IAN Kirby’ non-points-scoring weekend went from disaster to triumph as he buttoned up the No Limits Racing Pre Injection 600 championship.
The NA College Yamaha rider, who made the move from Thundersport GB and the North East Club to the NLR paddock for 2018, ended a run of 20 podiums from 22 races, including 11 wins, as he wrapped up the title without finishing a race.
Pennyrose Photography rider Alan Armstrong’s hat-trick and Blackbird Corporate/Delkevic man Carl Vickers’ lone win this weekend weren’t enough to make a dent in the championship, while Kirby’s nearest title rival Matthew Jemmett only managed to rack up three thirds and a fourth this weekend, leaving the Sunderland lecturer 117 points clear before Donington.
But Kirby admitted he left much to be desired next season after a less-than-perfect end to his championship campaign at Cadwell.
“We had a disaster weekend,” he told UK Clubsport. “I was working on the Saturday so could do Sunday only and the bike felt great in the emergency practice and times seemed promising.
“However, on the warm up lap of race one on Sunday I lost my brakes at Mansfield and had to set the bike down on the grass, totalled the bike and have now realised there’s a knock in the engine.”
“Airing on the side of caution, we decided not to make the final race of the day at the cost of my engine. But we’ve done it, and all of the ingredients were in place for the perfect season… -ish…
“We could think of no other way to celebrate than by paying tribute to grandad – the hats [see main image] are his. This year was full of emotion, he predicted it before anyone else and we delivered.
“I’m gutted I couldn’t share the success with him, but thank you to everyone who has supported us this season.”
*Main image: Kirby Racing
*Side image: Alex James