Reigning sidecarcross champions Neil Campbell and Craig Parmenter made a surprise but winning return to action at round five of the Ulster Championships at the Tandragee motocross park.
On a day where heavy showers turned the track into a testing slippery challenge at times Campbell and Parmenter steered their WSP Zabel 700 to overall victory in the Ballymac Hotel Sidecarcross Championship races, beating 2018 championship leaders Gary Moulds and Steve Kirwin on their 665 AMS Hocob VMC into second overall.
“We only made the decision to race on Friday afternoon and had no expectations for the day,” said Campbell.
“We were unsure how I would feel from my abdominal surgery and being off the bike for eight weeks with next to no physical training allowed.
“After going P1 in qualifying we were delighted to go 1-1-2 in the races.
“I started to feel the physical effects in race three and let Gary and Steve through as they were pushing us hard.
“We managed to keep tight on their tail the whole way to the flag to take the overall on the day which we were more than happy about,” he added.
For Moulds and Kirwin it was a difficult day.
Moulds explained: “We had a few issues today but fair play to Neil he was on it.
“In race one the clutch blew up early in the race and we had no drive then in race two I was trying too hard in the rain and despite running the same lap times as Neil I couldn’t get passed.
“In the only dry race of the day I put the pressure on Neil and got passed on lap three to lead to the flag. I’m not too disappointed.”
Third overall were the Stoneyford cousins Geoff & David Ingram.
In the Gilchrist Plant Hire Premier Quad class Mark McLernon on the Wray Engineering Walsh Honda was unchallenged at the front comfortably winning all three races.
“Justin Reid came out second overall after two seconds and a third, while Championship leader Michael McAneney had to settle for third.
Barr looses valuable points in EMX
In the EMX championship Martin Barr was hoping to close the gap on the series leader French Honda rider Mathys Boisrame in Italy but it didn’t go to plan for the Northern Irish rider.
The Revo Husqvarna man qualified ninth and in his opening race made a decent start lying inside the top fifteen on lap one but at a track that was hard to pass on he could only manage 6th by the flag.
“In race two he got caught in a pile up on the opening lap and was down in 38th place by the time he got going and although he fought his way into 12th by the finish he wasn’t happy.
““It wasn’t a bad ride but poor as far as the championship is concerned,” conceded Barr.
“I lost valuable points today. I am still third in the championship but now 32 points behind.
“It’s been a very testing couple of weeks but it’s still a long way to go and I just want results that I know I am capable of.
“When I return home I will be back working hard towards the weekend for the British Championship at Desertmartin,” Barr added.