The 2017 Ulster Motocross Championships relocate to their spiritual heartland of County Down for the traditional May Day Motocross promoted by the Mourne Club at their splendid Seaforde Motocross Park facility.
The Nutt Travel Premier MX1 Class will be without current leader Graeme Irwin, and reigning Champion John Meara, who is out with a shoulder injury for the year, therefore, the de facto leader, Richard Bird from Lisburn on his KTM will have a reduced field of challengers, especially now that Championship rival Robert Hamilton looks like he may be out for the year with a nasty knee injury sustained at Desertmartin on Easter Monday.
This offers an opportunity for new names to step up to the challenge, and Dubliner Jim O’Neill on his VMX KTM had an impressive run in the recent Irish Round to second place, names like Ryan Adair on his Adair Building Services KTM should be a threat, and returnee Lindsay Newell likes the hard pack and could be an outside bet, Greyabbeys Craig Browne prefers the sand on his Smoke Vent KTM, but does go well at Seaforde, so Richard may not have it all his own way.
In the Precise Protect Premier MX2 Class, Jason Meara from Loughbrickland heads the Championship, but his nemeses, Glenn McCormick took the overall last week at Tinker Hill, so the Glenoe man seems to have recovered from his leg injury and is on form on the Agnew Recovery KTM.
Second in the Championship the English domiciled Luke Smith may not be entering, so a clutch of Republic of Ireland youngsters could step up, young Jake Sheridan and Jordan Keogh for example, and Dundonald teen James Mackrel will also feature.
The Nutt Travel Semi Expert MX1 Class is led by Josh McCorkell on his KTM after a treble win in Round 1, second is Lurgan Man Mark Dynes on his Maralin Car Wash TWDynes Suzuki two stroke, with Frazer Young two points adrift in third, while the Precise Protect Semi Expert MX2 class is led by Ruari McKeown with youngster Tyler McLarnon second three points ahead of Paul Laverty, this class is probably the most competitive at the moment, and with a mix of experience and youth, always produces fireworks.
Another Treble winner in Johnny Haywood leads the Towergate Insurance Clubman MX1 from Lurgan man Barry Dummigan with last years runner up Ciaran Boyle third, there is a lot of experience in this class which is attracting big entries this year, so close racing should be the norm through the field.
Laverty Motocross continue their sponsorship of the Clubman MX2 which is led by Jamie O’Loan from Marcus Hill and Chris Walsh, although expect Johnny Presho to be at the sharp end after a disastrous opening round.
Racing will start on May Day Monday at 11.00 and the track will be signposted from the main Ballynahinch to Newcastle Rd near the Butterfly House, entry will be £5 and under 14’s free.