikeracing.com would be the best place to find out whats going on with the Cookstown.

MAINE FUNDRAISER

The Maine Motorcycle Road Racing Supporters Club are holding a fundraising evening this Thursday night, in Cullybackey High School. getting undeway at 8pm.

The Evening of Country Music will feature people like Moira Crawley, Tony Kerr, Marie Murnin, Eugene O'Dornan and Martin Moore.

This year the Maine club are backing Kilrea's William Davidson on his own CBR600 Honda. William will also ride Wilson Lynn's Farlough Suzuki, which, I understand will have its first road race outing at Cookstown.

Admission to the Evening of Country Music will be 7, payable at the door.