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Grenagh’s Ray Casey. Picture: Martin Walsh.
Grenagh’s Ray Casey. Picture: Martin Walsh.

Local boy Casey finishes third in thrilling Motorcycle Road Race around Glanmire 

GRENAGH’S Ray Casey (Kawasaki) kept the home fans happy with a magnificent third place in the Grand Final of the Keohane Citimix Munster ‘100’ Motorcycle Road Races in Glanmire yesterday.

The in-form Dublin rider Derek Shiels, in the Burrows Suzuki, took a comfortable win from arch-rival and Skerries man, Michael Sweeney (MJR BMW), with Casey (Kawasaki) completing the podium line-up.

The race was brought forward a few hours due to the expected wet weather; however, the rain came earlier than predicted and, after two laps, the race was stopped. An hour or so later, it got underway once more, as Sweeney got the jump on his rivals and led for the first two laps of the three-mile circuit.

However, Shiels was never too far away and picked his moment. “After two laps, I got underneath him at the hairpin and washed me boards. Michael came with me for a while. The name of the game is to win at the slowest possible speeds, without taking any risks. It was a good race and it was great to see good crowds around the place,” said Shiels.

For Casey (34), it was a superb result on his Kawasaki 600, as the top two and those behind him were on 1000cc bikes.

Afterwards, he said: “I was fourth in the Open Race, for the 600cc race. That gave me the best chance of winning a race. It began raining on one section of the track and, as I’m not registered for the championship, I didn’t think it was worth the risk, so I pulled over. For my third and final race, the Grand Final, it was great to be on the podium. My times were good all day and the plan was to get off the line ahead of as many of the 1000cc bikes as possible and I did that, so it was good.”

Glanmire's Ben Mullane (Suzuki SV) leads a quartet into Killalough Cross during the 650cc Super Twin race in the Keohane Citimix Munster 100 Motorcycle Road Races at Glanmire. Picture: Martin Walsh.
Glanmire's Ben Mullane (Suzuki SV) leads a quartet into Killalough Cross during the 650cc Super Twin race in the Keohane Citimix Munster 100 Motorcycle Road Races at Glanmire. Picture: Martin Walsh.

Meanwhile, Derek Wilson (Suzuki) and Bishopstown’s Stephen Casey (Yamaha) were fourth and fifth, respectively, and Kinsale’s Stephen Tobin (Yamaha) was eighth.

Shiels was also the victor in the 600cc Supersport. Leading from the start, he finished ahead of Sweeney and Cavan’s Paul Fallon (Yamaha).

Elsewhere, Bishopstown’s Stephen Casey (Yamaha R6) took a fine second place in the 600 Supersport, which was won by Michael Sweeney on a similar bike.

Other Cork riders on the podium were Glanworth’s Anthony Lillis (Suzuki SV), who took third in Saturday’s Junior Support non-championship race; and Kinsale’s John O’Donovan (Yamaha), third in yesterday’s Junior Support race. The award for the best local rider went to Stephen Casey.

Meanwhile, Clonakilty’s Paul O’Driscoll (Semog Buggy) won the Jimmy Devane Memorial Killarney Loose Surface Autocross, round six of the Munster Autocross Championship, at the Tralee Racecourse. On the first of three timed runs, Donegal’s Mac Walsh (Semog Buggy) held the initiative, with a time of two minutes and 40.67 seconds.

Limerick’s Christopher O’Callaghan, in a similar machine, was only eight one-hundredths of a second behind, with O’Driscoll third.

Powering into the lead on the second run, with a time of two minutes 38.58 seconds, O’Driscoll took control as Mac Walsh slotted into second, on two minutes 39 seconds (a fraction ahead of his son, Ben). The third run was spoiled by the wet conditions and the top three were unchanged. Rosscarbery’s Brian O’Mahony (Semog) was the second-best-placed Cork driver.