2010 is finally here and to say I was excited to get it started and see who had done their homework and who had not was a complete understatement.
When we arrived at Donemana, near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, the sun was shining and the paddock was a sea of vans, Lorries, awnings and easy-ups. Among the riders present where 2009 champions Wayne Garrett and Richard Bird, Tommy Merton, Edward Allingham and American rider Mike Brown. Mike was over helping out Edward Allingham and was riding a spare KTM from last year.
When Qualifying came round it was fast and furious as the track was still very flat. The riders hit the race track for the first time this season and it was Tommy Merton who put his Norman Watt / Monster Energy Kawasaki 450F on the 1st spot with a time of 1.24.118. 2nd was Wayne Garrett riding the TSR KTM 450F with a time of 1.24.926 followed very closely by visiting rider Mike Brown with a 1.25.184. I will add Mike was riding a KTM 250F. The top 5 was rounded out by Richard Bird and Sean Devlin.
When the gate dropped for the first race it was Wayne Garrett who hit the front early with Mike Brown nipping at his heels. For the whole race they would play chase with Garrett taking the win by 3.290 seconds in front of Brown who got arm pump. Richard Bird rode a lonely 3rd the whole moto coming in 12 seconds behind the leader with Ed Allingham coming in 4th. A further 22 seconds of the front riders. Tommy Merton who had qualified first earlier in the day got a dreadful start running just outside the top 10 on the first lap and came through the pack to finally finish 6th but said he struggled with arm pump.
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For the second and final race of the day Merton grabbed the hole-shot from Garrett, Brown and Richard Bird. Garrett and Brown would make a quick pass on Merton on the first lap which set up another cat and mouse chase for the remainder of the moto. Brown would eventually get Garrett around the half way mark but Garrett didn’t let him away coming across the line just 1.121 seconds behind Browns rear wheel. Merton rode a safe and solid 3rd with Bird and Allingham filling out the rest of the top 5.
The first Champioship race is on the 27th of March at Downpatrick, Northern Ireland.