Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Irish series dealt a blow as Mondello goes it alone

The Irish Superbike Championship has been dealt a major curve ball before a wheel has even turned in 2010.

Mondello Park in County Kildare has opted out of the series and instead intend running their own ‘Kildare championship’ over six rounds beginning on April 10 and 11 with an impressive 30,000 euros prize fund on offer.

This will reduce the Irish series to six rounds being run between Easter Weekend and the final round in September at only two circuits — Bishopscourt and Kirkistown.

A yet to be confirmed seventh round at Anglesey in Wales will be added to the 2010 Irish Superbikes programme in due course with a May date a strong possibility

On a positive note, the Mondello rounds thankfully do not clash with the ISB series.

But what it does, is manifest increased disharmony within the ranks of the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland’s Ulster and Southern Centre committees.

The question must now be asked — what role do the MCUI Southern Centre actually play in promoting the official ISB Championship?

To be totally honest, I think the Mondello Park championship is a great idea.

And in the current economic climate, dangling a carrot of 30,000 euros will undoubtedly dilute some of the main classes within the Irish and Clubmans’ Championship structures.

Mondello will cater for Pre-97, 125cc Production, Super-Twins, both 2-Stoke classes and sidecars as well as the Superbike, Supersport and Sidecars at each meeting.

Mondello Park will close their series with the ever-popular Masters’ Championship on October 2 and 3.

John Morris, managing director for Mondello Park, explains their thinking.

“Currently the Irish Superbike Champion gets little or no recognition and this has been acknowledged repeatedly in the press.

“If we are to ensure bike racing for future years we need to repackage the product to be attractive to spectators and sponsors alike,” he insists.

“Once we’re happy with the format we’ll promote it and we’ll even run a free admission event, so spectators can experience the new format and decide for themselves.”