Podium for Crean as motorcycle racing resumes 

Podium for Crean as motorcycle racing resumes 

The Motorcycle Union of Ireland Ulster Centre’s news that it had solved the insurance crisis caught a few people on the hop.

Kerry-based bike riders were convinced that there wasn’t going to be any racing, north or south, this season.

Just before St Patrick’s weekend, the Ulster Centre announced that it had a new insurance deal and that racing could go ahead in Northern Ireland.

The Templepatrick Motorcycle Racing Club hastily put together a meeting at Bishopscourt on Saturday.

Only two riders had bikes ready and made it to the County Down track in time for the opening round of the Ulster Superbike Championship.

As ever, local riders are not in it to make up the numbers and all three were in the mix in their respective classes.

Darrgah Crean took two third places in the SuperTwin class and even managed a Personal Best in the second race.

“In race one, I was running third and then made a pass and got up to second position, was then passed on the last lap in the second last corner. It was great, close racing,” said the Aprilla rider.

“Race two was much the same, nice close racing and finished third again setting a personnel best around the circuit. I am looking forward to having another go and fighting for a better result over the  Easter weekend.”

The Easter weekend meeting will take place at Kirkistown in County Down.

Emmet ‘Grady was the only other Kerry rider to make the long trip north. He raced his 1000cc Honda Fireblade in the Superbike class but sat out the Superport races as his 600cc bike is getting an engine rebuild and he just did not have the time to complete the task given the short notice of the event announcement.

He finished sixth and fifth in each of his races but was always in a podium fight too.

He suffered from an arm pump in race one but was still happy with his race.

“I was in fourth for long period until two laps to go there is a battle for four fifth and sixth,” he said

“I came out sixth – brought it home because of the issue with my arm.

Again in race two, he was in the thick of the action, finishing fifth after running as high as third.

“The top five were covered by just over six seconds across so very happy with this. It gives me confidence going into the Easter weekend,” he added.

O’Grady is also planning to return to the North West 200 in May after making an impressive debut at Ireland’s biggest bike race last season.

Andrew Murphy was another caught on the hop. He had secured an entry for Saturday’s meeting but was unable to get his front forks rebuilt in time.

“The Honda said no,” he joked.

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