Two local motorcycle racers marked the season-end by broadening their horizons and contesting events in Britain over the weekend.
Tralee-racer Emmet O’Grady, one week after he finished fifth in the Dunlop Masters Irish Superbike Championship took up an offer to race with the Wilson Craig Honda Team in the final round of the Bennett’s British Superbike Championships at Brands Hatch.
O’Grady narrowly missed out on a top ten finish in the 600cc Supersport feature race on Sunday. He finished 11th in his first British appearance in over four years.
In Saturday’s sprint race he finished 14th to record his first BSB points scoring finish of his career.
Sunday’s result earned even more championship points while racing against riders who have far better cross-channel experience.
As a result he is promised more outings with the Wilson Criag team, the official Honda 600cc squad for Ireland and Britain with deals set to be firmed up in the off season.
“They were kind of surprised with me, they do want me to ride again,” O’Grady said. “I went past their expectations and even their fulltime rider, road racer Joey Thompson was asking me for feedback in the finish up.”
Ballyduff’s Anthony O’Carroll took on the final round of the Thundersports series at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire.
It was his second visit to the UK this year, having previously contested the Oulton Park round last month. If championships could be won on effort alone, then O’Carroll deserves the title as Kerry’s most travelled racer this year.
Alongside his Dunlop Masters and UK commitments he also found time to contest two road races in Northern Ireland over the summer.
His latest trip to England netted a ninth place finish in his first race but he was side-lined for race two with an electrical problem on his self-prepared Kawasaki.
“Cadwell Park is a really though circuit. I couldn’t commit to ride it anyway hard as it is all blind [crests] and you really need to get your lines right,” he said. “The first race was a bit of a disaster. I never rode in conditions as bad. visibility was next to none especially over the first few laps with spray but still, I really enjoyed it.”
“For the last race the bike cut out on the start line with an electrical fault and would not stay running unfortunately, It wasn’t meant to be. But overall I loved it and will try to make off UK races again,” he added.