Title contender Dean to the fore at East Fortune

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John Dean of Hawick kept his lead in the Scottish Superbike Championship with four decisive wins out of four at East Fortune last weekend.

With previous leader and last year’s superbike champion Andrew Tasker absent and likely to be out for the remainder of the season, Dean took full advantage and qualified on pole, and he is now looking to clinch the title.

Dean, who has 200 points, 69 points ahead of Tasker, said: “We have now won the Melville Superbike Club Championship and the Melville Superbike Open Championship.

“That’s two out of the five championships we participate in secured.

“The next round is at Knockhill on September 3 and 4. We should hopefully be able to secure the Scottish Superbike Championship in the first race of the weekend, fingers crossed, as we only require six points to have a long enough lead that no one could close the gap.

“We will also be looking to move up the standings in the KMSC Superbike Championship.

“Big thanks to all my sponsors who make this happen. We couldn’t do it without you all.”

It was a weekend of mixed race conditions at East Fortune Race Circuit with heavy showers on Saturday afternoon making tyre choices difficult for some racers.

Due to stoppages, several Saturday races were run first thing on Sunday when thankfully it stayed dry and sunny, allowing for plenty of fast and furious racing, with the full programme being completed.

Haddington’s Paul McClung enjoyed another superb weekend, having qualified in pole position in the Scottish Lightweights class and winning all four of his races by large margins over second- placed Gillian McGaw.

McClung also set a new lap record for the Lightweights class of 1:01.822, beating the previous record of 1:02.508 held by himself.

He left the circuit leading both the Scottish Lightweights and the Melville Championship with maximum points in both classes.

The large grid of sidecars provided plenty of entertaining, fast and furious racing and included several FSRA pre-injection bikes with racers travelling from England and the Isle of Man including a couple of legends, the 10-times TT winner Rob Fisher and passenger Rick Long.

Michael Hoskisson and passenger Scott Hardie qualified on pole and won the first two races while Phil Bell and Ross Jackman from the north- east of England won both Sunday races. The popular TT legends’ best finishes were two third places on Sunday.

Despite Torquil Paterson (Perth) qualifying fifth on his Superstock 600 bike, he won two of the four races and finished third in another.

Ewan Gray of Brechin won both Sunday races and he and Paterson were involved in a hard-fought battle during Sunday’s last 600 race, swapping the lead several times until Paterson took a tumble at the chicane during the eighth lap, after which the race was red-flagged with Gray declared the winner and Callum Grigor runner-up.

Gray leads the championship on 200 points, with Paterson in second place with 40 fewer points.

Paterson’s young son Lewis is getting to grips with the Lightweights class, having gained two good third-place finishes on Sunday.

Race winners in different classes included Duncan Baillie, Andy Dunnet, Rishon Hickey and Jodie Chalk.

Thanks are extended to marshals, medics, volunteers and to commentators, Ian Robertson and Penicuik’s inimitable chatterbox, Mose Hutchinson.

The next meeting at East Fortune will be the weekend of September 17/18 when 
the prestigious Steve Hislop Memorial Trophy race will take place.