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Ryan Rainey out to defend crown

By Paul Lindsay

Published 26/03/2016

Gearing up: Mar-Train Racing ace Dan Kneen will be in Irish Superbike Championship action at Kirkistown on Monday
Gearing up: Mar-Train Racing ace Dan Kneen will be in Irish Superbike Championship action at Kirkistown on Monday

The 2016 Irish Superbike Championship gets under way this weekend with action today and on Easter Monday at Bishopscourt and Kirkistown respectively, with reigning champion Ryan Rainey beginning the defence of his title on the IFS Yamaha.

Today, the curtain raiser at Bishopscourt takes in the 40th running of the Enkalon Trophy, with the iconic piece of silverware to be presented by road racing legend Ray McCullough.

Leading contenders in the Irish Superbike class will include reigning champion Rainey and his team-mate Robert English, who won both races at the Mondello Masters last weekend on his Superbike debut.

Former champions Nico Mawhinney, David Haire and Brian McCormack will also be on the grid, with John Burrows' Cookstown B.E Racing squad fielding Derek Sheils - the reigning Enkalon champion - and new recruit Malachi Mitchell-Thomas.

There is a full programme of races for all classes at the Motorcycle Road Racing Club of Ireland event.

The mammoth 31-race event programme will conclude today, the main race day.

Entrance is £15 and includes an event programme, with under-16s free when accompanied by a paying adult. The official charity is Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke.

Monday's action at Kirkistown is promoted by the Belfast and District Motor Club, with Mar-Train Racing making an appearance with Manx road racing star Dan Kneen.

All the action kicks off at 9am with entrance just £10 and under-12s free when accompanied by an adult.

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