MICHAEL O’Brien has laid claim to the 2019 Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes crown after a nearly perfect weekend at Snetterton.
And while he only missed out on three thanks to Josh Wood’s narrow victory over him in race two, the Motomob Yamaha rider’s double was enough to give him the club’s premier big bike title as well as the Champion of Snetterton trophy.
Just behind, the Racebuykz.com Clubman 1000 spoils were also zipped up as Mark Bridger put two hands on the trophy with his own hat-trick.
After powering to pole position on Saturday more than 1.3sec clear of Olly Savage and more than 2.1sec ahead of front-row starter Wood, O’Brien blasted into the distance when the lights went out for race one.
The championship leader stretched 2.5sec over Wood on the very first lap, with Savage and KSAutos’ Kevin Silvain soon slotting in behind to join the podium fight.
And while Murlec Kawasaki’s Wood looked on for a runner-up finish, he dropped out with just two laps to go as O’Brien soared to victory some 14sec clear of Silvain and Clubman winner Mark Bridger.
It was a different story in race two, however, as Wood was back in action leading the pack on the opening lap as he and O’Brien quickly gapped the field to make it a two-way fight for the win as the champion-elect came up just 0.054sec short at the chequered flag after sticking with Wood all the way, leaving Silvain to another third.
Back in sixth, Moremoto man Bridger bagged another Clubman win as Walters Medical rider Glenn Walsh and Max Morgan completed the podium.
Wood looked on for a Sunday clean sweep after once again hitting the front of the final race early on, but O’Brien dropped the hammer on lap three and quickly built an insurmountable gap to beat Wood to the flag by more than 11sec in the shortened seven-lap scrap, with Savage less than two seconds further back in third.
Bridger made a Clubman sweep less than a second off the overall rostrum to secure the championship, while MSS Performance rider Morgan pipped Walsh to bag the runner-up spoils.
And with a 160+ point lead over his nearest challenger Peter Baker and only Brands Hatch left to run, O’Brien was crowned the 2019 MRO Powerbikes champ.
“It’s an amazing feeling, especially after all the hard work,” he admitted. “And it was great to have my family there with me to share the moment.”
“It’s incredible to win 15 races in a season in all conditions against a quality field of riders, especially with the hiccups, some small, some big, along the way.
“The title and results wouldn’t have been possible without the help, support and garage camaraderie, not just this year but over previous years of racing.”
*Images: Mitch DuCran