The Devitt RC Express Racing team had a successful start to their 2016 season this weekend with Ivan Lintin and Alan Bonner both recording excellent results at Oliver’s Mount,Scarborough despite challenging conditions.
The highlight over the course of the two days was Lintin’s victory in Saturday’s Super Lightweight race whilst he backed this up with podiums in Sunday’s Senior and 600cc races. Bonner, meanwhile, was making just his second appearance at Oliver’s Mount and rode excellently to take sixth and seventh place finishes in the two Senior races.
Conditions at the North Yorkshire venue were at their worst on Saturday with persistent rain and cold temperatures resulting in a distinct lack of grip around the 2.43-mile circuit and Ivan opened the Bristol-based team’s account for the weekend with a steady fourth in the opening Supersport 600cc race. He then recorded a dominant win in the Super Lightweight race, taking victory by over eight seconds on the new-for-2016 ER6 650ccKawasaki.
The final race of the day for the team was the Senior which again saw Ivan take the chequered flag in fourth. Alan had his only outing of the day and put in a measured ride to bring theKawasakiZX-10R Superstock home in a fine seventh place.
Sunday saw a lot better weather and although the track remained damp in places conditions were a lot more agreeable for all concerned. The second Senior race got proceedings underway and Ivan was in contention for victory all the way as no less than two seconds covered the leading group of four. He moved up to second at half race distance for another podium finish with Alan’s lap times being similar to the leading riders as he rode superbly to come through the field for sixth.
Ivan then took another second place in the Supersport race which was followed by the feature Bob Smith Spring Cup Open race. However, the race was only two laps old when Lee Johnston crashed at the Memorial which brought the red flag out. It was restarted only to be stopped with less than half a lap completed after another crash, this time involving Billy Redmayne and Dave Hewson and with medical services having left the circuit, the remainder of the meeting had to be cancelled.
Ivan Lintin: “It’s been a successful weekend and I’ve got to be happy with how the two days have gone. The Supertwin is a brand new machine for this season and it’s certainly ticking all the boxes whilst I’m confident of giving a good account of myself on the 600 especially when we have a faster engine fitted for the North West 200 and TT. It wasn’t ideal weather to have my first run out on the 2016 Kawasaki stocker but it feels like an absolute weapon and I’m just looking forward to some dry track time on it. We plan to get some track days done over the next couple of weeks so when we arrive at the North West we can hit the ground running.”
Alan Bonner: “I only got a handful of laps in on my debut last year so the track’s really new to me and the conditions were a shame for everyone this weekend. With the weather on Saturday being so poor, I qualified down the field which made it hard coming through the pack but we made progress in many areas this weekend and I feel really comfortable on the Superstock bike. It was very slippery out there so you couldn’t be aggressive but to take sixth and seventh is very pleasing given where I started. It was good to get back into the flow of racing and I’m really looking forward to the North West 200 now.”
Ben Constable, Team Co-owner: “It’s been an impressive weekend all round for the team despite the challenging conditions. It was Alan’s first proper outing at the circuit and his first competitive outing with the team and with horrendous conditions in qualifying, it was tough going. But that makes his race results even more impressive as coming through the pack and overtaking at Scarborough isn’t easy. He got better and better with each outing and in Sunday’s race his lap times weren’t that far away from the leaders so we’re very happy.”
“Ivan put in his now customary Oliver’s Mount performances with plenty of podiums and it was great to get a win on the Supertwin. It was the first time the bike had turned a wheel and he’s already really happy with the bike so that bodes well. He was also out on the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R Superstock for the first time and although conditions made it difficult, he learnt a lot with the bike and is confident that with some good, dry track time, he’ll be well to the fore come the Internationals.”
The team now have more testing planned prior to the first International road race of the season, the North West 200, which takes place on May 9-14.
Pictures by Stephen Davison – Pacemaker Press International