Montrose man Bruce Birnie returns to East Fortune circuit

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Bruce Birnie from Montrose made his return to East Fortune after four years when the Melville Club hosted the first two rounds of the Scottish Motorcycle Championship, with a busy 28-race programme.

The weekend produced some close competitive racing in all classes with dominant performances all weekend from Haddington’s Paul McClung, who this year has moved up to the Superbike class, racing a BMW 1000RR motorcycle.

He qualified in pole position and won all four of his races with tough competition from the returning Birnie and Torquil Paterson, both of whom are previous Scottish Champions.

McClung’s quickest lap time was 59.2 seconds on Saturday and he was hoping to improve on this on Sunday but wasn’t able to as the track temperature was lower.

Birnie was back at East Fortune after an absence of four years and as well as being runner-up to McClung three times in Superbikes, he also was runner-up three times in the Formula 600 class and picked up three fourth places in Scottish Lightweights.

Saturday’s last Superbike race was brought to an abrupt end while the racers were on the grid waiting to start the race when a deer was running around the track.

The race was held over until Sunday morning because of the 6pm curfew.

Another hold-up on Saturday afternoon came on the sixth lap of the Junior Post Classics’ race when Simon Payling crashed, uninjured, at Railway.

His bike had leaked oil all along the Linton Straight so the marshals had a huge clearing up job to do before the sidecars could go out.