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Fingal’s hopes focused on Thomas O’Grady at Masters finale

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Andrew Whearty is just 9 points behind Jamie Collins in the Superbike Cup Championship. Photo Jack Corry

Andrew Whearty is just 9 points behind Jamie Collins in the Superbike Cup Championship. Photo Jack Corry

Jamie Collins leads the Superbike Cup from Andrew Whearty by just 9 points going into the final at Mondello this weekend. Photo Jack Corry

Jamie Collins leads the Superbike Cup from Andrew Whearty by just 9 points going into the final at Mondello this weekend. Photo Jack Corry

Josh Elliott tries to defy physics during a brilliant 600 race at Mondello, and he leads the Supersport 600 championship by just 19 points. Photo Jack Corry

Josh Elliott tries to defy physics during a brilliant 600 race at Mondello, and he leads the Supersport 600 championship by just 19 points. Photo Jack Corry

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Andrew Whearty is just 9 points behind Jamie Collins in the Superbike Cup Championship. Photo Jack Corry

fingalindependent

WITH only a few meetings left in the 2022 season, we look forward to the finale of the Dunlop Mondello Masters this coming weekend, when we hope that Lusk rider Thomas O’Grady can make it a double in the Superbike and Supertwin championships.

O’Grady also leads the MCI Southern Star in both of these classes, and should he take the win, especially in the Superbike, he will join Skerries rider Micko Sweeney in becoming local Superbike champions on the roads and circuits.

Thomas has slowly worked his way to the top of the Superbike class, and having finished third and second in the previous two championships, the icing will be on the cake for the brilliant Lusk rider should he succeed.

The shootout for the 2022 Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship is set to be the most hotly contested in the championship’s history, as the series heads to its final event with 12 of the 14 categories still to be decided.

The final weekend of the season takes place on the Mondello Park International Track, with each class racing three times and all championships concluding on Sunday.

Spectators will be able to watch Sunday’s conclusion live on the Megabikes Superstore Big Screen. The screen will be situated opposite the main straight grandstand, and will show the Maxus and Harris Group livestream on Sunday, ensuring that fans won’t miss any of the drama as the championship shootout unfolds.

In the premier Superbike class four riders are still battling for the title.

Having started 2022 without a race win, Thomas O’Grady, riding the EICL Yamaha, has now racked up three wins from the last six races to move into the series lead. The 2021 runner-up takes a slender three-point advantage into the shootout, with former champion Derek Sheils, on the Road House Macau BMW, as his closest challenger.

Sitting third is Yamaha-mounted Alan Kenny, with the experienced racer having also opened his win account this season. Kenny is currently 24 points in arrears, but with three races left and 25 points for a win he can’t be discounted.

The final rider with a chance of victory is TAG VTL Honda-mounted Emmet O’Grady. He would need all of the top three to have disastrous weekends in order to lift the title, but anything could still happen.

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The Superbike ‘Cup’ for less experienced riders is a two-way fight between Cork rider Jamie Collins, on his MD Racing-prepared Suzuki, and the BMW of Meath’s Andrew Whearty.

If both riders were to run into problems the only other racer who could pick up the pieces is Daniel Matheson, and should it be wet Matheson is a classy rider in those conditions.

The Supersport division has been finely balanced all season and is now down to just three contenders following teenager AJ Carey’s crash, which put him out of all three races at the August event.

With Carey out of the picture, three riders can still be the champion, but more than likely the title will go to either the AKR Thomas Bourne Racing Honda of former British Superbike race winner Josh Elliott, or Emmett O’Grady on the Harris Group Yamaha R6.

Waiting in the wings in case the top two slip up is 19-year-old Jonny Campbell with his Magic Bullet Yamaha.

Despite crashing out in August, Carey still remains in contention in the Supersport ‘Cup’ class. Tralee’s Jack O’Grady leads the way by 12 points from Carey, with Dean Lacey also in the mix. Meath man Jason Floody and Darren Clarke still have a mathematical chance of taking the title, but in reality they will be targeting Lacey’s third place.

Just two championships have so far been decided. Noel Dunne jnr has wrapped up the Pre-Injection 600 class, with the Carlow man taking nine wins and five seconds places from 15 rounds.

Also secure in his division is Junior rider Reuben Sherman Boyd. The 13-year-old has been unbeaten so far in the DM Groundworks and FJS Plant Moto 1 Junior Category and will come to Mondello Park looking to keep up his 100% record.

Amongst the supporting cast, a number of battles stand out as ones to be watched.

The season-long tussle in the Principal Insurance Production Twin class has produced many photo finishes between the top two, Nathan McGauran and Brandon Kavanagh.

McGauran currently holds the lead and only needs to finish directly behind Kavanagh in each race to be crowned champion.

In Supertwins, Thomas O’Grady currently has his Noel Williamson Racing Aprilia 23 points clear of Darragh Crean with his similar Aprillia.

The Future Stars championship for riders aged 20 and under is led by Nathan McGauran from AJ Carey, Rossi Dobson and Reuben Sherman Boyd, with all four in contention for the €5,000 prize fund which will be split amongst the top three.

The MCI Southern Star used to be a season-long championship, but is now reduced to the final two rounds of the Masters, and in the Superbike class Thomas O’Grady has a 16-point lead over a three-way tie for second between Derek Sheils, Alan Kenny and Josh Elliott.

In the Supertwin Class, O’Grady has an 11-point lead over Darragh Crean, with Rush barber Vinny Brennan just one point behind Crean.

To say it has been a poor season for Brennan is an understatement, by his standards, and hopefully his terrible bad luck will change for him even this late in the year.

With so many Masters championship titles up for grabs, the final weekend of the 2022 Dunlop Masters should be a cracker. For all information see www.masterssuperbike.ie.

Keep ‘er lit!


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