2 min read
Guy Martin wins a thriller and Davidson does the double

Some times dust settles even if you don't want it to, that's the case today after yesterdays thrilling classic races at the Skerries 100. Saturday was a tough day weather wise for both the organising Loughshinny club and the riders. A constant stream of drizzle was falling for the best part of the day hampering the newcomers, junior classic and most other sessions. But the club stuck to the task and got the job done brilliantly. The Junior Classics were untimed and championship positions would be used to grid the riders for Sundays race. 

Things improved late in the evening for the 500cc and unlimited qualifying session as the track was more or less dry when the riders set out. Skerries is one of the quicker Irish national road race's on the calendar with the track itself being 2.9 miles in length. The back section is extremely narrow in places, with barely enough room for one bike never mind two, and its here a lot of spectators go for a close up view of the action. There's a jump and some extremely fast corners along that stretch too. 

At the end of the session it was Richard Ford who came out on top, he posted 1 min 56.4 seconds on the big Norton, Ed Manly was second fastest just .2 of a second slower despite riding the smaller cc G50. Third was Barry Davidson on another 500 with Guy Martin posting a 1 min 58 on the BSA to claim 4th. A very impressive ride by Ben Rea on a 500/4 put him in 5th with John Leigh Pemberton completed the top six on his Manx.

Sunday and it's Race Day

The sun was shining and the track was bone dry. A huge crowd lined the hedges around every inch of the circuit. Every one loves to see Guy Martin race a motorcycle and we are delighted he chooses to do it with us on a classic.

First race was the junior's. For anyone just developing an interest in the sport. Junior classics is a combined race for 250cc and 350cc pre 1973 4 stroke twins or pre 1967 two stroke machines.

24 riders formed the grid at 11.30 am. they would start us in 3 waves of 8. Barry Davidson was on pole on a 350 as he is the current championship leader. Ed Manly was second and Brian Mateer third. Barry got away clean and led Ed into the first corner. Sean Leonard was in third with Ian Thompson fourth. Brian Mateer was the leading 250 rider on his beautiful Suzuki 2 Stroke T20. Second was Phil Shaw on another Suzuki while a great 4 stoke battle was under way between Gary Hutton and Kyle Parkes on their Honda twins for third. The race was a six lapper and there was no catching Barry Davidson. He lead flag to flag and took the win by ten seconds from Ed with Ian Thompson completing the podium in the 350 class with a fine third. In the 250 class it was Brian Mateer who clocked up another win with Phil Shaw second while Gary Hutton finished an excellent third and was the first 4 stroke home.. 

Senior Race

Six laps to decide who would win it. Ed was on pole and again lead into the first turn, Richard Ford was second, Guy Martin was third with Barry Davidson sitting in fourth. After lap one it was Richard Ford who appeared first, his lead was .8 of a second over Guy who had moved into second. Ed was now third but was the leading 500. Barry was still fourth but Ben Rea was closing. Lap three and Guy was on the move. He clocked a time of 1.52.636 sec's to take the lead and set a new outright classic lap record. But Ford was not letting him get away and was sitting on his back wheel. Ed was still third and was breaking his own lap records. They has opened a small gap to Barry,  Ben Rea was riding the wheels of the glorious sounding Honda 500/4 and was inching closer. Ian Thompson and Freddie Stewart were next on the road. Lap 5 and Guy now had a three second lead over Ford. Leading 500 rider Manly had to retire with a mechanical. Ben Rea was third on the road and third in class. Barry Davidson was now out in front in his class and would stay there to the flag. Freddie was second 500 and Andy Kildea was flying and had battled his way into third. We waited, we could hear them but still couldn't see them. The commentator Jack Corry was letting rip. Ford was putting in a flyer and was closing Guy down fast. He was a bike length behind with 200 yards to go and still coming. The crowd where on their feet and the roars went up. Guy took it by 0.06 of a second, barely the width of a tyre. Classic racing at its best, hard charging, lap records broken and beautiful sounding machines screaming round North County Dublin roads. The spectators loved it and we loved it. 

Ben Rea rode a fabulous race and would complete the unlimited podium. I think that's Ben's first time racing a classic in Ireland, but we hope its not the last. Barry Davidson was the 500cc race winner, what a superb rider he is, another double in the bag and 78 pure road race wins under his belt. Freddie Stewart took second and Andy Kildea was a fine third.

Barry Davidson takes the victory in the 350 raceBarry Davidson wins the Classic 350cc Skerries 100

Special Mentions

Rider of the day has to go to Barry Davidson, moment of the day was the seniors finish, winner's on the day was us the classic fans. 

Congratulations to the Loughshinny Club for putting on a fantastic meeting. And thanks to Guy Martin for picking a BSA to throw his leg over.

Photos #drummerthethird 

Words Gavan Duffy