Paul Robinson hangs up his leathers after last ever race

Paul Robinson hung up his leathers for good at Bishopscourt on Saturday after competing in his final ever race.
Paul Robinson hung up his leathers for good at Bishopscourt on Saturday after competing in his final ever race.

Ballymoney man Paul Robinson has hung up his leathers for good after competing in his last ever races at the Sunflower Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt on Saturday.

Robinson completed his final road race last month at Killalane in County Dublin, where he won on his Moto3 Honda machine to secure the Irish Championship in fitting style.

The 43-year-old had trailed Mullingar’s Derek McGee by nine points going into the final race at Killalane, but Robinson overcame the deficit by clinching the victory he needed while McGee could only manage to finish fourth.

Robinson, a former winner at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix, took the decision to quit for the sake of his his five-year-old son, Max.

He said the death of his cousin, William Dunlop, at the Skerries 100 in July had been the final straw.

Robinson’s father and Armoy Armada member, Mervyn, was killed in a crash at the North West 200 in 1980.

After participating in his last race meeting at the weekend, Robinson – who finished fourth and fifth in the Moto3 races – told the News Letter: “It definitely felt like my final race on Saturday. My mum came on Saturday for the first time ever and she has never, ever watched me race before.

“She came because it was my last race and I’d have liked to have finished higher up, but I wasn’t going to do anything silly either.

“I was a bit disappointed with the second race because I wanted to give it a bit of a go, but then the tyre went off after about four laps.

“I should have had a new one in to be honest, but I didn’t and I was out of the seat twice, so I decided that it was better to finish my last race than end up sliding down the road,” he added.

“The red mist did come down at the start of the second race, there is no doubt, but once I had a few out-of-the-seat moments it calmed me down a bit and I just finished the race.”

Robinson, though, said his final weeks in the sport could not have panned out any better after he clinched a title double.

“Yes, everything I hoped to do before the season ended worked out as good as can be. We got the Moto3 title at Killalane and won the race, and we managed to win the short circuit title as well,” he said.

“Gary (Dunlop) made me work hard at Killalane. He passed me a few times on the brakes and then I thought there was no point in sitting there on the last lap, so I tried to get a move on and I managed to open a bit of a gap.

“He didn’t make it easy for me, that’s for sure!”

Robinson still plans to remain involved in the sport next year, when he hopes to run his own team.