It’s crunch time folks. Seven rounds of the Carville Irish Motorcoss Championship have passed and just one more remains. It may only feel like a couple of weeks since the 2009 series kicked off in late March at Desertmartin but this weekend will see the championship decider roll into the Dundalk and District Motopark and with the Premier MX2 title already spoken for, the MX1 is still anything but decided.
At the penultimate round in the sands of Donemana, Dubliner Stuart Edmonds made history when he clinched his first National title taking home the MX2 crown in a season he made his own. Notching up eight moto wins and only failing once to make the podium in 14 races enabled Edmonds to stretch out an unassailable lead on his Electraction CCM TM that couldn’t be beaten. It was dominant display of riding that silenced his critics regarding consistency of both man and machine as it marked the first time an Irish championship went to the Italian TM manufacture and also south of the border. However it’s not all done and dusted in MX2 just yet, as the podium fillers are still there for the taking where five riders have a mathematical chance of coming home with a medal. Of those with the greatest odds is TSR KTM mounted Wayne Garrett, currently holding down 2nd place. To date, Garrett has tallied nine podium finishes with six-second places to hold a 24-point cushion over nearest rival Richard Bird in 3rd. If he can beat Bird just once the silver medal should be his but as of yet he has been unable to land a win on the wee bike, though the technical Kilcurry circuit been kind to him in previous years when he notched up a win there in 2008. GoMX’s Richard Bird has been another revelation this season. Always knocking on the door he finally picked up his first moto win in Cork and then began backing it up with a string of top three scores to potentially set himself up for his first MX2 medal.
In MX1 the championship is still very much up for grabs. Yet again it’s Stuart Edmonds in control of the title race but this time with only a mere 12-point advantage over reigning champ Wayne Garrett. Throughout the year the duo have been very evenly matched and little separates one over the other. Both can win anywhere on any given day and both have visited the podium more often than any other rider to date. However Edmond’s advantage has been his ability to limit the damage better than Garrett when it hasn’t been possible to win. It may only have been a point here and a point there but it’s those few crucial points that have put him in the drivers seat. Luckily if it’s one thing Wayne knows, it’s how to handle the pressure to win a championship and to do that he must win both moto’s with Stuart finishing 3rd and 4th at best. If Edmonds can hold onto two thirds the title will be his. Nipping at their heels a further 13 points adrift is Kawasaki mounted Gary Gibson. Another firm favourite of the Kilcurry circuit Gibson blitzed the field with a runaway moto win last year only to fall victim of a puncture in moto two. After notching up a further three wins and seven podiums this year, he should be without doubt brimming with confidence heading to the starting gates on Sunday. The final man left with a chance of a championship medal is that of Moto One Suzuki mounted Tommy Merton. A couple of poor scores have let him slip nine points adrift of Gibson, but Merton is a rider with determination to win on any given day and if he slots himself at the front of the pack it will take an almighty fight to wrestle victory off him.
With everything still left to play for, no one can be assured of an easy ride, as nothing is certain until the final wave of the final chequered flag. So with just 50 minutes and two laps of racing left to run on the clock in each class; GENTLEMEN START YOUR ENGINES!