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Cookstown 100 Classic Round Up

Wattie Brown in action at the Cookstown 100. Photo credit John Burke

The season opener is the Cookstown 100 and its runs on the Orritor Circuit. Just 2.1 miles in length, it's quite short, narrow in places, with some fast corners and jumps. It has some tricky bends especially in the wet.

Scottish rider Wattie Brown is the current classic outright lap record holder when he lapped the circuit in 1 min 40 sec's at just over 75 mph back in 2006.

The Junior Classics are race three and are first up. It's wet and windy and extremely cold, 32 riders entered, 28 went out to qualify but with a restricted grid size due to the short length of the circuit, only 23 will be allowed to start. 

Familiar faces are at the front. Barry Davidson is on pole, alongside sit Ed Manly and Nigel Moore all on Honda 350 K4's, first 250cc qualifier is Brian Mateer on a 2 stroke Suzuki and he's in 4th spot with Mark Johnson and Chris McGahan making up the top 6.

It's business as usual in the race, Barry Davidson gets off the line first and stays there for the entire 7 lapper. He takes the win with 5 seconds to spare with Ed Manly second and Nigel Moore third, Mark Johnson took an excellent 4th. 5th on the road but first 250 is Brian Mateer, Philip Shaw secures second, Gary Hutton takes third and completes the 250 class podium. 

Barry scored the double when he took victory in the 500 race, the seniors formed the grid at 1.30 pm with the weather improving all the time, the track was mostly dry. Barry got a flyer off the line, this time riding the Team Gimbert Honda, he managed to hold off Ed Manly on a Seeley G50 who pushed him all the way, when again the winning margin was just 5 seconds. An excellent third place went to the popular English rider John Leigh Pemberton on his Manx Norton. 

The unlimited class victory went to Richard Ford on the Bob Jackson Racing Norton 920. Second place went to Tandragee Club rider Ian Thompson on a Honda 500 Four with Philip Shaw completing the podium on a Yamaha 750.

Rider of the day for us was Wattie Brown. Forced to start from the back of the grid because he missed qualifying due to a mechanical issue. He pushed his 498 Manx Norton hard and cut through the 18 man field to finish an incredible 4th in the 500 race. Fantastic to watch well done Wattie.