AS racers rolled into Aberdare Park for the Aberaman Motorcycle Club’s annual road races, temperatures soared and records were broken.
Along with Dan Cooper’s six wins and Welsh Open title defence, 25 other races for machines from 50cc to 650cc took to the 0.9-mile circuit before issues with the track’s newly-resurfaced tarmac forced event bosses to curtail action.
Former Aberdare winner John Simpson returned to the Park for the first time in six years, now at the helm of a Suzuki SVR18, and although Mick Goodings grabbed the first Allcomers win by over a second ahead of Joey Thompson and himself, he had something to say in the final two scraps.
The 2012 Welsh Open king beat Goodings’ ZXR400 to the chequered flag by nearly two seconds in Saturday’s second race before pipping Trickbits team-mate Thompson at the line by just 0.157s.
Goodings was back out for the Lightweight races, where he swept the first two ahead of Marty Robbins and Simon Harris, but Goodings was nudged back a place in the third and fourth races as Harris and Robbins split the wins ahead of him.
Northern Irishman Simpson was also back in action in the Mini Sound of Thunder battles, edging Aberdare specialist Jay Bellers-Smith at the line in race one by 0.208s as Thompson took a distant third.
But Smith wasn’t having that on his home turf, and he powered his KTM into the lead in races two and three while Simpson and Thompson were forced to share a second and a third apiece.
Yamaha TZ250 rider Doug Edmondson opened his Welsh Classic account with two dominant wins, the first 13s clear of Hefyn Owen and the second 12s ahead of fellow TZ man Mark Prentice while Lee Huff bagged two thirds.
And while Prentice kicked off Sunday with a win over Huff and Owen, Seeley-mounted Owen powered to victory nearly six seconds clear of Prentice and dad Meredydd Owen in the final race.
In the Golden Era ranks, Goodings was unstoppable with four wins from four starts and a combined winning margin of over 50s. Harris couldn’t keep up, and had to settle for three seconds while Prentice took the other, leaving the third place honours to Edmondson, Prentice and Meredydd Owen.
On the biggest grid of the event, Shane Norval looked to be on for a 50cc clean sweep after taking Saturday’s spoils ahead of Mark Bainbridge and John Cooke, despite Bainbridge busting the old lap record and setting the new mark of 47.832 on his Jawa.
And while RSK rider Norval dominated Sunday’s opener almost 30s ahead of the Derbi of Cook and Metrakit man Bradley Wilson, Cooke took advantage Norval’s DNF in the final race to steal victory ahead of Mark Pollitt and Kevin Burton.
Alan Richardson beat Kerry Burton to three of the four 80cc wins, while Richardson’s lone retirement gave Burton a victory.
The Welsh Open Consolation honours went to SV650-mounted Scott Robertson, who beat R6 rider Chris Stuart twice while Max Dixon bagged a third.
*Main image: John Simpson Racing
*All other images: Steve Snelling