Ballymoney’s Paul Robinson capped his final ever Irish road racing appearance in perfect style as he won the Moto3/125 race at Killalane on Sunday to secure the championship crown.
Robinson told the News Letter last month that he planned to hang up his helmet at the end of the season and said winning the Irish title at Killalane would represent a fitting note on which to bow out.
He trailed Derek McGee by nine points going into the final race, but Robinson overcame the deficit by taking the win while Mullingar man McGee could only manage to finish fourth behind Melissa Kennedy.
Gary Dunlop took the runner-up spot on the Joey’s Bar Honda behind Robinson as the championship reached a dramatic conclusion at the East Coast Festival, which is sponsored this year by hit TV show Mrs Brown's Boys.
Robinson, who is a former winner at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix, said he felt the time was right to call time on his career for the sake of his five-year-old son Max. His own father, Mervyn Robinson, died in a crash at the North West 200 in 1980.
The death of his cousin, William Dunlop, at Skerries in July also caused him to question his continued participation in the sport.
Speaking before Killalane, he said: “I’ve had a long career and I’ve been thinking that I don’t want to leave my wee boy the way I was left myself – a five-year-old growing up and asking questions later in his life like, ‘what if my dad was still here?’
“I don’t want him being in a situation where he would be asking what life would have been like if I hadn’t raced.
“I know what it is like because the only real memories I have of my own dad have come from other people – not one of those memories are my own. I do have a few little memories, but nothing really much because I was so young. I don’t want that for Max,” he added.
“It’s been on my mind for a little while now and after what happened to William, that was the final nail in the coffin for me: I’ve had enough of it now.”
Robinson will still remain involved with motorcycle road racing in 2019 after revealing he intends to run his own team.
An experienced competitor, he won 125cc races at British level and finished second and third overall in the championship in 2000 and 2001.