Wet. Wild. Wirral at Round Two

The return to Oulton Park for Round Two looked set to be a meeting to remember… as it turned out, it was. An incredible entry list of 40 post classic 250s and 350s cemented the success of Round One at Brands Hatch. However, the weather forecast showed Storm Hannah was set to sweep across the UK bringing heavy rain, very cold temperatures and gale force winds. Getting ready The morning rain on Friday cleared to allow the GP Originals paddock to get set up, scrutineered and signed-on. Andy and Shelagh Reynolds did a sterling job of getting our own line of machines through swiftly. During the early hours the winds began gusting up to 40mph with driving heavy rain. This set the scene for a relentless onslaught throughout the entire race day.


Only a few riders had decided to heed the forecast altogether and stay at home. At 10am an impressive 29 frozen racers gathered in the assembly area to attempt to qualify. Despite the harrowing conditions the bikes looked impressive on track, especially taking into account that every rider was on treaded Avon Tyres – no wets here. Phil Atkinson secured pole postion on the Rose MOT Centre TZ350 with a 2:19.373. The 250cc of Gary Vines took the number two grid spot at 2:24.399, closely followed by Mike Russell on the final front row position with 2:24.560. The next two 250cc riders were the EMC Rotax of Jamie O’Brien and the TZ of Rich Grinling, respectively 8th and 11th on-the-road. Dan Jackson and Richard Wilson were both receiving a baptism of fire for their inaugural outing on these post classic machines. Jackson’s first foray on treaded Avons rewarded him with a position at head of the second row. Wilson joined him in 6th placing Glen English in between the two newbies. Sighting the circuit revealed a considerable amount of debris on the track including tree branches and expanses of standing water. Understandably some elected to call it a day. Expecting to be a reserve Andy Williamson probably wished he hadn't made the list!

Racing for grip

Sadly we didn’t get to experience the 14 row starting grid as promised, but 22 riders decided to give it a go. The rest of us huddled together on pitwall to support the hardy souls who were determined to make it a race. Gary Vines had proved his wet weather expertise in Portimão and took the lead from lights out. Atkinson gave chase determined not to repeat the experience of being beaten by a 250. On the 2nd loop #24 was in the lead and pushed hard to produce his best lap of 2:16.313 just to be sure. Former ACU 250 National Championship winner Jackson was quick to master the lack of grip and passed Vines to 2nd position on the approach to lap three. JL Exhausts rider Chris Moore followed suit for third. Glen English struggled race long with a misting visor which ended his race as he crashed out on the final lap. Mike Farrall also fell foul of the excess water as he aquaplaned off his Charlie Williams liveried 350 Maxton. Neil Watson suffered a chicane miscalculation that collected the Rotax of Jamie O’Brien. Luckless Mike Smith took on yet another DNF on the second lap. Class acts throughout The action was building in the Masters category. Mark Edge, looking determined to capitalise on his success at Brands, had taken charge of the over-55s field. However, 2018 Masters Champ Tony Perkin had other plans. Wet weather fan Perkin, caught and passed Edge in time to take the flag as the leading fast Master. Mark Henrys, Kevin Rowbotham, Dave Grigson, Ewan Hamilton and Keith Millen all put on a great show in the ultra-competitive Masters class. Of the 13 250s Dave Grigson was left to fly the green plate flag alongside Vines. With O’Brien now out, Brooks, Pond, Linton, Cowles, Grinling, Burman and Arnold watched from pitwall. Colin Sleigh had the forethought to abstain! The Xclusiv Group 250 for Cameron Harris was on the reserve list and likewise, stayed home.

Apocalyptic conditions

As the day wore on the weather deteriorated even further and the timetable was inevitably stretched. Race 11 had been stopped and there was now oil down on the circuit. After a delay the final GP Originals race took off at 17:24 now down to 14 starters. Many described it as the worst racing weather they had ever experienced with the fierce winds and driving horizontal rain. Once again Gary Vines launched the 250 to the front but Atkinson had it under control by the first circuit. Jackson, Wilson and Moore all looking for podium finishes. Vines retired a few laps in from lack of fuel. A symptom of the stressful, freezing day and the long pause in the assembly area. Jackson retired as the excessive water produced machine issues. Lansdowne and Goodwood regular Ian Bain persevered with the conditions for his first outing on the Andy Reynolds TZ but retired on the warm up lap. Ever enthusiastic Scotsman Ewan Hamilton made one circuit on the 320. The orange jacket of Mark Edge is just a formality that masks his 1980s experience. He made an eager pass at Knickerbrook but by lap four he slid out of contention. Ship’s Captain Mark Henrys looked comfortable in the water and slipped past Tony Perkin to secure the Masters victory and 5th on-the-road. On the final lap Moore passed the loaned Maxton piloted by Richard Wilson to collect 2nd place. Neil Watson recovered from his earlier spill and finished in 6th followed by the 250 Juchem of Dave Grigson. The 350s of Graham Higlett and George Thomas rounded out the nine hardy finishers – all suffering with sticking throttles, misfires or other water related problems! A disappointing day especially for those that has travelled so far including Keith Millen from Ireland, Glen English from Cornwall and Ewan Hamilton from Scotland.

The prizes

Due to the horrendous conditions everyone dispersed at speed during the day or as soon as the last race had run. We didn’t hold our customary prize giving and now have a bevy of trophies and prize money to distribute! Each podium finisher will receive a bottle of Titanic Brewery beer which you can collect at Round Three Cadwell Park. Prize money can be collected at Pembrey this weekend from Louise Perkin or we’ll be in touch to make other arrangements. Wirral Hundred trophies will also be brought to Pembrey/Cadwell for collection. Our excellent prize fund package for our main championships has been genorously provided by: Xclusiv Group • Maxton Suspension • TTS Exports • AD Modular • Steve Foster Cranes

250cc results

• £200 1st 250cc: Dave Grigson
• £150 2nd 250cc: Gary Vines
• £50 fastest 250cc lap: Gary Vines (2:20.510)

350cc results

• £200 1st 350cc: Phil Atkinson
• £150 2nd 350cc: Chris Moore
• £100 3rd 350cc: Richard Wilson
• £75 4th 350cc: Tony Perkin
• £50 5th 350cc: Mark Henrys
• £50 fastest 350cc lap: Phil Atkinson (2:16.313)

Masters (over-55s) results

• £50 1st placed Master: Tony Perkin
• £30 2nd placed Master: Mark Henrys
• £20 3rd placed Master: Dave Grigson
• Gasket Guru voucher 4th: Mark Edge



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2019 gets underway at Brands Hatch with Thundersport GB

The final weekend in March sprung GP Originals back to life; the clocks rolled on to Summer time and so did the weather. The packed out Brands Hatch event was superbly hosted by Thundersport GB and as expected, everything ran like clockwork.

Following a long winter of jostling for position on Facebook, the contenders showed their mettle by turning up in their droves. 36 entries secured with a few weeks in hand – the opening grid was going to be a spectacle.

A spot of testing on Friday for some but many choosing to rock up on Saturday and dive straight in. Bathed in glorious sunshine and 15 minutes of timed qualifying later we had a grid. Top was Phil Atkinson at 52.7, Mike Smith just 0.273 behind and Glen English trailing by only 0.311.

Despite carrying a nasty shoulder injury, 250 rider Gary Vines produced a 53.7 lap. Fernando Mendes’ 2018 Championship winning TZ250 has a new pilot in Rich Grinling. Rich took 2nd 250 spot, just over a second from Vines. The lightning fast EMC Rotax of Jamie O’Brien rounded out the top three green plates.

A dozen rows of post classic Grand Prix machines Race one filled the air with smoke as a hoard of screaming two-strokes streamed down Paddock Hill for the first of 12 laps. Glen English grabbed the lead with 250 mounted Vines in 2nd. Atkinson, Smith and Grinling completing the top five. 250 rider Roy Flower was the first of our Masters competitors and settled into the top 10 from the off.

Three laps in Atkinson took control at the front with Smith, English, Vines and Moore battling it out for position. Lap nine produced a retirement from Smith whilst circulating well within half a second of Atkinson’s best lap time of 52.131. Atkinson took the chequered flag, English 2nd, Gary Vines 3rd on-the-road and 1st of the 250s. Chris Moore 3rd 350 and 4th overall. Grinling was 2nd 250 and 5th overall. Roy Flower 3rd 250, 8th overall and the winner of the Masters class.

The second race of the day saw the same protagonists out in front. Having now experienced English’s early race pace, Atkinson took no chances and led flag-to-flag, English second. Luckless Smith was out on lap four. Graham Higlett put in a sterling performance, despite slipping back to 9th mid-race, he pulled it back to 4th overall and 3rd of the 350s at the flag and fastest through the speed trap. Vines, eager to take the 64 horsepower 250 to the quickest 350 runners, again took 3rd on-the-road and first 250. Grinling 2nd and O’Brien pipped Pond to 3rd at the line. Flower once again secured the Masters’ lead.

Lap one shenanigans out of Druids between Lansdowne regulars Tony Perkin and George Thomas plus several others, ensured Perkin grass tracked all the way up the hill, rejoining but now out of touch.

Day two

Sunday morning saw temperatures drop but by the 14 lap first race there was a glimmer of Spring. Atkinson again led from lights out but with the superbly period machine of English in contention. With help from Steve Carthy Motorcycles, Glen is dedicated to keeping the bike as basic as possible complete with wire wheels, original ignition and single disc. Smith sadly retired again denying the potential in his results. Gary Vines, consistent as ever, took 3rd overall and another win for the 250s. JL Exhausts rider Chris Moore took the 3rd 350 podium.

Rich Grinling is relishing the 1981 250 after many years riding an NXA Honda and reverse cylinder Yamaha. Another 2nd place 250 and 6th on-the-road for him. The O’Brien EMC Rotax had been reaching top speeds of 126.6mph on Saturday and took 3rd 250 once again. Top Master went the way of Mark Edge complete with orange jacket. Previously a top 350 rider back in the day Mark is making a comeback following a life-changing car crash injury. He has lost every memory of his prior racing career but raw ability clearly hasn’t been erased. Mark received the Tony Green Racing special achievement award for his efforts.

The final race of the weekend saw English once again get the holeshot. Smith up the sharp end made it to lap 12 before completing a clean sweep of DNFs. Atkinson took his fourth and final victory from English and Vines. Chris Moore again collected 3rd 350. O’Brien and Dave Grigson respectively 2nd and 3rd of the 250 field.

Strong performances throughout Sunday from Graham Higlett, Liam McCarter, Robert Bowden and James Wilmot with consistent top 10 positions. Gareth Arnold was riding a TZ250H under a special ACU dispensation on the cusp of his 16th birthday. The teenager thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was rewarded with four finishes and an NGK Spark Plugs voucher. Ewan Hamilton was delighted to finish without a single DNF! Cameron Harris was disappointed not to be getting stuck in on the Xclusiv Events 250 following a problem in qualifying, he’ll be one to watch next time out.

Thirty riders benefited from the Fuchs Silkolene early entry reward and collected their goody bags worth over £50 each. The excellent Geartech technical record folders were also collected by rider members.

This event proved such a success due to the very many people chipping in to help out. The GP Originals team would like to thank all those that took on a role to make it happen. A superb team effort.


O'Connor scores Powerbikes double - UK Clubsport

CHRISTIE O’Connor swept the Reactive Parts MRO Powerbikes races after an action-packed single day event at Oulton Park this weekend.

The Yamaha rider, whose Pata-liveried R1 crossed the line on both occasions ahead of National Superstock and BSB paddock veteran Tom Tunstall, led every lap of both scraps as he made his first appearance with the club this season.

With a late qualifying lap just 0.058sec quicker than championship leader Michael O’Brien, O’Connor bagged pole position as Isle of Man TT regular Josh Daley completed the front row.

But it was all O’Connor when the lights went out as he stormed off the front, stretching a 1.7s gap over the MotorcycleRaceParts – Integro BMW of Tunstall and holding his lead all the way to the flag while O’Brien held off Daley to take third.

Back in the battle for the Racebuykz.com MRO Clubman 1000 honours, Daniel Johnson continued his perfect run of form from Brands with a clear win over Mark Bridger as the series leader narrowly missed out on a top five behind recent Ken Redfern Trophy winner Michael Evans.

It looked to be a repeat of race one in the second and final big bike scrap on Saturday, but carnage early on involving at least four riders, including Wilcock Consulting rider Evans, defending champ Anthony Johnson and Daniel Johnson, forced officials to wave the red flags.

Evans and the Johnsons are laid up with injuries, but are reported to be okay.

On the restart, O’Connor was straight back to business, grabbing the early advantage over Tunstall. And while the former British Superbike rider drew back a nearly three-second gap during the final stages, it wasn’t enough and he had to settle for second as O’Connor completed his sweep.

O’Brien was again third home ahead of Daley and Aiden Patmore, while the Clubman spoils went to Moremoto’s Bridger after he beat MSS rider Max Morgan to the flag by less than a second.


Energica Eva Debolex video

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Dafabet Devitt Racing sign Jordan for 2019 road racing season

Dafabet Devitt Racing have today (Monday) announced the signing of Paul Jordan for the 2019 International road racing season, with the 26-year old set to run exclusively on Kawasaki machinery in the Superbike, Superstock, Supersport and Lightweight classes.

The team, operated by RC Express Racing, sees the Bristol-based outfit extend their successful partnership with Dafabet, one of the world’s leading online betting platforms and Devitt Insurance, one of the UK’s leading specialist motorcycle insurers for the third and fourth years respectively. That support has seen the team at the forefront of International road racing and firmly establish themselves as one of the leaders in the paddock.

Having impressed on his two outings for the team last year at the Ulster and Macau Grand Prix meetings, Jordan will now campaign a full season for the squad with the Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix their main focus. In addition, the former 125cc British Championship race winner will make his debut at the Southern 100 and will also contest selected rounds of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship.

Since moving away from the short circuits to the roads, Jordan has continued to make significant strides forward with 2018 seeing him have his best year to date at the International road races.

Indeed, riding for Dafabet Devitt Racing, the Magherafelt rider took brilliant fourth and sixth place finishes in the Superbike and Superstock races at last year’s Ulster Grand Prix where he improved his personal best lap of the Dundrod circuit to an impressive 131.148mph.

That performance led to him remaining with the team for the Macau Grand Prix where he made a solid debut to finish in 14thplace after a race long battle with Michael Sweeney.

Meanwhile, Jordan made his second appearance at the Isle of Man TT races earlier in the year and took 19th and 22nd place finishes in the two Supersport races on his privately-entered Yamaha, also improving his best lap around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course to 123.355mph. Riding the same machine, he also took 14th place in the second Supersport race at the North West 200.

The former Ulster and Irish 125cc Road Race Champion was also victorious in the Supersport race at the Armoy road races and having joined Dafabet Devitt Racing in a full time capacity he’s now looking to make a further impression on the leaderboard at the International road race meetings, particularly the Isle of Man TT.

The team are also incredibly proud to announce that road race star Ivan Lintin, who continues to make progress from the injuries he sustained at last year’s Southern 100, is still firmly a member of Dafabet Devitt Racing family and will be with the team throughout the 2019 season in a non-racing role.

Speaking about the deal, Jordan said: “After two successful meetings with the team last year, I’m delighted to have joined Dafabet Devitt Racing for 2019 and I can’t wait for the season to get underway. It’s nice to be going into the season with such a great team and group of people behind me with Roy and Ben have made me feel at home from the very first day. It feels like I’ve been with the team for years and that’s such a great feeling to have. I’ve been working really hard over the winter months and am looking forward to taking another step forward in my career and doing both myself and everyone connected with the team proud.”

Team owner Roy Constable added: “We’re delighted to extend our partnership with both Dafabet and Devitt Insurance and with them both being such an integral part of the team we’re looking to continue our success of previous years in 2019. We’re equally delighted to welcome Paul to the team on a full-time basis after he impressed us all in his short time with us last year. He improved tremendously in the two outings he had with us and we’re excited to be working with such a talented rider in the season ahead. It continues our ethos of working with young, promising riders and we’ll be looking to nurture his talent, build on what we achieved last year and have a successful and enjoyable year of racing.”

John Cruces, Dafabet said: “We’re very happy to continue our partnership with the team and it’s great to see Paul join full-time. We look forward to seeing what we can do in 2019 and hope to build on what was achieved last year. We’re also very happy to see that Ivan is very much part of the team and continues with his recovery. We wish the team the very best of luck in the forthcoming racing season.”

Tom Warsop, Devitt Insurance commented: “As we enter our fourth year supporting the team, we’re thrilled to be welcoming Paul on-board after an impressive spell with us towards the end of last year. It’s an absolute pleasure working with RC Express and we’re excited to be involved in their progress and performance through 2019.”



IN COMPETITION /APRILIA UK will be running two Aprilia RSV4RF’s in the 2019 BSB Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship. On board the Aprilia RSV4RF’S will be Australian Levi Day and Scotsman Lewis Rollo.

Ian Newton from IN COMPETITION said ‘I am excited to have Levi and Lewis on board. Having worked with three previous Australian riders I know that they have a sense of purpose to travel half way round the world to achieve their dream in life.

With the support from AJN STEELSTOCK again for 2019 Levi is determined to be an established front runner. Lewis has come through the Aprilia 125 Superteen Championship where he was Superteen Champion in 2012 and had wins in the Aprilia RRV450 Championship.

Lewis will be the youngest Superstock rider on the grid for 2019. Knowing Lewis for many years he has the passion and commitment to race motorcycles and can’t wait to get started. In 2018 the Aprilia RSV4RF was one of the top Superstock bikes to beat and we plan to continue going forward in 2019.

Levi Day ‘ I am extremely excited to be given this opportunity to race in Superstock 1000 for INCOMPETITION in 2019. The Aprilia RSV4RF is an amazing bike and I am confident we have a great package, of bike and team, to have a successful year. I want to go out, enjoy my riding and work hard, and I believe everything will work well.

I want to thank IN COMPETITION for the opportunity, as well as AJN STEELSTOCK, for making this step up in class, and believing in me’

LEWIS ROLLO ‘ I feel honoured to have this opportunity to ride the Aprilia RSV4RF with such a great team. I can’t wait to get started and see what 2019 brings for me and the team. I can’t thank IN COMPETITION enough for giving me this opportunity. I am looking forward to working with the team and hope to prove myself well in the Stock 1000 class after having such a great season in 2018. I would also like to thank my sponsors for standing by me.’

IN COMPETITION/APRILIA would like to thank all the sponsors for coming on board for 2019 and wish both riders a successful season.