Jordan Dunne: ‘My mother worries like crazy when I’m on the bike’

If you’ve ever travelled the South Ring road that skirts Cork City, particularly on a weekend, you may have heard the engines scrambling and the occasional guttural roar from up behind the Kinsale road roundabout.

Jordan Dunne: ‘My mother worries like crazy when I’m on the bike’

And there’s no mistaking the roar of a 450cc KTM or a Kawasaki in full flight.

This weekend will be noisier than most up there as Vernon Mount hosts the 2017 Irish Motocross Championships for youths and adults for the first time on consecutive days. Tomorrow is all about the youth categories while Sunday is set to attract one of the strongest adult fields in years.

One man with eyes on the top prize is 20-year-old Cork native Jordan Dunne. He began riding at the age of four when he got a Yamaha PW50 for Christmas. Since then he has collected a host of titles — and medical bills.

The apprentice mechanic at CAB has broken his leg, collarbone, a few fingers, along with having a foot peg lodged in his pelvis.

“My mother worries like crazy when I’m on the bike but she fell out of the barn shed at home and broke her ankle so now she has to keep quiet,” laughs the youngster.

He’s riding in the MX1 category this weekend and that means a 450cc Husqvarna bike (under the CCM Racing banner), one that can reach 100kph in four seconds and costs €12,000 fully kitted out.

His mother has reason to worry when he’ll hit 120kph in a 50-rider race on a technical course that includes ramps and sharp descents.

But these words merely rev up one of the fastest men in the game in Ireland.

“That buzz when you’re on the start or nailing a 120-foot jump for the first time, getting the chequered flag for a race win, the noise, the passion, the speed, it’s such an exciting sport to watch but when you’re out there it’s even better,” he says.

This weekend is more special than most.

“I grew up around Vernon Mount and I’m friends with everybody in the club. This weekend will have the fastest guys and the best bikes in the country and it’s serious racing. It’s is a solo sport, you’re on your own out there but when you’ve got people all over the track waving you on as you pass, that’s the biggest boost you can get,” he added.

Moto cross Jordan Dunne (left) and David Galvin Jnr (right) both won domestic championships last year in Grade A.
Moto cross Jordan Dunne (left) and David Galvin Jnr (right) both won domestic championships last year in Grade A.

One plus for him this weekend is one of his biggest challengers, David Galvin Jnr. misses out as he’s focusing on his Leaving Cert. But there’s plenty others to worry about.

Richard Bird from Lisburn has been top three for almost a decade and along with fellow northern Irishman Robert Hamilton will be amongst the podium favourites.

Last year’s winner John Meara is struggling with a shoulder injury although he could make an appearance while the KTM pair of Jim O’Neil and Stephan Mullally are both likely to challenge.

Tomorrow will be see the 125/250cc categories decided and a number of cracking battles are expected. Carlow native Keelan Gates (KTM) was one of the most impressive young riders last season mixing it up with some of the top adults while Conor Mullan is after making the jump up from the 85cc class to the 125cc and the County Down man will be full of hope after making the long journey south.

Dervidas Ravitas (Suzuki) and Jordan Toland on the 105 Kawasaki are just others who should feature.

Youth racing will begin in Vernon Mount at 11am tomorrow while the adult categories start at the same time on Sunday.

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