NORTH East club racers finally returned to on-track action this weekend at Croft as the NEMCRC’s championship got underway.
Supersport ace James Cowton and Dominic Herbertson shared the Supertwin spoils as they both looked to rack up bike time on their way to the Isle of Man TT next month.
The Geordie powered to a 19-second victory just after the rain arrived on Saturday, but Cowton fired back on Sunday with 17 and 11-second gaps over Herbertson en route to a double win while Ian Gardner and Carlo Barbaro shared thirds.
Chris Richardson swept the Stocktwins class, taking a hat-trick of wins ahead of Alan Ellis and Daniel Good, who locked out the podium positions in all three races.
Reigning CB500 champ Keith Shepherd had to settle for second all weekend as Nick Anderson bagged all three 500 twins class wins, while Bob Farrington took two Formula 400 wins to Aiden Goodings’ one.
Gilera-mounted Lee Bamber powered to a clean sweep in the Scooter races with an incredible total winning margin of over 73 seconds as Warren Wilkinson was powerless to finish higher than second while Stephen Wright bagged one third to Graham Tatton’s two.
Mark Herbertson dominated the Classic field on Saturday aboard his 500 Honda as he crossed the line over half a minute clear of Post-Classic Junior winner Farrington and Franklin Lemstra.
But the Open-class Trident 750 of Stuart Gray was the man to beat on Sunday, taking the first race of the day from Ian Myers and Herbertson then the second from Herbertson and John Cliffe after Myers retired from the lead on the penultimate lap.
Brian Alexander controlled the 350 Classic class, taking all three wins by no less than 16 seconds aboard his Honda K4.
Big bike ace Andrew Tasker delivered a masterclass as he pushed his Aprilia RSV Mille to Thunderbike and overall victory 33 seconds clear of Pre-Injection 600 winner Garry Whitfield and Alan Armstrong amid Saturday’s downpour.
But a brake failure forced the Scotsman to crash in the first race on Sunday afternoon, leaving David Bell to take the outright and Pre-Injection Open win on his stunning FZ from Thunderbike winner David Curtis and PI600 winner James Reveley.
In the final race of the weekend, Bell once again took the win after passing Ducati 1299 rider Jake Harkness early on, this time with Reveley beating Curtis to the runner-up spot.
Ian Gardner and Mike Minns swept the Post Classic Senior and Mini Thunderbikes classes, respectively, with three wins apiece as Angus Green also picked up a Pre-Injection Open victory on Saturday.
*Images: Paul Soulby