Bringing home the trophies – report on last weekend’s Dunlop Masters

“We are going to need a bigger van,” joked one of the Kerry riders as they prepared to leaveMondello Park on Sunday evening.

He was not too far off the mark as an unprecedented number of trophies were on the way back to Kerry and West Limerick after another successful weekend at the Dunlop Masters Irish Superbike Championship.

Top of the local list on this occasion was Ballyduff’s Dean O’Grady who was back on the top step of the podium for the first time since 2019.

The Kawasaki 1000 rider won two Superbike Cup races on Sunday. Despite a non-finish in race one on Saturday, due to a faulty battery connection, he left the County Kildare track as championship class leader.

Evan O’Grady was the pre-weekend championship leader but the Tralee-based Suzuki rider had a disaster of a weekend. He finished second on Saturday but tyre choices ruined his Sunday effort after he elected to race on wet weather tyres on a drying track.

The tyres were not able for the conditions and he crashed out of the race. A huge effort by his team had the bike ready for race three but an additional wrist injury meant he could not start, and he has now dropped to second in the standings, eight points behind his North Kerry rival.

John Griffin took a career-best second in class in race two. The Asdee-based BMW 1000RR racer is still nursing an injury from the previous round in August.

“I was very sore,” he said. “I was thinking about pulling in with a few laps to go, I had no idea I was third.”

Emett O’Grady had his best weekend of the season so far, taking three third places over across all his three races on board his TAG Honda Fireblade. Emett holds fifth in his class championship but the overall title is now out of reach as class frontrunner Ritchie Ryan added another three victories over the weekend. O’Grady remains in contention for second and third place with just three races left to run.

Super Twin racer Darragh Crean was another double-winner over the weekend. However he only got two races as his final event of the weekend was rained off. Championship organisers will give the Supertwin racers one extra race during the October meeting, in just over ten days’ time, to make up for the event that got cancelled at the very last minute.

Nevertheless, the Tralee rider maintains his championship class lead over Dublin rival Terry Bradley.

Andrew Murphy was another rider to claim a class victory for the first time since 2019. The Mountcollins-based Yamaha R6 rider won race two in the Supersport Cup race on Sunday afternoon. He took second place in his other two races, events dominated by newly crowned champion Kevin Keyes, but it was the first time this season that Murphy stepped on the podium on three occasions during one meeting. Murphy is hoping to secure second place in the series over the final three races in October.

Jack O’Grady, Dean’s brother, was another local rider to score his best-ever result over the weekend taking third in his final Supersport Cup race on Sunday. It was Jack’s first ever trophy in his first sull season of motorcycle racing.

Maurice Fealy finished second in his first Pre Injection race of the weekend, rounding off a hugely successful meeting for Kerry and West Limerick riders.

They get to do it all again on the weekend of October 9 and 10 when the 2021 season will reach its conclusion.

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