Isle of Man TT racer Mark Buckley has enjoyed another strong meeting, just weeks after admitting fears his racing could be ended by a lack of funds, and now heads into his first Manx Grand Prix.
The Scottish ace was in action at the Dundrod 150 and Ulster Grand Prix, and despite a frustrating qualifying, he managed to produce some stunning performances to leave the event on a high.
Luck hasn’t always been on Buckley’s side in 2010, and misfortune hit again at Dundrod as his OTSS Racing Kawasaki picked up an electrical fault in qualifying, leaving Buckley and his team working frantically to ensure he made the grid.
After many hours the team found an aftermarket part fitted to the Supersport machine had failed and caused the electrical fault. Not only did this hamper his Supersport qualifying, but his Superbike qualifying suffered too as his main concern was to get the 600 problem rectified.
Buckley set off from 34th for the first of the week’s races, the Dundrod 150 Superbike. He got his head down from the start and worked his way through the pack until he led the second wave. His pace was so impressive that by the end of the race he crossed the line in 10th place.
It was a great start to the week of racing, and Buckley emulated the result in the first of Saturday’s Ulster GP races, finishing in front of TAS Suzuki rider Cameron Donald for another top 10.
In both Supersport races, Buckley had to start from the second wave, but he wasn’t deterred, quickly working his way through the field in the first race to take taking a three second lead over the rest of the wave at the end of the first lap.
Out on his own, Buckley only had his pit board for reference on how hard to push and crossed the line in a 11th.
The second Supersport race was red flagged half way through, which meant the restart would go on the positions on the previous lap. That gave Buckley a third row start, which he converted to a ninth place finish with a scintillating lap speed of just under 125mph.
“Firstly I need to congratulate Noel and his fantastic team for pulling off the best event of the year. 2009 was such an improvement on recent years, but this year’s event totally eclipsed that.”
“I truly hope that the UGP goes from strength to strength, which after what they have done this year they so deserve. I came away from Dundrod a happy man even after my disappointing qualifying.”
Next up is the Manx Grand Prix, where Buckley will make his debut on a Formula One works replica Suzuki XR69 in the Post-Classic Race.