Wednesday, May 18

Teenager Rhys Irwin is latest Young Rider of the Year nominee

Fourteen year old Rhys Irwin has been nominated for the Masters Superbike Young Rider of the Year award following his outstanding performance at the May event.

The Donegal teenager now joins Robert English and Aaron Clifford in the final for the new award scheme, which is scheduled to take place in October.

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.

Irwin has been competing in the UK for the last two seasons in the Superteen championship and had previously never ridden at Mondello Park. Not only was it his first ever appearance at the County Kildare track it was also his first time even seeing the International Track, which is only used occasionally for Motorcycle Races.

Despite his lack of experience Irwin kicked the weekend off with pole position, more than two and a half seconds faster than the next competitor. In both races the youngster built his speed up gradually, going faster with each lap and ended the weekend with two wins, the first by more than twenty seconds and the second by over thirty. Along with two lights to flag wins Irwin also set a new International Track lap record for the Production class.

On hearing the news of his nomination Irwin said, “I'm so excited to be chosen following my first ever race at Mondello Park. I had a great weekend with two pole positions, two race wins and a new lap record. I thought the lap record was the icing on the cake but now my nomination is. This has given me real confidence for the rest of the season. I've shown I can be fast, having taken four race wins so far in the UK this year, but I really enjoyed being able to come home to Mondello Park to show what I can do. I think this new award is a brilliant programme and I'm looking forward to taking part in the final.”

Three more riders will join Irwin, Robert English and Aaron Clifford as nominees 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.

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Photos courtesy Stephen Mahon and John Burke.

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