English will miss start to season after crash
Young Irish Superbikes rider Robert English will miss the start of this season's campaign after breaking a finger and suffering tendon damage in a heavy spill during weekend testing at Kirkistown.
Robert (16) is ruled out of the Irish Superbikes curtain-raisers at Bishopscourt on Good Friday and Easter Saturday, as well as Kirkistown on Easter Monday.
But he counted himself lucky after hitting debris on the track.
Robert said: “I don't really remember what happened. I turned into the chicane and I saw something, but it was too late to do anything about it.
“Next thing I remember was a bang and I was sliding. My hand is very painful at the minute, but the people at the Ulster Hospital were great. I'd like to thank them for what they did for me.
“Now its just a matter of sitting about waiting on it getting better. There's nothing I can do to speed that up, so I'll just help my brother Chris with his racing.”
Chris will fly the flag for the English Brothers team, managed by dad Paul, until Robert's return.
Robert was second in the Irish Championship 125 class last year, winning the Clubmans category with two rounds to go.
Elder brother Chris (19) will be trying to improve on his last year's performance, which saw him finish the season in 14th place. Chris missed seven races after being brought down on Easter Saturday at Bishopscourt.
Bishopscourt also saw mixed fortunes for Kilrea rider William Davison in Saturday's Open National races that formed part of the programme at the first round of the Irish Clubmans championship. In his first outing for the Randalstown-based Farlough Garage Suzuki team, Davison's efforts were hampered by a major engine blow up in practice.
He still managed to post 10th and 11th place finishes with performances that reaffirmed team owner Wilson Lynn's faith in his rider, and the sport.
Wilson said: “I have started to enjoy the racing again. To tell the truth, I had thought of packing it in towards the end of last year, but William and his team are great to work with, and we seemed to get along well right from the word go.”
The team will also be involved in the two Irish Superbikes meetings over Easter with Wilson adding: “As for the rest of the year, we are going to run in a few road races, but it will be up to William what and where he wants to race the bike.”