Thrilling MX2 title finale at Tinker Hill

2018 Ulster MX2 Champion Glenn McCormick and team.
2018 Ulster MX2 Champion Glenn McCormick and team.

Saturday’s 2018 Ulster MX2 finale at Tinker Hill lived up to all pre race expectations and more with Glenn McCormick and Jason Meara producing three spectacular races that will live long in the memory of local motocross fans.

In the end the day belonged to Glenoe’s Glenn McCormick as he claimed the title in the final lap of the final race of the season.

Richard Bird and team celebrate 2018 Ulster and Irish MX1 double.

Richard Bird and team celebrate 2018 Ulster and Irish MX1 double.

The day began with Meara, on the CD Autos KTM holding a slender one-point lead in the championship and by the end of race one he had expended that to four as he beat his rival into second.

Race two was probably the race of the season with the pair slugging it out over 14 laps with less than a coat of paint separating them at times as they swapped places around the Tinker Hill track. At the end of what was a cracking race both men rode back to the paddock with rapturous applause from an appreciative crowd.

This time it was Watt’s Motorcycles KTM rider McCormick who came out on top and the points difference was back to one with all to play for in the final race. The crowd watched intensely as the pack left the gate and by the end of the opening lap it was Meara holding a slender lead but McCormick was determined making a decisive move on lap eight for the lead and although his title rival kept him in his sights it was all over bar the shouting when Meara broke a gear lever leaving the Glenoe rider to take an emotional victory.

The new champion reflected saying: “It started off tough today with the transponder not working in qualifying meaning I got laps in but no times. I missed out on the super pole, not a great way to start a day.

“However in the first race I got into the lead then Jason got by and I started following him watching his lines. Then we had a coming together and I ended up going down.

“It took ages to get the bike restarted but when I did I knocked in some quick laps and was right on him at the finish. It was frustrating but it just meant I had to win the next two races. The second moto was a very close race the whole way but I just used my head and got that one. In the last race we were back and forward the whole race but I never gave up. It didn’t help when the lens in my goggles popped out on the third lap and I couldn’t see, as my eyes were full of dirt. I was going off jumps with my eyes closed to try and clear the dirt but again I never gave up then he made a mistake, which let me by.

“I kept my head down to the line and won the title. It’s nice to get the championship. It feels good to be champion, especially after the start of the year. I was very close to quitting at one stage but I just kept at it and got a bit of a reward out of it, so it’s good.” McCormick didn’t rest on his laurels as he headed to the Dublin supercross on Sunday where he won the overall on a borrowed 125 machine adding to his weekend’s tally.

Jason Meara added: “There was some great racing this year, you win some and you loose some. It’s been a long year and the first for a long time that I have been injury free. I have enjoyed the season winning both the British Experts and the Irish, so I can’t complain. I am going to take a well earned break.”

Richard Bird needed two points for the Ulster MX1 title going into the meeting and the Lisburn rider had it wrapped up by the end of the opening race completing a dominating season where he also won the Irish and British Experts titles on the Five5 Motorsport/Watt KTM 450.

“I’ve had a pretty good year finishing with the Ulster Championship that completes the double at home for the last two years,” he said. “I have really enjoyed the racing and it is fantastic to finish it off with another title.”

The rest of the champions were determined on Saturday with Johnny Presho crowned MX1 Semi Experts champion alongside Rhys Graham in the MX2 Semi Experts. Jordan Wade is the MX1 Clubman champion with Scott Bailey the MX2 Clubman champion.