Thoresby motorbike racer Mark Ess storms to Auto66 victory
NORTH Thoresby motorbike racer Mark Ess has an Auto66 title victory after lifting the Northern Junior Championship crown.
Ess secured the spoils with two rounds of the championship remaining after closest rival Robert Wilson, from Immingham, was forced to retire from the final rounds due to injury.
Riding his Hi-Lite Signs Yamaha OW01 bike, Ess had built up an unassailable lead thanks to some dominant performances earlier in the campaign.
The final two rounds at Cadwell Park didn't offer the homecoming title parade Ess might have been hoping for but, with the title already in the bag, the overjoyed racer was happy to bow out with his head held high.
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"The weather conditions at Cadwell were appalling for all the riders, not to mention the poor marshalls," said Ess.
"We endured freezing temperatures, hail, snow, rain and next-to-no grip – but it was the same for everyone."
On the first day at Cadwell, Ess won the first race by 8.2 seconds, but had to retire in the second when a front-wheel bearing failed.
From the back of the grid, he fought through the field to finish second in the final race of the day.
The following morning, he again won the first race, only to retire in the second – this time because a gear-change mechanism had come free.
Ess added: "Somebody was telling me something – the bike was 100 per cent reliable all season, but everything at Cadwell was telling me to go home while still in one piece – which I then duly did!"
The racer thanked his family and sponsors for their support.
"Hi-Lite Signs, Peter Day and Paul Duffy gave me the support I needed to get the job done," he said. "My wife, Caroline, and my son, Oscar, made sure I kept a level head, and supported me through it all. Thanks to my dad, Dave, too for his continued help and support."