THE Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship roars into action in Mondello Park this weekend with several Cork riders hoping to impress.
Given the long lay-off it’s not surprising that the entry is brimming with quality. It’s the first time that the season opener will use the Kildare venue where there will be three championship rounds over the International circuit.
Killeagh’s Mike Browne, who dominated the class at the sole event last year, will be amongst the contenders in Supersport class.
More prominent in road racing, Browne will ride for the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing outfit.
Ballyhooly’s Jamie Collins, known as the “Ballyhooly Bullet” is another that should figure prominently in the Supersport category. Kinsale’s Stephen Tobin has a busy programme as he competes in the Supersport class onboard his 600cc Kawasaki ZX6R along with the Moto 400 series where he will ride a Yamaha FZR 400SP. Indeed, it’s the Moto 400 series that he anticipates will give him the best opportunity of being amongst the podium finishers.
Cork is also well represented in the Superbike class with Bandon’s Derek Wilson and Togher’s Ray Casey.
In contrast, Killeady’s Jeff Quilter makes his debut in the Junior Supersport series. The sixteen year old will have the use of the Team #109 KTM motorcycle. Having made some suspension changes he is awaiting delivery of a spring to further improve the bike’s handling capabilities.
Elsewhere, in the Production Twin category Cork is represented by John Paul Gahan from Tullylease and Ballyvolane’s William Roberts; Carraig na Bhfear’s Sean Griffin is on the entry for the Classic Superbikes and Aoife Griffin is amongst the Moto1 line-up. Racing is behind closed doors on Saturday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, Motorsport Ireland has issued a statement regarding the recent karting event at the WhiteRiver Karting Facility in County Louth where an event run by the Tullyallen Kart Club (that attracted some 140 competitors) was stopped by An Garda Síochána.
The statement from John Naylor (president) said, “Motorsport Ireland note that a statement issued by Tullyallen Kart Club referred to an NGB (national governing body) having made a complaint to An Garda Síochána. No such complaint was made by any employee of Motorsport Ireland or indeed, myself.” Asked to clarify that any member/s from any MI Commission/s were not involved in the issue, Motorsport Ireland responded, “No further comments to make at this time from an MI point of view.” Tullyallen Kart Club are not affiliated to an NGB and on Monday night stated that the double rounds of their championship scheduled for Kartworld, Watergrasshill this weekend will not go ahead. The statement added that they are confident that - following discussions with politicians and authorities - that have highlighted the inequality that currently exists in karting, will be rectified.