Tuesday, April 26

Aaron Clifford secures Young Rider of the Year nomination

Sixteen year old Aaron Clifford secured the second 2016 nomination for Young Rider of the Year at the Masters Superbike Championship at Bishopscourt Co. Down on April 16th. Clifford was chosen by the judges following two very strong results which saw him retain his 100% win record in the Supersport Cup as well as finishing in the top five of the overall Supersport race.

Created by Mondello Park and backed by Circuit owner Martin Birrane, Dawn International, AJ Plumbing Supplies, EMS and Oxford products, the Young Rider award is the first of its kind to be offered to Irish Motorcycle Racing competitors. The competition will see six young racers nominated to go forward to the end of season shoot-out where one of them will walk away with a fantastic package of benefits to assist them in the next stage of their career.

Having started racing on Minimoto's and become Irish Champion aged 11, Clifford moved into circuit racing in 2012 and raced in the 125cc Production class. With more options for young riders available in the UK the Meath teenager spent the next three years racing across the water and in 2015 combined a British Championship season with a Masters Supertwin campaign. At the end of 2015 Clifford got his big chance when he was offered a Kingsbury packaging Supersport machine for the final Masters of the season where a strong performance led to the offer of a full season with the team in 2016.

Starting the season as favourite for the Supersport 'Cup' Clifford has been on top form taking four wins from four races. The Supersport Cup runs concurrently with the overall championship and while dominating the Cup the youngster has also been picking up strong results overall. Four top six finishes topped off by fifth place in race two at Bishopscourt, where he was just a single second off the race winner, have left him joint fifth in the overall championship and earned him a place in the Young Rider of the Year Award final, which takes place at Mondello Park in October.

Aaron reacted to the news of his nomination by saying. “I'm delighted to have been nominated so early in the year. Race two at Bishopscourt was my best race of the year so far and one of the highlights of my whole career. Now that I've tasted running at the front I hope to be there for the rest of the year and my next aim is to get onto the podium. Getting into the final of the Young Rider of the Year was one of my goals for this season and now that I've achieved that I am looking forward to the challenge of the final.”

Four more nominees will join Clifford and first event winner Robert English over the remainder of the season, with one being chosen at each Masters event. Nominees must be under 23 years old and can come from any of the classes racing on the Masters Superbike programme.

For more information see www.masterssuperbike.ie/youngrider.

Images courtesy of Andy Quinn

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