Motor sport: Errigal 6th Round Ulster Open Motocross Championship Finale

Richard Bird.
Richard Bird.

Saturday, September 13 is the date the Errigal Motorcycle Club are proud to promote the upcoming 6th & Final Round of the Ulster Open Motocross Championship at the Spectacular Donemana MX Track (BT82 0LQ) to bring the curtain down on 2014 Ulster Championship, and at its conclusion, will be when all the new Ulster Champions will crowned for their respective classes.

This 6th and Final Round of the Championship is the only round being held in the North West area of the Provence this season at the fantastic, spectacular, purpose-built sand track of Donemana which is acknowledged as one of the very best MX circuits in the country, and will be a showcase for all classes of adult solo off-road motorcycle racing comprising of the Ulster Expert MX1 & MX2, Semi-Expert MX1 & MX2, and Clubman MX1 & MX2 Classes incorporated in the programme.

For those unfamiliar with the sport of MX - Expert, Semi-Expert & Clubman refers to the ability level of the riders competing, with the Expert Class as the name would suggest, comprising of the very top riders currently in the Provence, through the mid-level Semi-Experts, and finally the still very competent and competitive, but lower level of Championship Racing being the Clubman Class.

The MX1 & MX2 sub-classes in each “Grade” refer to the machine engine capacities that the riders are using – MX1 is for the bigger, more powerful machines with either Four Stroke engines up to 450cc or Two Strokes with up to 250cc, and MX2 Class is for the smaller, more user-friendly, slightly less powerful or intimidating 250F Four Stroke machines favoured by the younger riders graduating from the Youth Classes, and also the up to 145cc Two Stroke machines.

With this being the Final round of the Championship, it’s all to play for as it comes down to crunch time with all riders battling hard for every point now chasing the prospect of being crowned Ulster Champion in their respective classes.

All eyes will be on 2013 Ulster MX Championship Runner-up Richard Bird from Lisburn who currently leads the 2014 Ulster Expert Championship by 64 points going into this final round, with a possible maximum 75 points available over the 3 Motos (MX term for individual Races or Heats), 25 points being awarded per Race win.

Richard will look to close out and wrap up this season’s Ulster Championship and go one better than last year, when he was pipped by the narrowest of margins to the title and finishing runner-up to the subsequent reigning Ulster Expert Champ Gary Gibson.

Last season’s Ulster Championship finale came down to a titanic battle that went right down to the epic last lap of the last race of the last round with both Richard Bird and Gary Gibson putting it all on the line and giving everything in that final race of the season, one of the most spectacular MX races in recent times and a spectator’s dream!

Although Richard is in a stronger position this year and would be favourite to clinch the 2014 Championship at Donemana, only needing a steady finish to do so, anything can and often does happen in racing, with the unexpected, such as a crash or a mechanical problem, often adding a bit of drama and excitement, and there is nothing to suggest Saturday should be any different.

Saturday should also feature many of our other top Irish Riders also in the mix such as our 2014 MXDN Irish Team of Graeme Irwin, Martin Barr and Stuart Edmonds, who although for reasons such as injuries may not be in contention for the title are all more than capable of race wins and thrilling the crowds with some fantastic racing.

MXDN is short for the Motocross Des (of) Nations, which is as closely described as being like “the World Cup of MX”. It is an annual International Team event with teams of 3 Riders from each Nation representing their country with points awarded and each team looking to win the title.

The 2014 MXDN will be on September 27 & 28 at the Kegums Circuit in Latvia. Kegums is also a sand track, quite similar to Donemana and so will provide an ideal final preparation event for the Irish Team.

There is also plenty of local interest on Saturday in the hotly contested Semi-Expert Championship, with newly crowned 2014 Ulster Youth MX Champion Matthew Loughlin from New Buildings, the son of Donemana circuit builder and manager, ex top Irish Motocross (MX) Rider Philip Loughlin, & also young Joshua McCorkell from Ardmore, who finished a close 3rd in this year’s Youth Ulster Championship.

Both these young local riders are battled fiercely at the top of the Ulster and Irish Youth Championships as well at local club level events, and both at only 15yrs old, can and have been riding with a “Dual-Licence” which means that although technically they are still Youth Riders competing in the National Youth Championships, they can also dip into and ride in Adult competitions to cut their teeth to prepare for what lies ahead of them and their transition into the Adult ranks of the sport proper over the next few years.

They are also joined in the Semi-Experts Class by Errigal MCC’s own Anthony Brown from Gweedore in County Donegal, just a few years older than these young lads, but also a front-runner in this class and the points are still very close in this Class for the Championship Title, and so should provide some excellent racing with a lot at stake.

So that is what lies ahead of fans in a bumper day of action packed thrills and spills at the Errigal MCC Final Ulster Open Championship Round on Saturday 13th September at Donemana MX Track.

Practice/Qualifying from 9:30am, Racing from 11.00am. Admission £5 for the day for Adults, & Children go free.

A cheap, exciting and entertaining family day out!

Post Code for Donemana MX Track – BT82 0LQ , off the Moyah Road/Donagheady Road junction, Bready.,-7.3734303,15z