Despite poor weather over much of the country a record crowd, for a non International event at Mondello Park, turned up to witness the opening round of the 2012 Adelaide Masters Motorcycle Racing Series sponsored by Motorcycle Insurance specialists Adelaide Insurance. Despite mixed weather at the County Kildare venue the large attendance was treated to a thrilling days racing as well as a spectacular Motorcycle Stunt Riding competition.
Racing got under way on Saturday afternoon with Kildare's Richie Ryan in the Supersport class and Waterford's Brian McCormack in Superbike taking dominant wins. The action was much closer however on Sunday morning for the second Supersport race of the weekend with Ryan just edging out McCormack for win. In Superbike McCormack had a much harder race to defeat Tralee's Emmet O'Grady and BJ Toal from Omagh who finished nose to tail to complete the podium.
Having raced in dry conditions in the first two races the feature races of the weekend took place in mixed conditions. The Supersport feature was again a battle between Ryan and McCormack until Ryan dropped his bike on the damp track leaving McCormack to take his first Adelaide Masters Supersport win. Corkman Declan Swanton finished a close second and was well ahead of newcomer, Lisburn's Carl Phillips. The Cup class for less experienced riders saw two wins for Luke Johnston from Antrim and with the third victory going to Mullingar rider James Kelly.
The feature race for Superbikes saw McCormack take his third win of the weekend, in drying conditions, but only after a long battle with Athlone's Cody Nally who fell out of second place on the penultimate lap. Fermanagh man Lee Johnston on his first ride on the JMF Millsport Ducati picked up his best result of the weekend with second place ahead of Toal. The Cup battle went the way of Tipperary's Evan Delaney in all three races.
Having won four races over the weekend, McCormack started as favourite for the Adelaide Masters Final where the top Superbike and Supersport riders went head-to-head. There was a downpour just before the start of the race, but even with the rain stopped, the riders faced a very wet track that would dry out over the course of the race, making tyre and set-up choice very difficult. McCormack was the first to fall foul of the conditions as he dropped his Honda on the exit of Ford Corner. A battle ensued from there on between O'Grady, Damien Byrne, Toal and Johnston. One by one the pressure of the race told on the leading group as O'Grady and Toal joined McCormack in falling off leaving Damien Byrne to win from a fast closing Johnston when the shortened race was red flagged due to the number of bikes that had fallen.
Byrne was delighted with his first ever Adelaide Masters Grand Final win, saying “Everyone was pushing hard. I could see Emmett and BJ sliding their bikes around and I had a few moments myself. It was really difficult out there and I was delighted to stay on and take the win.”
The first ever round of the Stunt Ireland Championship also took place at Mondello Park over the weekend with eighteen of Europe and Ireland’s top stunt riders attempting to qualify for the ten rider final on Sunday. Following a hard fought contest it was UK visitor Lee Bowers who took the win in front of a large audience.
The next round of the Adelaide Masters Series takes place on June 23th & 24th and this event will also include the second round of the Stunt Championship.