CALLUM Grigor and John Dean both chalked up wins this weekend with two each at East Fortune as the latter extended his Scottish championship lead.
Dean’s points haul in the Melville Motor Club season opener, just a fortnight on from his Knockhill clean sweep, means he now has a cushion of 24 points over second place in the national standings, but it’s Grigor hot on his heels after moving up three places from fifth in the tables.
But in the club’s Superbike class, the Kircaldy Kawasaki man leads after dipping under the unofficial standing-start lap record and finishing no lower than second at round one.
Grigor stormed to pole on Saturday morning – the only rider to dip under the one-minute mark as he set a 59.969s lap to qualify in the top spot, with Dean not far behind.
But when the lights went out, it was Max Alexander who nabbed the early lead on the Why Aye Motorsport BMW, before Dean sliced through and hit the front.
The Blinkbonny Quarry BMW rider held off Grigor all the way to the flag to take the opening win by just over half a second, with Alexander rounding out the podium.
And it was a repeat finish in race two, the Frankie Dignan Memorial Trophy, named after the Melville racer who lost his life in an incident last year, with Dean leading every lap on his way to a 1.108s over Grigor as Alexander crossed the line third, four seconds further back.
But Grigor was on a charge in race three, hitting the front of the pack from the start as he and Dean dropped well into the 58-second laps. A third straight win wasn’t to be for Dean, however, as Grigor crossed the line with just 0.072s to spare as he took victory, with Alexander once again taking third.
The Wishaw rider doubled up in the final race of the weekend after Dean crashed out on the opening lap following a tangle with another rider, while Alexander also suffered a DNF four laps in, leaving second and third to Ewan Gray and Sean Gilfillan.
Grigor, who now leads the Melville Superbike championship standings, admits the overall speed this weekend made for cutthroat big bike racing at East Fortune.
“The pace was absolutely unbelievable by everyone,” he said. “So many people were into the 58s… it was great racing.
“I’m led to believe I did a 59.7 from a standing start, which I’m told is a lap record as nobody has went under a minute before so I’m really happy with that, and even happier with my new 58.4s personal best.
“The bike was set up absolutely awesome this weekend, I really do have the best team in the paddock. Huge thanks to Nelly for all his hard work from meeting to meeting and also getting my new bike set up perfect.”
Dean, however, admits he has work to do as his S1000RR is now in need of repairs ahead of the next round.
“I’m fine, no injuries just a bit stiff,” he said. “The bike is a little worse for wear and we’re going to have some late nights fixing bodywork and checking the whole bike over for damage.
“We have a rough idea of what’s needed to repair the bike so it shouldn’t take too long, as long as we can source parts within budget. I’d like to thank all my sponsors for getting me here this weekend.”
*Main and action image: Geo Clark
*Bottom image: Janet Dean