It is forty-five weeks since the last East Midland Racing association race meeting, but to make up for lost time (and four lost race meetings), there are no fewer than forty-eight races at Mallory Park over two days on 1st/2nd August, and a top-class entry which includes World, European and British champions and TT winners.
The Buildbase Mallory Trophy races feature the Buildbase Suzuki Superbike team of Keith Farmer and Kyle Ryde as well as the team’s Superstock rider Tim Neave, with Richard Cooper on the Bathams BMW Superstock bike. James Ellison, former European Superstock champion, former Moto GP rider and winner of fifteen BSB races in his career, brings the Powerslide Suzuki, and local star Leon Jeacock, regular points scorer in the national Superstock series and current Buildbase champion Louis Dawson are among the other leading contenders in all four Buildbase races as well as the Stock 1000 events.
A massive entry of forty sidecars is headed by former world champions and ten-time TT winners Ben and Tom Birchall, with TT winner Conrad Harrison and Andy Winkle, FSRA triple champion Pete Founds, former F2 champion Joe Heys. Phil Dongworth trophy holder (not for the first time) Wayne Lockey is another potential front runner alongside Sean Hegarty, Lee Crawford, John Lowther and Simon Robinson.
Arnie Shelton and Rich Baker are the likely front runners in the 600 open races, alongside Jodie Fieldhouse who has made the step up from her successes in Moto 3 to a Moto 2 machine for 2020.
Even without Jodie, the 125-450 class might still see female racers at the front, with Annabel Thomas on a Moto 3 bike, Karen England and MCN journalist Emma Franklin on 125 Hondas, as well as Katie Hand and Hollie Reeves on junior supersport bikes. Male opposition includes Ross Dunstan on a Moto 3 bike, three KTM 390s a 450 Tigcraft and a couple of TZ250 Yamahas.
Steve Brittain almost managed to go through the whole of last year unbeaten in the pre-injection class, but a rainy final afternoon saw Aaron Staniforth take the final win, but with a shorter season Steve could do the 100% this year.
A familiar face returning in an unfamiliar class is Alan Moreton on a 500 Suzuki in the Earlystocks where he will face a whole string of much bigger bikes, including a FJ1100 Yamaha, Suzuki 1100, a pair of 900 Triumphs, a VFR750 and a 1064 Guzzi.
If there is going to be any trouble enforcing social distancing of two metres, then the Fast Bikes 500 races are the most likely place, as in last year’s championship two metres was often a convincing winning margin, and leading out of the Elbow on the final lap was no guarantee of victory. There are two dozen entries this weekend, mostly newcomers, except for Darren Faulkner who won the last race of last season, and they come from as far afield as Taunton and the edges of the Lake District.
Practice starts at 9.30 Saturday, racing around 11.30, and it’s racing from 9.30 on Sunday.