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June 26, 2012

Incidents and Weather Cause Adelaide Masters Series Delays

Adelaide Masters SeriesThe second event of the 2012 Adelaide Masters Series took place at Mondello Park last Saturday and Sunday in very mixed weather conditions. The constantly changing weather coupled with race stoppages due to incidents contributed to the event running behind schedule with one incident in particular causing the race timetable to be extensively re-arranged.

The longest delay of the day resulted from a major incident involving Superbike championship contender BJ Toal who suffered one of the most frightening accidents seen in Mondello Park for many years. The incident saw BJ land behind an Armco barrier, wedged between it and the earth bank. BJ’s resting position afforded rescue crews little access to him and this made their swift actions all the more impressive, as they managed to stabilise him at the scene before he was transferred straight to Naas Hospital.

The severity of the accident naturally caused concern about BJ’s health and we are pleased to report that his injuries are far less severe than initially thought by those who witnessed the accident on the day. BJ has fractures to both arms and has been held in hospital for observation but all the signs are positive that he has no other serious injuries and should be released later this week.

The remainder of Sunday's races were eventually completed with the Superbike and Supersport racers returning to the track to put on one of the best displays yet seen in an Adelaide Masters Grand Final. Over the years there have been some great battles including those between Alastair Seeley and Marshall Neill, Cameron Donald and Jack Kennedy and Kennedy and Neill, but Sunday's tussle between the CD Racing Honda of Brian McCormack and Lee Johnston on the Millsport Ducati was possibly the best yet.

Johnston led initially but McCormack fought back and after a number of attempts took the lead. Johnstone replied immediately, to go back ahead and the two continued in this manner at very high speed right up to the start of the last lap. Having lost the lead into Ford corner on the previous lap McCormack tried to take it back going into the same hairpin for the final time, but braked just a little to late, ran wide into the gravel trap and had to lay the bike down to avoid contact with the tyre wall. This left Johnston to take his first Mondello win on the JMF Millsport Ducati Panigale ahead of Derek Shiels, who rode brilliantly having started last on the grid, and Round 1 winner Damien Byrne.

Earlier in the weekend BJ Toal had closed in on McCormack in the Superbike championship over the first two races, but his accident in race three handed the initiative back to the Waterford man once again. In Supersport Robert Lanigan took one win on his return to the series, ahead of championship debutant William Dunlop, while the other victory went to McCormack.

The next Adelaide Masters event will be a first as the series moves to Bishopscourt in County Down, the first circuit it has been held at outside of Mondello Park. The Bishopscourt event takes place on August 18th and once again Brian McCormack will start the event leading both the Superbike and Supersport Championships.