MOTOCROSS: Richard Bird takes the overall lead

Richard Bird leads MX1 Michelin  Experts Championship.
Richard Bird leads MX1 Michelin Experts Championship.

Lisburn’s Richard Bird leads the 2018 MX1 Michelin Experts Nationals British Championship after four straight victories at Preston Docks at the weekend.

The 31 year-old from Lisburn riding the Five-Five Sport 450 Watt KTM went in to round two of the series two points behind the championship leader Ryan Crowder on the 450 Husqvarna but left Preston Docks with a thirteen point advantage heading into round three this weekend at Hawkstone Park.

Ryan Mawhinney finished second  overall in the big wheel 85cc class at Preston Docks.

Ryan Mawhinney finished second overall in the big wheel 85cc class at Preston Docks.

“It was a great weekend all round,” said Richard. “I qualified second fastest which I was pleased with.

“In my four races I made decent starts and at a track where it is difficult to pass I just took my time and waited for an opportunity to hit the front.

“When I did I was able to pull away to win quite comfortably.

“The only problem all weekend was the blistering heat and a track that got very rough near the end of the meeting but all in all I’m happy and looking forward to this weekend.”

Kris Rea claims first podium of the  year at Preston Docks.

Kris Rea claims first podium of the year at Preston Docks.

Ballymoney’s Jordan McCaw finished ninth overall on the Unique Fit Out Husqvarna.

Fifteen year-old Ryan Mawhinney from Belfast was on top form in the big-wheel 85cc class finishing the weekend as runner up to English rider Jack Grayshon.

The Dundonald High School pupil could have taken the overall win had it not been for a puncture in in race three that forced him to nurse home the Hitachi KTM UK in fifth.

“It was a little disappointing,” said Ryan who currently lies second in the championship.

“I won race one quite easily and was pushing Jack Grayshon for the lead in race two when I slipped off and finished second.

“I won race four but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to take the overall”

Ballyclare’s Kris Rea, younger brother of triple World Superbike Champion Jonathan was on the rostrum for the first time this year in the MX2 Clubmans class on his 250f Kawasaki after a second two thirds and a tenth place finish was good enough for third overall.

“I’m happy with a podium after finishing tenth in race one,” said Kris.

“I was third fastest in qualifying but in race one I suffered badly from arm pump and dropped from third to tenth by the flag.

“A few changes to the bike helped in the rest of my races and although I dropped back a little at the end of each of them I was still able to stay inside the top three.

“It’s my first podium of the series and I’m now looking forward to this weekend at Hawkstone.”

In the MX2 Pro Glenoe’s Glenn McCormick, the reigning MX2 Experts Champion had a tough day on his Watt KTM, qualifying ninth fastest and finishing ninth overall which leaves him eighth in the title race behind Buildbase Honda’s Brad Anderson.

“I reckon I could have made the top four in race one if I hadn’t got dirt in my goggles and couldn’t see,” explained Glenn.

“Seventh in race one then I was involved in a pile up in the second moto that left me dead last and in the extreme heat I struggled to ninth.”

Loughbrickland’s Jason Meara, lost the championship lead in MX2 Experts class after he came off the worse from a six-rider pile up off the start line in his second race.

With the throttle hanging off his Watt KTM he had to retire from the race and despite winning race three and finishing fourth and third in his other two races he now trails new leader Tom Grimshaw by thirteen points.

His brother Cailum now lies fifth in the MXY2 after finishing sixth overall at Preston Docks.