Champion David is man Honda mission
Current Irish Supersport champion David Haire will aim to defend his crown when the season gets underway at Mondello Park on Sunday.
The Lisburn lad has also set his sights on lifting the coveted Irish Superbike title this year, and having finished runner up in 2012, a Supersport and Superbike double is well within his capabilities.
Often overlooked in the pre-season hype, the softly spoken student teacher didn't mince his words when he told us: "I have to be honest and say, I'm really looking forward to this season – especially as I've rarely been given any recognition for my successes over the years.
"But hopefully if I can get the results this year and go one better on the Superbike, then who knows, I might finally get to achieve my goals in the sport."
Haire will campaign his own Honda CBR1000RR Honda Fireblade in this season's Irish Superbike Championship, with additional support coming from his father Robbie who is an ever-present figure in the racing paddocks alongside his son.
The Honda Supersport machine that David will campaign this year is supplied by Brian and Wendy Hull, who supported former North West 200 winner Keith Amor before he retired in the Wilson Craig set-up.
"David and Wendy are great people and very enthusiastic, so I'd like to win the Supersport class again this year on their bike," he explained.
David is also planning a couple of British Superbike wildcard rides this year on his privately entered Honda. He has made ad-hoc appearances in British championship previously, but a Supersport Cup podium at Brands Hatch last October has inspired him to return.
Recounting the experience he said: "I've always enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the British championship paddock and I know with the right machinery it's where I believe I can compete.
"In the past things haven't always gone my way in British championship, but the Supersport Cup podium last year made me realise that it is the place to be."
He added: "If we have the budget, we will hopefully get a chance to take the Fireblade there this year. It's always going to be tough in the main BSB class but I'm confident we can put on a good show and attract some interest for the future."
A return to the Vauxhall North West 200 in May is also a possibility for the Lisburn lad, who was the fastest newcomer in the Supersport class last year, with a creditable 11th place the reward for his efforts. He also plans to take in the hugely successful Adelaide Masters' Series this season in both Superbike and Supersport classes.
"I just hope to put myself on the radar of major sponsors to enable me to someday reach my goals and aims in motorcycle sport and at the same time enhance my racing career."