Sunday saw the penultimate round of the Darley Moor 2019 championship and titles as well as pride were at stake. During a day of mixed but mainly dry and warm weather conditions the boys and girls went to work and so too did the ‘Orange Army’
Going into Round 6 with a 100% winning record to defend Mark was up against it right from the word GO. A back injury sustained after Round 5 meant no bike prep could be done ahead of time and an influx of 15 – 20 new CB500 riders and machines on the grid gave the series leader a pretty big mountain to climb.
Out first in the Allcomers 2 race Mark had the opportunity to check the bike and his back without the pressure of points being at stake and after running a few laps towards the front of the pack Mark pulled in to record a DNF but importantly the times were good and the back had held out ok.
Race 1 for the CB500 and Suzuki Bandit Challenge saw a huge field assemble on the grid and the pace was hot from the start and Daz Bellworthy #1 and Tom Fisher #45 pushing the lap times to the very low 1.05’s as Mark tried to stay in touch as the race unfolded eventually finishing within a few seconds to take 3rd place at the flag.
Race 2 was an almost mirror image as once again Daz and Tom remained just out of reach and an off-colour Mark still managing to occupy the final podium position to once again sneak a few more points on Liam in 5th. Given the circumstances and the pace of the front 2 on the day it was a fairly amazing effort to extend the championship lead to 26 points going into the final round next month.
Chris is now surely positioning himself very nicely for Darley Newcomer of the year as he one again showed off the new found confidence of a race winner against some of the fastest riders there are around the Ashbourne circuit.
With less than a second covering his best lap times from 3 races Chris is showing the consistency and craft of a far more experienced racer than one in his first full season of racing. The first race of the day was the Allcomers 1 (Over 600cc) and Coops ran strongly to finish comfortably inside the top ten in 8th place and posting a 1.01.17 in the process. Then it was on to the challenge of the Open Solo’s/
Race 1 saw Chris trying to hang on to the back of Neil Needham #33 & John Morgan #27 but just couldn’t quite manage to keep the tow and for the later stages ran on his own coming home 15th (12th in class) and producing a best lap of 1.00.98
Race 2 saw Chris dicing early on with Stuart Dale #71 and John again and as the they took the flag Coops had improved overall position (12th), in class position (10th) and lap time with a 1.00.96 and take his championship points total to 7.
With the usual punishing schedule of 4 races in a day Dave was up against thing in both classes, in the Peak Cup he was the only 600 machine and in the F600 championship the 4-way battle with Joe Walton, Dave Carson and Rich Baker was to be one of the most spectacular of the day.
In the Peak Cup Dave is lying in an astonishing 5th place in the championship and on Sunday was the only 600 in a field of 12, a solid 8th place and a lap time of very low 59’s must have been a pleasing way to start the day that would sadly end in disaster.
The first Formula 600 race saw the top 4 separated by only 6 seconds as Rich took the win closely followed by Joe, Dave #88 and M7 Dave just off the podium but with confidence high going into the afternoon’s points race.
After everyone had had chance to catch their breath at the lunch-break Stockport’s Dave was next out in the Peak Cup against the bigger bikes and after running strongly for the opening laps it sadly wasn’t to be his day and he unfortunately recorded a D.N.F but there was worse to come.
By general spectator consensus the 2nd Formula 600 & Pre-Injection 600 was the one not to miss as the top 4 looked to resume their battle on track.
With Rich and Joe trading places Dave sat on their tail and counted the laps down while Dave Carson #88 was rapidly closing them in, as they came past me at Park all 3 were in the same shot with Dave a split second behind them and then the marshals radios crackled into life. The red flags were out immediately and ambulances and medics rushed from all corners of the circuit as Dave Carson rolled slowly round to Park to explain what he had just seen.
All 3 came down heavily after Rich lost the front end at Townleys leaving Joe, and then Dave, with nowhere to go.
Dave and Joe have a few superficial injuries. Battered, bruised, no championship points and with a fair few bike repairs to make but far more importantly for the main part are ok. As of today (Tuesday) I haven’t seen anything regarding Rich but it goes without saying that we hope there is no lasting damage.