Monday, August 23

Masters returns to International circuit

 Michael Sweeney leads the Dunlop Masters Superbike race onto the Mondello Park International Track

The Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship heads to Mondello Park for the third instalment of its 2021 championship this coming weekend, August 28th & 29th, where three more rounds will be contested. The event will see the Masters Championship riders tackle the full International Track for the second time this season, while the FIM MiniGP Ireland Series riders will go head to head on a much shortened version of the circuit.

Dubliner Michael Sweeney has been the most improved rider in the Dunlop Superbike championship this season. Having taken his first podium in the class at the opening race of the season, he then followed up with a run of five consecutive second places to lead the series, ahead of former Superbike Champions Derek Sheils and Richie Ryan. Sheils and Ryan have both suffered non-finishes to hand the advantage to the consistent Sweeney. In the Superbike ‘Cup’ championship Evan O’Grady leads Dean O’Grady, but both will have to watch out for the hard charging Shane Connolly who took all three wins at the July event.

The Supersport ranks will be boosted this weekend by the first appearance for a number of years by Michael Dunlop. The Road Racing Superstar has been improving his results on Short Circuits significantly in recent years and will be looking to break up the dominance shown so far this season by Kevin Keyes and Mike Browne. Keyes and Browne lead lead the way in the championship chase well clear of Andrew Murphy. The Supersport Cup battle is very tight, with Jamie Collins just ahead of three riders in joint second place, Robert O’Connell, Eoin Ó’Siochrú and Stephen Tobin.

The Principal Insurance Pre-Injection category will have some new competitors joining the ranks this weekend as the new 1000cc class attracts its first entries of the year. The one litre bikes will run alongside the traditional 600cc machines, which have provided so much entertainment this season with Ian Prendergast, Darryl Sharkey and Noel Dunne all taking wins.

The combined Supertwin and Production Twin grid has been the biggest category in the Masters in 2021 and the usually oversubscribed class is set for a further boost this weekend as the newly formed Masters Supporters Club, a band of local Motorcycle Racing enthusiasts, will provide a prize fund for both classes. €750 will be handed out to the two divisions across the weekends’ three races. The winner of each class will receive €200 with second getting €100 and third €75.

Also on the busy event timetable will be two championships for up and coming young riders, with the DM Groundworks and FJS Plant Junior Championship tackling the full International Circuit, while the FIM MiniGP Ireland riders will race on a specially designed shorter track, encompassing parts of the National and International Track layouts. The remainder of the programme will be filled by Classic Superbikes, Moto 400 and Sidecars.

A limited number of tickets are still available for each day of the event and they must be purchased in advance, as no tickets will be available at the event. For tickets and event information see

Tuesday, August 17

Another New Track For Rea


Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes are heading to a circuit they have not yet raced on for the seventh round of the FIM Superbike World Championship. The all-new WorldSBK venue of Navarra will host the action between 20-22 August

Just two weeks after the first appearance on the calendar for the Autodrom Most another all-new track for the WorldSBK championship, the Circuito de Navarra, will join the long list of circuits to have run at least one WorldSBK round.

The 3.933km long and modern Navarra layout in the north of Spain, located close to the town of Los Arcos features 15 distinct corners of all kinds, but predominantly slower speed technical corners. T1, T4, T5 and T15 are the main exceptions to the tighter sections with T1 providing a very high speed right hander at the end of the main straight.

Both KRT riders and the team have already tested at Navarra in June of this year. When this experience is added to the Barcelona private test held last week, which itself was run just days after the full race action of the Most round, both Rea and Lowes will be well prepared to face this new challenge in Spain head-on.

Based on the evidence of the past few rounds the overall championship battle in 2021 is shaping up to be a close and enthralling one, with the advantage swinging between points leader Rea and his closest challenger Toprak Razgatlioglu. Only three points separate Rea and Razgatlioglu after six rounds and 18 races, with another seven rounds to go.

Lowes is looking to maintain and even enhance his current championship ranking of fourth, and get back onto the podium position he last occupied at his home round of Donington Park in July.

Navarra will be the second of four Spanish tracks to host a WorldSBK round in 2021 and it will become the seventh different track in Spain to host a WorldSBK race weekend across the championship’s history.

After Navarra there will be a break of one weekend before the championship visits a well known venue in France when Magny Cours hosts the eighth round, between 3-5 September.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is nice to go to Navarra, another new circuit for us. Unlike Most we have actually had a test there, a couple of months ago. I enjoyed the track but it seemed quite bumpy then. Now it seems the circuit have addressed some of the problems we faced. My rhythm and pace was pretty good there so I am quite curious to see, with everybody on track, how competitive everyone will be. I feel that with our Ninja ZX-10RR we can be strong. The idea is to start on Friday with a base set-up but also factoring in some ideas we tried at a previous test at Barcelona. I am excited for that and the aim is to have a really good race weekend.”

Monday, July 19


Dunlop Masters admits fans for the first time since 2019

The Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship will get to race in front of an audience for the first time in almost two years when the championship visits the Mondello Park National Track this weekend, Saturday July 24th and Sunday July 25th.

The second event of the 2021 series will see three more rounds of the championship contested with Superbike and Supersport racers competing for an additional prize fund and additional awards, as the Leinster Motor Club present their Leinster 200 and Leinster 100 trophies to the winners of race three for Superbike and Supersport. The Masters will also support the MCUI's new FIM MiniGP Ireland Series for 10 to 14 year old's by including it on its timetable.

The long awaited return of spectators, albeit in small numbers, will add another attraction to the event for the growing numbers of competitors racing in the Masters. Along with having an audience to race in front of, each class will have its own perpetual trophy to compete for as the Leinster Motor Club will present eleven of their historic trophies, some dating back almost a century to the beginning of Irish Motorcycle Racing history.

Race two for Superbikes, their first race on Sunday, will also carry a perpetual cup, as the winner will lift the Edward Reddy Memorial Trophy. The trophy, along with the addition of €1,800 to the event prize fund, has been organised by the Masters Supporters Club, a group of motorcycle racing enthusiasts who have clubbed together to support Irish Motorcycle Racing.

Spectator numbers will be limited to 200 per day and tickets will only available on-line in advance of the event. Those fans lucky enough to obtain tickets will be treated to the biggest grids yet seen at the Masters. The opening event had more than 180 competitors with the Superbike, Supersport and Twins classes all oversubscribed.

The weekend will commence with Qualifying on Saturday morning and the first of Saturdays races, before the track gets changed into MiniGP mode for the junior riders to practice. Following a lunch break MiniGP qualifying will take place before the track reverts to its full layout for the Masters races. Saturday’s timetable will finish off with the opening race for MiniGP Ireland.

The remaining MiniGP races are scheduled for early Sunday morning and Sunday lunch time with the rest of the timetable taken up by Masters warm-ups followed by racing from 10:25. Each class will race twice on Sunday with the Superbike and Supersport races taking centre stage.

For more information, the event timetable, event programme and ticket information see

Wednesday, July 7

Wheelie Wednesday

 Today’s Wheelie Wednesday is current McAdoo rider Darryl Tweed leathering the Faugheen 50 Honda at the Munster 100 in Glanmire.

Good luck in Armoy Darryl!

Monday, July 5

Road Racers take to the Circuits


With only weeks to go until the Neil & Donny Robinson Memorial races at Bishopscourt on Saturday/Sunday 17/18 July, quite a few road racers have entered for this event. Both Neil and Donny were front runners at both circuits and roads, so it is fascinating to see the road racers supporting this event.

Fresh from his win at the Mondello Masters, Adam McLean, onboard the McAdoo Racing /MSS Kawasaki will add spice to the event, whilst Michael ‘Micko’ Sweeney, a podium finisher in the Superbike races at the Masters has also signalled his intentions to compete.

Cork rider, Mike Browne will compete in both 600 and Moto 3 races; he will ride his own 600 Kawasaki and will be on board the Joeys Bar Honda in the Moto 3 race.

Manx Grand Prix winner, Darryl Tweed, along with Armoy sensation Ryan Fenton, will pit their skills with the short circuit riders, as will Paul Gartland, Dean Campbell, Andy McAlister and Damian Horan but to name a few.

The Chawke brothers, James and Liam will also be on the starting line, Joe Loughlin, who recently took in the opening round of the British 600 Supersport class at the Oulton Park BSB meeting, will also participate in this meeting, Joe will competing in the 600 class

Thomas Maxwell will also be out to gain more track time in preparation for the forthcoming Armoy and Cookstown 100 road races.

Club member Barry Davison will be in action in the classic races where he will meet up with arch-rival, Mark Johnston.

Spectator passes will remain on sale until race day. Please check out Mid Antrim 150 FB Page for more details.



Monday, July 29

More strong performances from Irwin brothers at Snetterton BSB round

Irish Motorcycle Racing stars Caolán and Rhys Irwin once again proved their ability with strong but very different performances at the latest rounds of the British Superbike Championship at Snetterton, Norfolk, on Saturday and Sunday July 20th and 21st. Rhys was back in British Talent Cup action while Caolán was running in the British National Superstock 600 class.

The Donegal youngsters had another positive weekend with Caolán just missing out on a podium in the Superstock class while Rhys showed his ability to overcome a set back with two strong fightbacks from last on the grid following a qualifying crash.

Having made his debut in the Superstock 600 championship at Knockhill two weeks previously, Rhys was back in British Talent Cup action once again at Snetterton. Having started steadily in practice the Donegal teenager was ready to challenge for the top spot in qualifying and set the fastest time of the session on his fifth lap. Unfortunately he then crashed out on lap six and as the track dried all of his rivals went quicker to leave him on the back row of the grid for both races.

A strong run in Saturday's race one saw Rhys run as high as eleventh but he then dropped back to finish thirteenth as his set up did not suit the drying track. Race two went much better as the Irish rider climbed to seventh place at the flag just failing to catch the group battling for third place. Two more points scoring finishes mean that Rhys heads for the final two events, which support the Czech and British MotoGP rounds, with a chance of taking third in the Talent Cup championship.

Speaking after race two, Rhys said, “I really made it hard for myself with my crash in Qualifying. I was left having to start from the back of the grid with a limited chance to adapt the bike to the conditions, but I was happy with the speed I showed and the number of places I made up, particularly in the second race. We're off to Brno next as a support to MotoGP and I'm aiming to impress there and hopefully move myself into contention for a top three finish to the championship.”

Caolán Irwin continued his progress in the Superstock 600 class as he achieved his best qualifying position of the season to line up on the front row of the grid for the first time. A steady start to the single championship round put the Donegal rider in third place on his Ready4Racing Kawasaki and he remained in the thick of the battle throughout.

Moving up to second at half distance Caolán held the runner-up spot going onto the final lap but was pushed wide by an overtaking move by the third placed rider leading to him dropping two places to finish fourth, just shy of his second podium of the season.

“I cant believe I'm disappointed with a fourth placed finish” was Caolán's reaction after the race. “earlier this season I'd have taken it if you'd offered me a fourth place finish before any of my races, but now its a measure of the progress that we've made that's it's a disappointing not to make the podium. I have to thank the team for all the hard work they've put in and for their faith in me when things weren't going so well. I also have to thank all of my sponsors especially Wesley of Clean Rubber, Oasis Bar, PCRS Bikesport and everyone else who helps me out.”

The Irwin Racing brothers will both be back in action over the first weekend in August with Caolán in Superstock action at Thruxton, UK and Rhys on British Talent Cup duty in Brno in the Czech Republic.

Richie Ryan and Brian McCormack dominate Dunlop Masters at Mondello Park

Kilkenny's Richie Ryan was back to his best at Rounds 10 – 12 of the Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship at Mondello Park this weekend (July 27th & 28th) as he took two wins and a second place to grab back the championship lead from his Antrim rival Luke Johnston by a single point. In the Supersport championship, Cork's Raymond Casey continues to lead the way but his margin is now reduced as Waterford rider Brian McCormack took a hat-trick of wins.

McCormack took Superbike pole on his ON1 Racing BMW, from the Mobil 1 Yamaha of Ryan and Johnston's Unlimited Industries BMW and by mid way in race one it looked like the Tramore man would continue the dominance he showed on his last visit to Mondello Park as he led from Ryan. A strong late race challenge from the reigning champion almost stopped McCormack but he held on to win by three tenths of second, with Johnston third.

Ryan's strong pace in race one gave him pole for race two which he converted into an early lead over McCormack. The top two battled it out for the entire race but it was the Kilkenny man who took the spoils despite a number of overtaking attempts by McCormack. Johnston came home third ahead of Dubliner Thomas O'Grady and the much improved TAG Honda of Emmet O'Grady from Tralee.

The final race grid saw Ryan, McCormack and Johnston line up on the second row but the reversed grid did not last long as by the end of lap one, McCormack was once again hounding Ryan with Johnston third. By half distance the three were nose to tail but at the flag Ryan held them both off to take his second win of the weekend, grabbing back the championship lead from Johnston in the process. McCormack's strong weekend moved him into fourth place in the points right on the tail of Thomas O'Grady. The Superbike Cup battle produced two more wins for Joe Grant and one for Dean O'Grady, while three second place finishes helped Frank Doherty keep Grant in sight in the championship chase.

McCormack was also in Supersport action, this time on his Megabikes Yamaha R6 and he took pole position from Casey and Limerick man Andrew Murphy. Away from the lights the pole sitter was immediately into a lead he would hold onto until the flag while behind the battle for second went right down to the final corner. Having finished third six races running, Murphy was in determined mood as he out-braked Casey into Southside Motor Factors corner on the last lap to finally grab a runner up finish. Mark Conlin made a welcome return to the series picking up fourth place as he dialled himself in to the unfamiliar Dunlop tyres.

For race two Casey got away in the lead and he put in his best run of the season to hold McCormack off for almost the entire race distance. Once again however, he was caught out on the final corner and just failed to grab his first win of the season as his Waterford rival out-braked him on the outside and then hung on to do the double. Behind them Conlin caught and passed Murphy to take an impressive podium on his series return.

In race three it was the turn of Murphy to battle with McCormack and he managed to hold the lead until lap four before the order changed. Despite the new leaders dominance of the two previous races he was unable to break away from Murphy and once again the race came down to a last corner battle as Murphy tried around the outside and then cut back to the inside for the run to the flag, just missing out on the win by less than a tenth of a second. Casey closed in on the leaders in the final stages following a bad start, finishing third, ahead of Conlin.

Casey's third place in race three kept him clear at the head of the championship while Murphy lost his second place to McCormack by a single point. In the cup class Darryl Sharkey was the big mover as a trio of wins moved him ahead of Trevor Landers in the standings to sit just eleven points behind Ian Prendergast.

The first Principal Insurance Pre-Injection race also saw Sharkey on the top step of the podium with Ivan Oxley second and Cian Donaghy third. Mechanical issues for Sharkey in races two and three restricted him to a single seventh place finish as a pair of wins for Oxley ahead of Donaghy and Murphy moved him into championship contention.

The PCRS Twins races saw the return of former champion Dave Butler on a newly built Supertwin Kawasaki and he was back in winning form straight away, taking victory in the opening two races from Ross Irwin. A fall for Butler in race three handed Irwin his eighth win of the year while Barry Sheehan and Michael Gillan were the other riders to make the podium. In the Production class Robert O'Connell took three wins to close in on the top two in the championship, Jamie Collins and Jason Cash. Collins retained his lead with three second places, while Cash overcame some mechanical difficulties to grab the last spot on the podium in all three races.

The Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship returns to the National Track layout at Mondello Park on August 24th & 25th.

Tuesday, June 25

Tough conditions tests riders at Dunlop Masters Rounds 7,8 & 9

Changeable weather conditions at the Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship at Mondello Park over the weekend of June 22nd and 23rd, led to changeable results as Luke Johnston mastered the conditions to take his first Superbike wins on the National Track while Supersport produced three first time winners.

Johnston held the lead of the Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship as the series headed back to the Mondello Park National Track. The Antrim man had beaten Richie Ryan, on all three occasions at the previous event as he took three second places but was yet to take a victory.

Following a slow start Johnston found himself in a distant second after only a couple of laps as Ryan got off to a flyer in race one. Johnston then began to close the gap and with three to go there was nothing in it. In the end the flag came to soon for the championship leader who was pipped at the post by two tenths of second. Waterford's Peter Moloney finished third with Thomas O'Grady taking fourth on the debut of his new Yamaha R1.

In race two Johnston again got5 away second but at beginning of lap two he dived past Ryan to take the lead. Ryan dropped back into the clutches Moloney who made his move on lap six as Johnston disappeared up the road. By the end of the twelve laps the Ulster rider had his first ever Superbike win on the National Track layout ahead of Moloney with Jamie O'Keeffe emerging from the four way battle to take the final podium spot.

For race three the Superbike grid was faced by the first wet race for the feature class in five years Away from the lights, Johnston was out of the top ten having had his worst start of the weekend, but by the end of the lap he was back to third and closing on Thomas O'Grady. By lap three Johnston was once again second and chasing Ryan who was initially opening the gap but as Johnston got used to the unfamiliar wet tyres he closed in. By the seventh of ten laps he was right with the leader and made short work of taking over at the front before pulling away to win by two and a half seconds from Ryan and O'Grady.

With half the season completed Johnston has increased his lead in the championship over Ryan while a non finish in race three has dropped Moloney back in third place, almost into the clutches of O'Grady. The concurrent Superbike Cup races had three different winners for the first time all season as Frank Doherty and Joe Grant were joined by first time Cup class winner Dean O'Grady, but it was Doherty who came away happiest as he closed the gap to Grant at the top of the table.

Saturday's Supersport race one was a fraught affair as it took three attempts to run. Championship leader Raymond Casey from Cork was eliminated in the first start following a nasty accident. On the second attempt the race got to lap four before it was stopped, leaving a six lap re-run to decide the result. Michael Owens led initially but he was passed by Luke O'Higgins on lap two just before he crashed out. O'Higgins then held sway at the front with Dave Butler, Rhys Irwin and Andrew Murphy closing in. On the final corner of the final lap O'Higgins made a mistake and crashed out slowing Butler slightly and allowing Irwin to get a run on him. At the flag Butler just held on, by two hundredths of a second, to take his first Supersport win from Rhys Irwin and Andrew Murphy. Irwin took the Cup win as well as second overall, ahead of Trevor Landers and David Duffy.

Race two took place in greasy conditions, as light rain was falling, and the result turned out to be much more clear cut. Rhys Irwin took over at the front from Pole sitter Butler in the early laps and pulled out a big advantage. Behind him Butler was initially overtaken by Murphy and then on lap twelve they were both passed by Mike Browne who had ridden very impressively to come from last on the grid having missed Saturday's qualifying and race. At the flag it was Irwin who took a maiden win on his Supersport debut six seconds ahead of Browne with Murphy third. In the Cup Owens came home second to Irwin with Landers third.

The final race was run on a fully wet track and Browne led from the front as he maintained a healthy advantage over Casey, who was now back in contention on his spare bike. Andrew Murphy was initially fourth but he worked his way past Irwin to take third at the flag, behind Browne and Casey. Irwin took an impressive clean sweep of the Cup wins on his first time out on a Supersport machine, with Oisin Maher and Dean Lacey taking the best ever results in second and third.

Monday, June 24

Rhys Irwin exceeds all expectations on Supersport debut

Donegal teenager Rhys Irwin exceeded all expectations as he made his debut in the Dunlop Masters Supersport Championship at Mondello Park on Saturday and Sunday June 22nd and 23rd. Battling changing weather conditions and a field of much more experienced riders the seventeen year old took a fantastic debut outright win as well as a hat trick of victories in the cup class for less experienced riders. Despite the success of the weekend the team were in little mood to celebrate as they heard the news which emerged from their home county of the tragic accident on the Donegal Rally.

Rhys Irwin began the weekend as one of the least experienced riders in the Supersport field, as he was having his first outing on the Superstock Yamaha previously used by his older brother Caolán. Running in the Supersport 'Cup' for less experienced riders, the Kilmacrennan youngsters aim was to take a podium in his class and possibly run at the front of the overall race and he set himself up to achieve this with second place in Cup qualifying and fifth place overall.

Having been stopped twice due to incidents Saturday's race one was finally completed over just six laps. Rhys maintained his focus throughout all of the stoppages and rode brilliantly to put himself in contention heading into the last lap. Going into the final corner he was sitting third, and best of the Cup riders, when the leader fell and delayed the second placed rider. Rhys got a better run than his rival out of the final corner, but at the flag he came up just short and missed out on a first time win by two hundredths of a second, but still took an impressive first place in the Cup class

Race two took place on Sunday morning and the conditions were tricky, as the track was greasy following light but steady rain. Having set second fastest time in race one Rhys lined up on the front row of the grid and made short work of taking the lead. The Donegal rider then proceeded to amaze onlookers with his maturity and ability as he built a lead in the difficult conditions to take a fairy-tale first win on his debut weekend.

The final race on Sunday afternoon was run on a soaking wet track with Rhys relegated to fourth on the grid due to the championships reversed grid rules. Initially he ran third but dropped back to fourth as he settled for taking a third Cup class win and preserving his bike for a planned British Championship debut next weekend.

Speaking after the win the clearly subdued rider said. “At any other time I'd be over the moon with the wins but today its a bit hard to get excited following the news from Donegal. The weekend went better than expected and I'd like to thank everyone who made it happen, including all of my sponsors and my family. We'll move on now to the British Championship at Knockhill where it will be much tougher to get the results but this weekend has been a great start so I'm really looking forward now to making my British Superstock debut.”

Friday, June 21

Johnston leads Dunlop Masters Superbike - Ray Casey returns from TT to defend Supersport lead

Dunlop Masters Superbike battles continue on Mondello Park National Track

This weekend, June 22nd and 23rd, the Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship battles will continue on Mondello Park's National track layout. The Superbike and Supersport Championship riders will contest three more rounds, as the series moves towards its half way point.

The championship is currently led by Antrim's Luke Johnston whose consistency over the first six races has helped him to move ahead of reigning double champion Richie Ryan. Ryan's winning streak with his Yamaha R1 was interrupted last time out by Brian McCormack and with the longer International Track seemingly suiting those riders using BMW machinery, the Kilkenny man also had to give best to Johnston, who took three runner-up finishes.

Johnston goes into this weekend with a nine point championship lead over Ryan with Waterford's Peter Moloney next up following four podiums with his brand new Suzuki. This weekend a field of fourteen Pro riders will be joined by the faster Cup riders on what will be a very competitive Superbike grid. Leading the Cup standings is four time race winner, Waterford's Joe Grant, who has a twenty six point lead over the only other rider to taste victory this season Kerry's Frank Doherty.

The two Supersport Championship weekends have so far produced two treble winners, with Donegal youngster Caolán Irwin taking the wins in April and Waterford's Brian McCormack taking all three victories in May. On each occasion Corkman Raymond Casey has been their closest challenger, taking five second places, and with his focus no longer on the Isle of Man TT Casey will be looking to up his game this weekend to hang on to his championship lead.

The Supersport Cup has had three different winners and numerous podium finishers so far this season but Michael Owens treble on the International Track last time out has helped him to move into a slight championship lead. With just five points covering the top four, Owens, Ian Prendergast, Darryl Sharkey and Trevor Landers, the top spot of the podium could be anyone's this weekend.

Darryl Sharkey, Mark Culleton and Colin Murphy have been virtually glued together at the front of the Principal Insurance Pre-Injection races all season having taken all but two of the spots on the podium. Sharkey currently leads the way but will all three having won races, the championship is still wide open.

The PCRS Bikesport Twins series is currently led by the latest star from one of Ulster Motorcycle Racing's best known dynasties. Ross Irwin, older brother of British Superbike Championship racers Glenn and Andrew, is in his second season racing and has already found his feet with four wins to lead the Supertwins series from David Halligan.  The Production class has seen some titanic battles between Jason Cash, Jamie Collins and Robert O'Connell and these three sit well clear of the rest at the head of the championship.

The remaining classes racing this weekend will be made up of Classics, who will race on Saturday only, Junior Cup and Junior Supersport (two races Saturday and one Sunday), Sidecars and Classic Superbikes who will run with the Superbike and Supersport 'B' competitors.

Following qualifying for all classes, racing gets underway at 12:30 on Saturday. Sunday's racing begins at 10:40 with the afternoons racing streamed live from 12:40. Tickets for either day are available on-line for the reduced price of €12.50 with a two day ticket costing €20.00. For more information see