Lisburn racer Haire is in the mood to dazzle for Ducati
Lisburn racer David Haire will make a welcome return to the British championship paddock this weekend on Ducati machinery, for the opening round of the Pirelli National 1000cc Superstock series.
Unfortunately pre-season has been anything but plain sailing for the former Adelaide Masters Supersport champion and reigning Enkalon trophy winner.
But despite many stumbling blocks and setbacks, the affable student teacher will be on the grid at Donington Park on Monday - aboard his immaculately prepared Sliders UK Ducati.
"I really can't wait to get going and it's going to be a big year for me," explained the 24-year-old, who then gave me a candid insight into a major hiccup with his pre-season planning.
"As everyone knows we bought the Ducati locally and were promised what was effectively a 'good as new' bike, fully refreshed and ready to race, but sadly they stopped answering the phone.
"We then turned to well known Ducati dealer in the UK John Hackett and they sorted the bike for me, but not without a few shocks. There was basically an A4 page of things that the bike needed doing - it really was in a mess."
Rick Hackett of JHP - well known for taking Castlerock's Marty Nutt to a British title on a Ducati a couple of seasons ago - worked his magic on young Haire's machine, which is now ready to race and in pristine condition.
"Rick is a top lad and has done a fabulous job with the bike," explained the Lisburn racer.
"Yes we've missed the pre-season tests in Spain and a lot of valuable track time, so I'll have to go into round one and be realistic, but the bike is certainly competitive."
Haire's enthusiasm for the job and his affability in general, have no doubt added to the attraction for new sponsor, Sliders UK, a leading patio door specialist.
His infectious personality and tangible desire for success have also inspired Rick Hackett of JHP to make a personal appearance this week at Donington, to assist the proud Ulsterman.
"I'm delighted to have been able to bring Sliders UK onboard and I know that Mike Spain and his team are really enthusiastic about racing, after meeting them at last year's Isle of Man TT," said David, who has also gained valuable logistics support from P&O Ferries.
But what of his own racing aspirations: are podiums are realistic target this year on the 1199R Ducati, or is it a case of ticking the box?
Big names return to starting grid
The Easter Bank Holiday weekend signifies the start of the local motorcycling season and 2015 is no exception, with the Ulster & Irish Short Circuit Championship set to get under way at Bishopscourt on Saturday and Kirkistown on Easter Monday.
Saturday will see the 39th running of Enkalon Trophy in association with Adelaide Motorcycle Insurance, where former British championship competitor and recent Ulster Grand Prix club member Ryan Rainey, is set to return to action.
The event has attracted over 200 entries including NW200 winner Keith Amor — a former Enkalon Trophy winner — and Derek Sheils, another who has had his name on the famous trophy. The 16-race programme commences at 11am with admission just £10 while under 16s accompanied gain free entrance.
On Easter Monday the B&D Club to promote their event at Kirkistown with William Dunlop expected to showcase his talent. The feature race on Easter Monday will be the Mayor’s Trophy, awarded to the winner of the second Superbike race at Kirkistown.