By Kyle White, Belfast Newsletter.
Jason Lynn claimed a big bike double at the opening round of the Ulster Superbike Championship at Bishopscourt on Saturday.
The Temple Club’s meeting was the first event on the 2023 Northern Ireland motorcycling calendar and went ahead a little over a week after an eleventh hour insurance deal was agreed by the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre).
Motorcycle racing in Ulster this year had been left in serious jeopardy due to soaring insurance costs, but the new season is finally up and running with a major crisis averted.
Ballymena man Lynn had to settle for second placed in the Ulster Superbike Championship last year behind Alastair Seeley, who also claimed the title in 2021.
However, with Seeley returning to the British championship to ride in the Superstock 1000 class with Moneymore’s TAS Racing team on a SYNETIQ BMW, Lynn is aiming to go one better and bag the title.
The J McC Roofing Kawasaki rider won the first race at the Co Down track by 2.6s from Cork’s Mike Browne, who made an impressive debut on the ex-Ian Hutchinson/TAS Racing BMW M1000RR Superstock machine.
Korie McGreevy, who started on pole, had to settle for third after developing an electrical problem on the McAdoo Kawasaki in his maiden race in the Superbike class.
In race two, road racing prospect Browne made the early running before slipping back to third on lap three, when he was overtaken by Lynn and McGreevy.
Lynn began to open a gap and went on to sew up his second victory by 3.7s to claim the Sam McBride Cup.
McGreevy sealed the runner-up spot but only just, with Browne closing on the final lap and losing out on the line by three hundredths of a second.
Jonny Campbell finished fourth ahead of Emmet O’Grady.
Former British Junior Supersport champion McGreevy won a thrilling opening Supersport race by 0.257s after swapping places with Lynn throughout.
At the finish, McGreevy – who took the lead for the last time on lap seven of eight – held on by two tenths of a second from three-time champion Lynn, who is riding an ex-Alastair Seeley Yamaha R6 in the class this season.
Christian Elkin claimed third on Bob Wylie’s Yamaha ahead of Andrew Smyth and Luke Johnston.
McGreevy then made it a double in race two – his fourth victory of the meeting – beating Lynn by 0.286s with Elkin again third, eight seconds back.
In another frenetic race, Mike Browne – who did not start the first Supersport race – made the early running as spots of rain began to fall.
Browne, though, was out of luck again and slid out of contention as he challenged for the rostrum places on the Burrows Yamaha.
McGreevy also won both Supertwin races on the McAdoo Kawasaki, dominating each by a wide margin as he twice beat Aaron Spence and Darragh Crean respectively.
Teenager Jack Burrows did the double in the Moto3 races on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Honda, while Barry Davidson secured a brace in the Classic races.
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