NICO Mawhinney scored an emotional win at Ulster SBK Round 8 at Kirkistown yesterday as he made amends for a difficult season so far with the opening Supebike win.
After recovering from severe injuries in prior seasons, he returned to the series – but up until this weekend things hadn’t quite gone to plan after suffering a number of crashes. Yesterday, however, he was back on the top step as he split wins with Ali Kirk.
Barry Graham got the hole shot off the line but by the end of the lap Kirk had taken the lead. By mid point he and Mawhinney had opened a gap from the chasing pack of Graham, Aaron Armstrong, Gerard Kinghan and Carl Phillips.
On the final lap Mawhinney made his move to the front and held his nerve on the final drag to the line taking the chequered flag just 0.053sec in front of Kirk with Kinghan third, Armstrong fourth, championship leader Phillips was fifth on his own Suzuki after parting company with the JMcC Roofing team which he has had so much success with so far this year.
In race two Kirk was out for revenge taking the lead from the start. As in race one it was Mawhinney who was his only real challenge, but this time out he held on to his lead the winning margin just 0.166sec. Third to fifth places were the same as in race one.
Jason Lynn continued his unbeaten run since returning to the Ulster Championship with another two victories in the Supersport races.
Playing catch up after missing rounds two, three and four due to competing in the BSB Supersport Championship he started the day 27 points in arrears of championship leader Mark Conlin. Conlin however had a disastrous day crashing out of both races and scoring no points.
With two rounds and six races remaining Christian Elkin has a 15 point lead ahead of Lynn, but with Lynn’s recent form a fourth consecutive championship must be firmly in his sights.
Lynn’s double win also earned him the Crown Prince of Kirkistown trophy which was presented to the Supersport rider with most points from the two races.
Both of Supertwin races finished the same way with, Kevin Lavery, Gary McCoy and Mark Abraham first second and third respectively.
Jonny Singleton, Lee Chambers, Jonny Campbell and Michael Owens shared the honours with a win each in the Superbike and Supersport Cup races. Campbell alsohad two wins in the Supersport 300 class.
Stephen McKeown once again showed his dominance in the Lightweight Supersport races with another two wins, extending his lead over Kris Duncan who was absent from todays meeting.
*Images: Derek Wilson