CORK motorcycle aces enjoyed podium success in the latest three rounds of the Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship at Mondello Park.
One of the star performers was Kinsale’s Stephen Tobin, who won all three of his races in the Moto 400 category and also impressed in the Supersport Cup. Killeagh’s Mike Browne finished second in each of the three Dunlop Supersport Races.
There was early disappointment for Killeady’s Jeff Quilter in the Moto 1 series when his Aprilia 125RS blew its engine and ruled him out for the entire weekend. Clonakilty’s Donal O’Donovan (Yamaha R3) had a best finish of seventh in Saturday’s second race.
Tobin had a busy and successful weekend racing in two categories. Even though Louth’s Damien Horgan, his nemesis from last year was a non-starter in the Moto 400 series, Tobin (Yamaha YZF) had another Louth rider Jason Floody (Honda RVF), as his main rival.
In the first race Tobin took the chequered flag 2.787 seconds ahead. In race two and three his winning margins over Floody were 5.787 and 1.999 respectively. Glanmire’s Ben Mullane (Yamaha) was fourth, second and fourth in his respective races.
In the Dunlop Supersport category, Killeagh’s Mike Browne (Kawasaki ZX6R) took a hat-trick of second place finishes - each time behind Offaly’s Kevin Keyes, also onboard a Kawasaki ZX6R. Browne, better known for road racing was mindful of the fact that he competes this coming weekend in the Armoy Road races in Antrim.
In the Supersport cup category, Balyhooly’s James Collins (Yamaha R6) took maximum points in Saturday’s first race.
In an exciting second race Kinsale’s Stephen O’Brien slipped up the inside of the Ballyhooly man on the final corner to claim the chequered flag, the positions were reversed in the third race.
In the Dunlop Superbikes, Bandon’s Derek Wilson (Suzuki GSXR) finished fifth in all three races including a personal best lap time of 55.612 seconds.
He attributed much of his improvement to the advice of Dubliner Derek Sheils (BMW S1000), who won two of the three races. In the Sidecar races, Kinsale’s Mark Gash was passenger for Wexford’s Darren O’Dwyer, they netted three second place finishes.
In rallying, Ballylickey’s Daniel Cronin (Ford Fiesta R5) was the top Cork driver in the Laois Rallysprint at Stradbally Hall on Saturday that was won by Carlow’s David Condell (Ford Fiesta R5 Mk. 2).
On the second run, his Fiesta R5 suffered a broken anti-roll bar, by the conclusion of S.S. 4 he was into second spot. However, on the sixth and final run he was denied second by the Fiesta R5 of Tyrone’s Ashley Dickson by a tenth of a second.
Early leader Tyrone’s Stephen Dickson (Mitsubishi) was fourth with Cashel’s Pat O’Connell and his Mitchelstown co-driver Mark Wiley (Ford Fiesta R5) securing fifth.