Busy times for Kerry motorcycle racers
It was a busy weekend for Kerry-based motorcycle racers as the Irish season got underway on both short circuits and on closed roads.
The Dunlop Masters Irish Superbike Championship opened at Mondello Park while the 100th anniversary of the Cookstown Road Races took place in County Tyrone.
Ballyduff racer Jack O’Grady was the best of the Kerry contingent at Mondello Park.
He took his first Supersport Cup race win on his Suzuki 600 during Saturday’s first race. On Sunday he finished second in the Cup class but was also classified third overall in the Supersport Pro race. He returned to Kerry second in the Cup championship and third in the Pro rankings.
Anthony O’Carroll is fifth in the Supersport Cup championship after the weekend while newcomer, Killarney man Stephen Heelan is one place behind in the championship after making his race debut on Saturday.
“I had a great weekend competing in my first ever race and I am delighted with the results,” said Heelan.
In the Superbike class Emmet O’Grady is in fifth place in the championship standings on his TAG Honda CBR after taking a third place in his first race of the season.
Dean O’Grady is in tenth place and said he was happy with his weekend’s progress. This was his first meeting racing in the Pro class after being promoted from the Cup class after a successful 2021.
“I picked up where I left off last year,” he said after taking a seventh and two eight places, “I was happy with my results.”
Evan O’Grady, another of the promoted Cup racers, is in 15th position after his weekend.
Tralee’s Robert O’Connell took third place in his opening Production Twin race on the ex-Darragh Crean Suzuki and is in fifth place in his championship after the weekend.
Alex O’Grady was another local rider making his debut and recorded three top 15 finishes. He is in 12thplace in the championship.
Tom McElligott Sr is 14th in the same category while his son Tom Jr is just one place behind. Class newcomer John Griffin is 17th after making the switch from the Superbike Cup class to the Production Twin class in the off season.
Athea-based Michael Sheeran in tenth in the Moto 400 class championship, Abbeyfeale’s David Broderick is 15th in the class standings.
Meanwhile at the Cookstown Road Races Ardfert’s Stephen Walsh had a hectic time. His bike was only finished on Thursday evening.
“I started it for the first time at 9.30 Thursday evening,” he said. “I did newcomer practice Friday morning and loved it. I went to go out for qualifying and the bike would not start. The Brand new battery was a dud. I’d enough laps with the newcomers to be allowed start from the back of the grid in the Junior Classic B race.”
He finished sixth overall and fourth in class after all his trouble. Both Walsh and O’Carroll are racing at the Tandragee Road Races this weekend.
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