Motorbike aces are off to a flying start

Anthony Porter in action at Darley Moor.
Anthony Porter in action at Darley Moor.

Darley Moor Motorcycle Road Race Club’s season got under way on Sunday with the Pre 98 machines beginning proceedings.

Kevin Cooper took the chequered flag in his first outing in the class by almost seven seconds from Gavin Heath (Leek) although Heath was given a ten-second penalty for jumping the start.

Cooper recorded another victory in the second encounter, but, on this occasion, Heath was only two seconds adrift at the flag.

Of the local riders, steel-framed 600 Champion Chris Sammons continued his 2010 form into the new season, taking both wins in the combined Steel Framed/Lightweight races.

The victory spoils for the Lightweights were shared between Rob Hodson and Ben Godfrey, their battle in the first race, along with current champion Chris Spooner being a real crowdpleaser, the three separated by less than one second at the flag.

Paul Martin took the Sound of Thunder honours with victory on his 1150cc machine from Derbyshire’s Ant Porter on his Mini Sound of Thunder machine by two seconds. Shane Pearson took victory in both solo races from Jim Hodson, with Chris Sammons next to the flag on both occasions. However, with a jump start penalty in the first race, Sammons dropped to eighth, handing Lee Vernon third place. Bad luck returned for Vernon in the second, when he failed to complete the second lap.

The Formula 600 class always has the largest field and this weekend was no exception. Richard Wardle led the charge taking both wins from Jim Hodson by less than 1.5 seconds, with Rikki Owen third each time.

The first Formula Darley (formerly 400/650 Class) race recorded the closest finish of the day, Ant Porter taking the chequered flag from Gary Dangerfield by just 0.26 sec, with reigning champion Chris Spooner taking third. place. The second race saw Porter take the win again, with Spooner and Dangerfield swapping places, second and third respectively.

Round Two of the Darley Moor Championship is to take place on Easter Monday, April 25. Practice begins at 10am with the first race expected at 11.30am.