Motorcycle racing makes long-awaited return
Motorcycle racing returned on Sunday after a yearlong absence because of the global pandemic when the Bermuda Motorcycle Racing Association began its season with new riders, a new class and some intense, high-speed action from the veterans at the Southside Raceway in St David’s.
Neveah Edwards, a newcomer to the series and riding in the Minibike Junior class, held his own as he competed alongside experienced racers on larger bikes within a multi-class grid. On his first race day, Edwards was already showing great promise and dedication to the sport as the only competitor in his class.
The Scooter Mart KTM 125 class made its debut in the series. Race one saw a fierce battle between Jediah Cumbermack and Aiden Lopes with Cumbermack eventually edging out Lopes.
Races two and three shifted with Lopes checking out on the rest of the field from the start to charge ahead as he created a large margin between himself and the other riders before going on to claim victories in both races.
Cumbermack and Norre Robinson repeatedly traded positions in races two and three with some notable hooks throughout. Larson Burchall debuted alongside the KTM class on his Suzuki 125 and had a great run until a spill in race three while pushing to keep pace with the riders ahead of him. Burchall managed to rejoin the race and recovered sufficiently to finish fourth.
BMRA veterans took to the grid in the Scooter Matic and Scooter Open classes. Multiple scooters are still being built off track but the bikes that did come out for the opening day action carved out some of the fastest laps times of the day.
Hall of Famer Edward Cook came out of retirement yet again to have some fun on his four-stroke machine. Alongside him in the Scooter Open class was team-mate Marcus Pimentel on a 100cc two-stroke Piaggio Zip. Veteran Jeneko Place raced on his 220cc four-stroke Piaggio Zip, which is now approved to compete in the Scooter Matic 70 class.
Race one saw Cook rocket off the line, with Place and Pimentel fighting to make up ground. Cook appeared to have an issue around lap five but maintained his lead to the chequered flag.
Pimentel suffered a poor start but was able to close in on Place around lap three where they battled until Place ran into some mechanical issues. Place came back stronger in race two where Cook remained untouchable to take easy wins in races two and three.
Some of the best racing of the day came from Pimentel and Place, who took the lead from his rival in the second race to secure second place.
Race three began with a bit of drama as Place suffered a mechanical issue that forced a restart, after which Pimentel made a comeback until he had his own mechanical issue and decided to bow out of the race to save his machine.
The Bermuda Drag Racing Association ran its first races of the season as part of the BMRA’s opening race day, with Michael Soares the overall winner with his Yamaha Mio 240cc bike with Edward Cook as his rider.
Rick Vesely, owner of the Yamaha Cygnus 215cc, finished second overall with Marcus Pimentel as his rider. Aiden Lopes took third overall on Cook’s Yamaha Cygnus 150cc. All three bikes are run by Team Amsoil/Team Scooter Plus.
The drag strip is 660 feet long and, with more drag bikes being built, the drag series look forward to having more bikes and riders join them at the next race day on June 20.
Anyone interested in entering a bike into the drag race series can contact the Bermuda Drag Racing Association on Facebook or visit www.bmra.bm for more information.
Riders interested in joining the circuit racing series can also register interest on the BMRA’s website. A rental bike programme is available for junior riders who have come through the BMRA’s riding clinic programme to allow for a cost-effective entry point to begin their young racing journeys. Entries are also open for all other race classes, which can be found at the website listed.