MOTORCYCLING: Gerard Kinghan is Kirkistown Man of the Meeting

Man of the Meeting Gerard Kinghan (4) leads the Superbikes away. PIC: MAURICE MONTGOMERY
Man of the Meeting Gerard Kinghan (4) leads the Superbikes away. PIC: MAURICE MONTGOMERY

Gerard Kinghan was man of the meeting at round four of the AJ Plumbing Supplies Ulster SBK championship at Kirkistown last Saturday, after two convincing superbike victories on his Kawasaki.

It was a double bonus for the Randalstown rider as he extended his lead in the superbike championship as his nearest rival Charles Stuart was unable to compete at the Belfast and District meeting due to blowing his R1Yamaha engine at the recent Mondello Park meeting and had not got it repaired in time for Saturday. In his opening race, pole setter Kinghan was second off the line, through the Kirkistown mist, that plagued the circuit at times, behind Ryan Gibson but by the end of the lap he was pulling away to comfortably take the victory after the race was red flagged on lap five. His second win saw him lift the ‘Mayor’s Trophy in a shortened five lapper, six second clear of Gibson with Aaron Armstrong third.

Joseph Loughlin leads Sean O'Neill and Robert Kennedy in the twins race.

Joseph Loughlin leads Sean O'Neill and Robert Kennedy in the twins race.

Jason Lynn took his Walter Bell Yamaha to a supersport double winning two hard fought races. In race one there was only 0.429 seconds separating the top three of Lynn, Korie McGreevy and fastest man in practice Robert Kennedy at the line. Race two unfortunately saw Kennedy highside out of the race at the chicane on lap three leaving Richard Kerr to finish second with McGreevy third. Ballyclare’s Darren Keys was making his comeback in the supersport class after his spectacular exit at the Cookstown 100. Two top fifteen finishes was not what the Keys Racing rider had hoped for but he wasn’t too disappointed saying afterwards.

“Let’s say I had a few issues in practice and from so far back on the grid it is difficult,” he said. “I got away well in race one and gained a lot of places into turn one but got squeezed back by the next corner and never really made back the ground. It’s been a hard road back getting everything sorted and I must say a big thank you to all my sponsors, without their help it wouldn’t have been possible. I am now focused on getting prepared for the Ennskillen road races in a few weeks time.”

On a day where clerk of the course John McAllister kept things moving on despite red flag incidents and delays Johnny Campbell did the double in the young guns races while Darryl Tweed took his Kawasaki to two wins in the 400 supersport class. Ballymoney’s Paul Robinson had no equals in the moto3 class taking two wins from Melissa Kennedy in race one and Jonny Campbell in race two. The supertwins saw a terrific battle in race one between Joseph Loughlin, Sean O’Neill and Robert Kennedy with less than half a second covering the trio at the finish. Loughlin didn’t start race two leaving O’neill to claim the win 0.077 clear of Kennedy at the chequered flag.