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Mar Train Yamaha's Dan Kneen to start with a bang at Kirkistown Irish Superbikes

By Roy Harris

The Belfast and District Motorcycle Club host the latest Irish Superbike round today at Kirkistown race circuit and officials, competitors and spectators will be hoping for a better day than Saturday at Bishopscourt when the 40th Anniversary Enkalon Trophy meeting had to be abandoned due to severe winds without a wheel being turned.

Today the Mayor's Trophy is the premier prize and the addition of Dan Kneen, making his debut on the Mar Train Yamaha's, adds spice to the Superbike class.

Nico Mawhinney was Friday's second place finisher in the opening race of the season and on the Team Polaris Kawasaki will ensure Kneen does not have things all his own way with Niki Coates (Kingsbury Kawasaki), Gerard Kinghan (Kawasaki), Cody Nally (Kawasaki), IFS Global Logistics Yamaha duo Ryan Rainey and Robert English sure to be challenging.

Coates, Jason Lynn, Christian Elkin and Robert Kennedy lit up the Supersport race on Friday with their scintillating scrap for second position behind race winner William Dunlop and with the addition of Carl Phillips on today's grid, both Supersport races should be well worth the entrance money alone.

Practice is from 9am with racing scheduled to commence at 12-45pm.

Off road the opening round of the Norman Watt Motorcycles premier MX1 Ulster Motocross championship takes place at Desertmartin.

Dubliner Stuart Edmonds (TM) was a treble winner in the Irish championship opener at the same venue three weeks ago and will start clear favourite. However defending Ulster champion Robert Hamilton (Yamaha) will not give up his title easy and could be Edmond's biggest danger along with defending Irish champion Richard Bird (KTM) while ex-multi champion Wayne Garrett (KTM) on the comeback trail following a badly broken leg last year will be anxious to get back to race winning speed.

Phillip McCullough makes a comeback, after nearly 10 years out of the saddle, in preparation for his British Veterans Championship challenge, but don't discount the ex-Irish and Ulster champion.

In the nuttravel.com MX2 class should be a close fight between Jason Meara and James Mackrel with teenager David Galvin from Cork capable of an upset. Racing gets underway at 11am.

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