Having waited forty-five weeks between race meetings, EMRA decided on a gentle re-introduction to racing with just the forty-eight races over the weekend
Kyle Ryde was the star of the meeting, with six wins on the Buildbase Suzuki , being relegated to second in his seventh race after a startline infringement – which spoiled a good headline about the double seven on his bike standing for seven wins from seven rides (or Rydes !).A 99mph lap is a rarity at Mallory, but Kyle reeled them off in almost every race – a good omen for the BSB races just down the road at Donington next weekend. Keith Farmer took the other Buildbase BSB bike to four second places on Saturday, with Leon Jeacock on the third Buildbase bike taking third in all four events, but upping his game on Sunday to take two wins and two seconds, Tim Neave taking a second and three thirds. Louis Dawson was the best of the EMRA regulars, the best of the non-BSB racers in every race with Ashley King, Ryan Oliver and John Lea giving each other a very hard time over the next placing in every race.
Annabel Thomas had the honour of winning the first race of 2020 at Mallory Park, running away with the 125-450 event on her Moto 3 Honda, with Emma Franklin second on a 125 Honda, and that same result was repeated three more times over the weekend, Tyler Howe and Clive Somerfield sharing the third places. Katie Hand was the first of the 300s in each race. Are we breeding our own Ana Carasco ?
Last year the 500 class always saw the closest finishes, and nothing has changed there. Martin Radford won the first Fastbike 500 race by a quarter of a second from Craig Reilly with Dan Brett a second back. The first DJ Emmanuele open 500 saw Radford beat Darren Faulkner by 0.4 seconds with Reilly close behind, but that was eclipsed by Sunday’s opening race when Faulkner, Radford and Richard Blunt crossed the line separated by one-sixth of a second at the end of eight laps. The next race was won by Richard Blunt with Radford less than a second behind. Blunt ended the weekend with five victories, Radford with two wins and five seconds.
Comeback of the season must go to Alan Moreton, who is now racing a Suzuki 500 in the Earlystocks class, taking three wins out of four races, and coming from the back of the grid to take second in the other behind John Chambers, whose VFR750 gave Moreton a tough challenge finishing within half a second twice.
If there was an award for best final lap of the day (or indeed the season), then Jonathan Wells would get it, for the second Minitwins race when he went past the last lap flag in fourth place but passed the chequered flag in first, three-hundredths ahead of Richard Saunders with Darren Corkett passing John Bolsover to take third – all four riders covered by 0.7 seconds . Corkett won the first race in the class, but Wells reduced his workload by taking an early lead in the other two races and holding on to it
Arnie Shelton dominated the 600 class winning all four races with Taylor Moreton second each time.
Steve Brittain came within one wet race of 100% record in the pre-injection class last year, but the record has gone already this year with a DNF in race two; he won the other three, though, with Michael Hand taking that second race by a very small margin from Adam Waters.
Thomas Goldthorpe won three of the four Rookie races, but had to fight for all the wins, especially race two which saw a race-long scrap with Danny Simpson and Alex Pearson who had led for most of the race. Gary Ford took the result in race three with Goldthorpe second.
When was the last time we saw eight sidecar races in a weekend ? So many entries that they had to be split into A and B races, with Lee Crawford dominating the A races winning all four. Conrad Harrison took second in both of Saturday’s races, but on Sunday it was Sean Hegarty second ahead of the TT winner. The B races were more varied Steve and Matty Ramsden winning the first from David Schofield, George Holden and Oscar Lawrence winning the second from Ramsden, repeating that result in race three, and then Rupert Archer and Steve Thomas won the final race from Paul Kirby and Tom Graves.
The other feature of this meeting , which sadly won’t be appearing at larger meetings for a while yet, was spectators – sadly severely limited by regulations, there were as many as there were allowed to be - socially distancing by far more than the regulation two metres. At least it’s a step back to normal.