Only a puncture in the third race held Lisburn racer Richard Bird back from a first place finish at Round One of the 2015 Ulster Motocross Championships in Desertmartin.
Racing in the Nutt Travel/Norman Watt Motorcycles PremierMX1 Class it was a seesaw battle between defending champion Bird on his Five5Motorsport 350 KTM, Robert hamilton and Comber’s Wayne Garret.
Bird won Race One by 37 seconds after Portavogie’s Risk Racing/GOMX Yamaha mounted RHamilton led only to fall back with arm pump and eventually finished third behind Garrett on his Corcoran Chemicals/Watt Motorcycles/Spratt Electrical/Wes Simpson 350 KTM.
These positions were reversed in Race Two when Garrett led from gate to flag, Bird was second with Hamilton again third. Race Three was a cracker after a false start, Bird repeated his holeshot and sailed off into a seven second lead.
However, Garrett got his head down and reeled in the smooth riding Lisburn man, until, with 15 minutes gone, Bird picked up a puncture and limped home third leaving Hamilton to collect second.
Behind these three, Ed Allingham on the Allingham Contracts 350 Husqvarna held onto the top three for much of races one and two but lack of race time showed leaving Wexford rider Jim O’Neill to pick up fourth on his KTm with Craig Browne from Greyabbey on the Smoke Vent 450 KTM to finish a fine fifth and Stephen Mulalley from Dublin rounded out the top six to complete a KTM five from six.
In the Project 113/Matheson Contracts/Stephen Russell Motorcycles/Laverty Motorcycles Semi Expert Classes, MX1 Class produced a surprise winner in Donegal teenager Anthony Brown followed by relative veteran Glengormleys William Logan now Kawsaki mounted, another youngster in Colin McGregor from Dromara rounded out the podium places on his Honda, followed by Frazer Young, reigning Clubman MX1 Champ Bob Smyth from Kircubbin on his Kawasaki and Chris Cully from Kilkeel.
The MX2 Class produced a treble winner in Limavady youngster and sand specialist Matthew Loughlin on his Suzuki with Doagh rider Ben Mottram second overall on his Yamaha with two seconds and a third, third was Mark Dynes from Lurgan on the Maralin Carwash/Dynes Motorcycles Honda, Mark throwing away a possible second overall by falling at the final corner in race 2 while dicing with Kris Rea for fifth. Fourth was Paul Laverty, fifth Eunan McGlinchey and sixth Clifford Wilson from Ballyclare.
The next round of the Championship is on May Day Bank Holiday Monday at Seaforde Motocross Park promoted by the Mourne Club