Sunday was a sensational day at Aughrim for round four of the Rathdrum Offroad Club grasstrack championship.
Organizers faced a tough decision on Saturday whether to stage or cancel the event due to the high volume of rainfall on Saturday and Saturday night. However, the ground was in very good condition, but left the entrance for a large number of vehicles a bit of a trial.
Nonetheless, club officials decided to go after a bit of work to get the entrances working. Sunday brought back the sun which dried up the amazing place in no time.
The racing conditions couldn’t have been better. From the first practice session to the last race, the riders enjoyed every moment. It showed with so many exciting battles from the first group of riders to the last, it was a close race.
The first race of the day was the B/W Autos. After some youth riders braved the weather on Saturday at the supercross event at Dublin City Motocross Track, they traveled to Aughrim for Sunday’s meet.
It was Dublin rider Kayne Flemming who again claimed three victories in this category, showing that he will have a bright future in the sport as he turns 65 next year.
Blake Teeling Barry from North Dublin was second. After racing a lot on Saturday to get a new clutch, it showed it was working well as he got the gate hole in two of the three races.
Local Arklow rider Matthew McGee on the electric Gasgas was third in that class.
In the S/W Autos class, Calvin Larkin of Meath on the Gasgas won the overall standings, trading wins with local man Odhan Snell of Rathdrum who finished second on his KTM. Third was Wwexford’s Nate Whitney who came away with two seconds and a third after leading some of the races.
It was then in the 65cc Youths where Ryan Flynn of Waterford took all three wins, showing why he was chosen to ride for the Irish team in a few weeks in Belgium. The second was Gary Costello from North Dublin and it was Jamie Larkin from Meath.
The 85cc Youths class was the battle of the men from Tinahely and Hacketstown who showed incredibly close races with barely a bike length separating the trio, but it was Ross Byrne who emerged victorious with three moto wins from Craig Timmons and Adam Donnegan trading seconds and thirds.
In the 125/250f Youths it was Carlow’s Ruairi Scully coming home with three out of three wins on Cork man Christian Russell’s Sherco 250f on the YZ 125. After having a lot of mechanical trouble the week previous, he rushed to get the bike ready. Adam Clooney from North Dublin came in third overall on the 125 Husqvarna.
Then, in the adult groups and in the Novice MX1, a different winner in all three races showed just how close the race was in that class.
Ashford’s Noel Byrne with a first second and a third in doing enough to take the overall victory from Clifford Farrington of Laragh on the MGR Husqvarna who came off the line last in the first race which did not helped his overall chances of victory but he pushed all the way to fifth in that race, followed by great battles with Noel and Paul Jameson in the next two words to take second and Rathnew’s Jameson on the podium in third.
In the Novice MX2, Tinahely’s Peter Keogh stole the show with three wins out of three on a machinery change from the KTM to the Honda of Wexford’s Jimbob Murphy who cut short his holiday in Spain to return for the event. Third-placed Cork’s Paul Corcoran maintained his championship lead.
In the Clubmen MX1, Dublin’s Thomas Kelly took the overall victory with three out of three races showing good pace to move up to semi-experts next year. The second was the battle of brothers Ronan O’Toole and Emlyn O’Toole of Gorey.
Thomas Kelly won two of the Clubman MX2’s three races, but the tough track caught him for the overall victory, handing it over to Wicklow’s Adam Moules with his first second and third results. Wicklow’s Thomas Whitmore got to grips with the new bike and a good second from Wicklow’s Paddy Carroll in third.
Rathdrum’s Paddy O’Neill on the 450 Yamaha took three wins out of three in the Over-35s but was kept honest by Wexford’s Neil Devlin on the 250f KTM in second and David Tutty on the 250f Honda in third.
In the pre-injection/evo class, Andy Forsberg of Newtown on the 450 Honda took three wins from Dublin’s James Sinnott in second. James was only back last week from the Motocross of Nations at Foxhills near Swindon in the UK, where the four-man Irish team finished 11th overall. Third was Wicklow’s Kieran Moore on the KTM 250.
In the semi-experts it was again John Kenny of Wicklow with his County man general Gerry Kavanagh in second on his return to racing and Tommy Jackson at Carlow in third.
Pundits saw Mervyn Griffin close the championship within 10 points of Liam Sinnott who still leads after Liam didn’t have the best of days and picked up a minor foot injury.
Wicklow’s Paddy O’Neill in super form with a first and two seconds to secure second overall on the day and Wexford’s Neil Devlin is also getting quicker as the year progresses to third.
With more bikes in the area as this form of motorsport gets bigger and bigger and local guys Cole Nally winning Ross Byrne’s Southern Motocross Championship second against racers from all of Ireland is a great achievement when there are no training facilities in Wicklow for these young riders to train.
Also, a big shout out to Riley O’Neill who won the Supercross Championship on Saturday in Dublin and anyone who has to drive over two hours every time they need to get out on the bike.
“This is a huge call for Wicklow County Council to come together and help create a facility in the Wicklow area,” Mervyn Griffin said.
“The club would like to thank landowner Rob Hunt again for his help and providing a terrific venue, and all the runners and spectators who made Sunday a huge success.
“Our next date is September 18 for Round 5, still at Aughrim.”