MALLORY Park played host to a number of full-time riders from National, British and World Championship echelons at round two of EMRA’s 2017 campaign.
With a hefty number of riders, 70 of which submitted entries in the week before the meeting, the word ‘reserves’ was rediscovered in full force under the Leicestershire sunshine.
Fresh from his maiden National Superstock 600 win at Donington Park, Dan Stamper took two overall wins on the trot in the Tamworth Yamaha Superstock 600 and 1000 class, the first almost a second clear of returning club Superstock 600 champion William Shaw and Adam Clarke, and the second nearly four seconds ahead of Clarke and National class compatriot Ben Luxton.
Taylor Mackenzie didn’t spend his afternoon sparring with the opposition, but he did win four from four in the two Buildbase Mallory Trophy and Real Motorsport Allcomers races aboard the Bennetts Suzuki.
The 2016 National Superstock 1000 champion not only won by a combined total of almost 57 seconds, but he also bested Billy McConnell’s repor
ted standing lap record from the previous autumn’s RST Race of the Year by over .07 seconds with a scorching 51.003 second lap in the final race of the day.
Following Mackenzie onto the podium in both Allcomers races was reigning class champion Lee Wilson, who finished twice ahead of George Pyecroft in third. World Supersport racer Luke Stapleford was the runner-up in the first Buildbase race with Wilson rounding out the rostrum, and Curtis Wright edged out Stamper for second in the second race by just over a tenth of a second.
Stapleford made his mark in the first Supersport race of the day, where he left Wright and Shaw out to dry nearly 17 seconds off his tail. The 2015 British Supersport champ was missing from the grid in the second 600 race, which left Wright out front to take a seven-second victory ahead of Clarke and Shaw.
Graham Wilson emerged triumphant in both GP125 races ahead of reigning class champion Gavin Mills by 12 and 9 seconds, while Kim Rose and defending Minitwin title holder Gary Arden both took a turn at third place aboard Honda grand prix machinery.
First of the Earlystocks home was Ben Maxwell, five seconds ahead of Andrew Howe with Paul Wilcox longer in the distance. Howe and Maxwell traded places in the second race, with the latter conceding victory by a narrow margin but comfortably ahead of third place racer Stu Poulton
Amongst the Superstocks sat the production-based Minitwins, where Jonathan Wells and Chris Ashfield doubled up on gold and silver trophies, respectively, with Neil Reading and 125-interloper Arden splitting bronze.
Between the Bardell v. Cooper battles, it was easy to lose sight of the Lightweights, but Stephen Cullen and Martin O’Farrell made a show amongst the show taking a win apiece. Cullen took a clear 13-second victory ahead of 2016 class runner-up Louise Rout and Stuart Wileman in the first race, but settled for second in front of Rout after narrowly losing out to O’Farrell at the chequered flag.
Leading the front four pack of local Leicestershire riders, Mark Daines took off at the head of the first Ducati Coventry JHP Rookies race, leaving Matthew Speed and Dan Williams to duke it out for second – but the aptly named Speed hit the finish line half a second clear of Williams.
It was much of the same story in race two, and while the finishing order was the same, the gap to leader Daines was cut from over three seconds to just seven tenths.
Family powerhouse John and Jake Lowther won the opening WAS Auto Centre Trophy sidecar race by 22 seconds from Ryan Crowe and Harry Payne, but the order switched in race two when the young Isle of Man-based team bested the reigning Derby Phoenix champions as Sam and Adam Christie could do nothing but settle for two thirds.
EMRA continues its 2017 season on March 14 with round three.
*Main and Top side image: Ian Boldy
*Middle side image: Neil Kirby
*Sidecar image: Dirk Wharton