Record breaker Michael keeps cool in red hot races

LISBURN rider Michael Pearson did a double demolition job at the 50th Anniversary 300 Zatacek Gustava Havla Horice Road Races in the Czech Republic last weekend, with the former Irish Superbike Champion claiming wins in both the Open 600 and Open 1000cc race, and in the process, smashed the lap and race records in both.

With temperatures soaring to 30 degrees on both practice and race days, Pearson kept his cool and he took the two race wins, in almost faultless displays on the D&GW/Carryduff Forklift Yamaha R6, and a maiden win for his new 36 Supporters Club/Richard Rawson Honda Fireblade.

After taking second place in the Open 600 timed practice session on Saturday, it was clear that the race would be between himself and the vastly experienced Jiri Broz in Sunday’s race, and both riders lived up to that to thrill the 50,000 race fans on race day with Pearson taking the win by 7 seconds from Broz and Kamil Holan after a terrific battle that saw Pearson come from fifth place on lap three, 12 seconds adrift of Broz, to overhaul the Czech rider with seven seconds at hand. Such was Pearson’s charge that on lap seven, he set a new class lap record at 2m18.961s, just 1/100’s of a second out side the absolute lap record.

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In the Open Superbike practice, Michael took an easy pole position on the 36SC/Richard Rawson Honda but was very conscious of Kamil Holan on the R1 Yamaha, who his team members had noticed in practice. Indeed, it was Holan who was second quickest with Jiri Broz in third place. As in race one, it was Pearson who got the best start and lead at the end of lap one with Holan hard on his heels, but by lap three the lead had opened to five seconds, and barring mechanical failure the race win was on the cards. As in the Open 600 race, Pearson again set a new lap record for the class at 2m18.684s. At the flag it was Pearson from Holan by 7.8 seconds with Broz third, Marek Eerreny fourth and Petr Zrzavy fifth.

“What a weekend it was,” said Michael. “A double race win plus the lap and race records, it can’t get any better. This whole weekend has been perfect from the organisation, the weather, the crowds, everything.

“It was hot in both those races but I knew if I got away well at the front, I could make a break. It worked in the Open 1000 race but I made work for myself in the 600 race when the Yamaha cut out and I dropped to fifth place. I got going again and put the head down and was able to reel the guys at the front in and get the win that I wanted. I wanted to win the 600 race, and I dedicated it to Mark Buckley with whom I have had some great races with at Scarborough.

“The Superbike race was what I had planned, pole position, a good start, and a couple of early quick laps to break the tow....and it worked. I was delighted the lads from the Supporters Club and Richard Rawson where there to see their first race win on their bike.

“Without those guys I would not be racing. I will be back next year to Horice. We were treated really well, so thanks to all the Club Members and Czech fans who made my weekend perfect. Another magic moment for me was to be presented with the Victory Gilmore Trophy by Davy McCartney at Horice. That touched all our heart strings and was a very emotional moment.”