Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Starlet Clifford is aiming to shine bright on British stage

By Paul Lindsay

County Meath racer Aaron Clifford is beginning his final preparations for a full assault on this season's British National Superstock 600 Championship, with his first competitive action of the year coming at Mondello Park this weekend in the Masters Supersport series.

He finished last year's Masters series as Cup champion with a 100 per cent win record.

This year, Clifford will split his time between the BSB paddock in the National Superstock 600 Championship, where he will be supported by Motorcycling Ireland and the MCI Short Circuit Committee, and the Irish Masters Championship, although his British Championship racing will take priority.

Clifford will ride for CPE Motorsport in the British Championship, but at home he remains in the colours of the Kingsbury Packaging team, who he rode for so successfully last year in local competition. The team will provide him with a Kawasaki Supersport machine, despite him having to miss five of the 20 Masters rounds due to event clashes with the British Championship.

The talented 17-year-old from Duleek explained: "I'm really looking forward to getting back racing. I've had plenty of seat time so far, with testing at Mallory Park and three days in Spain, but racing is the best way to prepare for the first round of the National Superstock 600 Championship at Donington Park at the end of the month."

Heaping praise on local sponsor Gerald Kingsbury, he added: "I have to thank Gerald for providing me with a bike for the Masters again this year, and all of my other sponsors who have made it possible for me to challenge on both sides of the Irish Sea in 2017."

The Masters Superbike Championship will kick off the 2017 season on the Mondello Park National Circuit this Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26, with a major increase in entries compared to 2016.

The Supersport class looks like it will be one of the most hotly contested, with Brian McCormack the big name in the Superbike class.

Belfast Telegraph

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