Waterford Superbike racer Brian McCormack, riding a Chris Dowd Racing Honda, moved a step closer to securing the biggest title in Irish Motorcycle Racing with a pair of podium places at Mondello Park on Sunday last. Riding in the penultimate event of the Adelaide Masters Superbike Series, McCormack finished second twice to maintain the gap to his nearest rival with just three races now left to run.
The championship contenders were joined by rising American star PJ Jacobsen who took the win in the opening Superbike race. Riding a works TYCO Suzuki the young American leapt into a strong lead from the start while the top two in the points standings ignored him and concentrated on their own battle over second place. McCormack came from behind to secure that second spot beating Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston on his Millsport Ducati and extending his advantage over the UK resident Ulsterman.
The second race saw the same trio at the front with Jacobsen being headed by Johnston. On lap two the American rider ‘s gear level broke leaving him stuck in third gear for the remainder of the race and creating a battle for the lead between McCormack and Johnston.
At the flag Johnston took a narrow win to close back up to the points leader. The top two now go into the final event of the season on October 6th & 7th at Mondello Park separated by sixteen points which is a big enough gap for the Waterford man to finish second behind his rival in all three races and still take the title.
The smaller capacity Supersport class lead also belongs to McCormack following another win in race one, backed up by fourth place in race two. Jonny Buckley from Antrim currently sits second in the points in this one, but a non-finish in the first race of the day all but finished his championship hopes. Barring a major disaster McCormack should be able to secure this title before the final race of the season.
The final race of the day, the Adelaide Grand Final, was another cracker as the battle between, McCormack, Johnston and Jacobsen continued. The TYCO Suzuki again lead early on but Johnston battled through the pain barrier, caused by a massively swollen ankle following a practice crash, to work his way into the lead. Jacobsen and McCormack closed on him in the final laps but he had just enough left to beat them to the flag despite the lead changing hands a number of times in the closing laps. In the end it was Johnston who climbed, slowly and obviously in pain, onto the top step of the podium followed by Jacobsen and McCormack.
This coming weekend will see more American based stars topping the bill at Mondello Park as attention turns to four wheels and the finale of the Prodrift Irish Drift series. Joining the series regulars for the second year in a row will be ‘Team Need for Speed’ with their US championship drivers, Norwegian Fredric Aasbo and Irishman Darren McNamara, along with USA based Japanese star Daijiro Yoshihara. The drifters will be in town to take part in Jap-Fest, Ireland’s only festival of Japanese Motoring and Motorsport.
Included in the show line-up will be the final round of the Trackday Performance Time-Attack championship, a new sport known as Barrel Sprinting, displays of Japanese Cars and the final round of the Stunt Ireland Motorcycle Stunt championship, which also boasts an International line-up.
Tickets for Jap-Fest are available at discounted prices from Mondello Park with all tickets booked in advance receiving a free Grandstand seat worth e5.00 for further information on the show see ww.mondellopark.ie/japfest