David Haire raring to go at British Championship after waiting for big chance
Lisburn-based racer David Haire is set to bolster the local involvement in next season's British Championship paddock, with the trainee teacher embarking on a full season of Pirelli National 1000cc Superstock competition aboard Italian machinery. The current Enkalon Superbike champion will ride an exotic 1199R Ducati, supplied by Millsport Motorcycles - the Ballymoney dealership who will major their racing efforts on the roads in 2015, with Manxman and current Irish Road Racing Superbike champion Dan Kneen, in a tie-up with Suzuki.
Haire (24) said: "2015 will be a big year for me and having secured the deal with Millsport Motorcycles my goal will be to win races but I really feel that I can be a championship contender on the 1199R Ducati."
Haire is undoubtedly one of the most professionally prepared and presented racers on the Irish tarmac scene, but despite having made ad hoc appearances at British Championship level in recent years, it's been six years since a full time opportunity has presented itself.
Back in 2008, the then 19-year-old raced in the National Superstock 600cc Championship with the Van Fit Yamaha team, eventually having to finish the season on his own privately-entered R6.
That class of 2008 was headed up by another Ulsterman, Lee Johnston, who went on to win the championship - and is now a top-flight international road racing competitor after a slight change of disciplines.
Haire expects to come up against Johnston at next year's Vauxhall International North West 200, where he fully intends making an appearance on the Ducati.
The pick of the bunch from the 2008 Superstock campaign would have to be Luke Jones and Luke Stapleford who are now leading contenders in the British Supersport class. And while they climbed the ranks in the ultra-competitive BSB paddock, Haire returned home to the Irish scene.
It's not something he regrets, but is a bit bewildered that the same doors haven't maybe opened up for him - that he's had to watch the likes of Alastair Seeley, the Irwin brothers Glenn and Andrew and in recent seasons Josh Elliott slip through.
"I'm very thankful for the support that Millsport Motorcycles have afforded me, but I will be running the team myself with the support of my family and friends and personal sponsors," said Haire, who is fully aware that £40,000 will need to be raised to fund a full season next year.
"I've always believed that I could be competitive if the right opportunity presented itself in British Championship, but for one reason or another I've not had the breaks or the personal sponsors to help me like some of the others," he added.
Millsport Racing team owner Patrick Murray said: "David's a nice lad and as he's done a deal for the Superstock machine with our Millsport Motorcycles dealership, we will help him with technical data. We wish him well."
The big question for Haire will be the competitiveness of the Ducati against the might of Kawasaki and BMW, who currently dominate the class.
Granted, Tristan Palmer took two wins on his way to fifth place in the championship in 2013, but during the final round at Brands Hatch in October only one competitor (Conor Cummins, 13th on a Honda) out of 28 finishers was neither Kawasaki or BMW mounted.
If championships were awarded to nice guys then young David Haire would be a shoe-in for the Superstock title next October, but for now what he needs is financial support to make his dream a reality.
If you can help him achieve his goals, simply drop him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org