The eight round ACU British Cromwell Trucks Quad Cross Championship got off to a good start for our top three competitors, Mark McLarnon, Justin Reid and Dean Dillon at the weekend, with all three finishing in the top four of their respective classes.
Round one at the fast Milton Malsor Moto Park track, Northampton saw 24 year-old Mark McLernon finish second overall to Paul Holmes in the premier class.
The former British champion from Hillsborough, but now living in Quainton, Buckinghamshire powered his Quadbikes For Us Yamaha to second fastest in qualifying then finished second in race one followed by a difficult race two that saw him bring it home in 10th before crossing the line in second in the final race of the day.
“It wasn’t too bad a day,” said Mark. “In my opening race I had to come from third last to second after get tangled in a crashr. I went over the handlebars at the first corner in race two then my seat kept coming off and I can tell you it is no fun racing one of these things with no seat.
“I didn’t make a great start in my final race but at the chequered flag I was within a couple of seconds of the race winner Paul Holmes, so I’m happy enough with my day’s work.”
Comber’s Justin Reid was fourth fastest in qualifying at Milton Malsor Moto Park and despite a few issues throughout the day where he finished 12th in race one on the Justwin Canam/Husky followed by fourth in race two and fifth in race three he was positive as he reflected on a hard days racing.
“Overall it wasn’t a bad day. I got caught up in a first lap pile up in race one and on a track that is hard to make up ground on 12th was as good as it could be at the flag. Fourth in race two and fifth in the final race wrapped up a decent day and considering it is only the first round I can’t complain,” said Justin.
Dean Dillon from Moira in only his second season in the premier class finished fourth overall in the under-21s despite having a few mechanical problems. The 17-year-old riding the Walsh CRF450R was eighth fastest in qualifying and in his opening race finished sixth overall and second in the under 21 class. Dean’s second and third race’s were messed up by mechanical issues.
“After a good opening finishing sixth, my best ever British result so far, I was running ninth when the exhaust broke with two laps to go,” he said. “Thankfully it held together long enough to finish ninth and third in the U21s. I was running fourth in race three when the rear shock broke and I had to limp home in 15th. If that hadn’t happened I would have got third overall but it’s racing I suppose.”
Milton Malsor Moto Park also hosted the opening British round of the sidecarcross championship and for Lisburn’s Gary Moulds, who was still suffering from collar bone and shoulder injuries, it was damage limitation for the reigning Ulster and Irish Champion. Paul Horton stood in for regular passenger Steve Kirwin who is out with back injuries, and in the end the make shift team finished eightth overall.
“Considering all the problems we are having I suppose it wasn’t too bad,” said Gary. “A big thank you to Paul for standing in at the last minute. Now we have a two-week break before the next GP in the Czech Republic and I really hope Steve gets his back sorted because if not we won’t be at there.”
Gary’s sister Emma and Randalstown’s Niki Adair finished fifth overall in the British Experts class despite suffering from clutch problems in race two and three. “We’re happy with the results,” explained Emma. “We changed the clutch between races but it didn’t help and when you stall at the start of two races it’s hard to make up the ground. We have the speed and so far our season is going well.”