Gifted Irwin gets major boost ahead of quest for success in British Talent Cup
Motorcycling Ireland's Short Circuit Committee will, in a new initiative, help young Irish riders to develop their talent and further their careers internationally.
Following impressive performances during 2017, Rhys Irwin from Kilmacrenan, near Letterkenny in Donegal, has been announced as the first recipient of support from this new venture.
The 15-year-old will be the first to have the use of a Honda Moto3 machine, which has been purchased by Motorcycling Ireland in preparation for his debut in the new British Talent Cup.
The motorcycle will also be made available to other young Irish riders in advance of future British Talent Cup events to allow those chosen the opportunity to build their knowledge and become familiar with the type of machine that will be raced in the series.
Irwin, who had the machine handed over to him earlier this week by Eamon Medlar of the MCI Short Circuit Committee, will have his first outing on the new Honda in Spain in just over a week as he begins his build-up to the inaugural British Talent Cup that will see him compete on a similar machine.
The British Talent Cup will be a support race at the British MotoGP, World Superbike rounds at Silverstone and Donington Park, plus selected BSB rounds including Assen, the 28 riders competing selected from close to 200 competitors by a panel that included top Ulster rider Jeremy McWilliams.
Three other local riders - Johnny Campbell (14) from Lisburn, Sam Laffins (15) from Dromara and Scott Swann (15) from Magheramorne - will join Irwin in the series.
Irwin said: "From I was selected for the British Talent Cup we immediately started looking into how we could get as much time on a Moto3 Honda as possible.
"For Motorcycling Ireland to provide us with such a machine is an incredible boost.
"I'll get plenty of track time starting next week ahead of the official Talent Cup pre-season test at Valencia in March.
"During 2018 I will also compete in the BSB Moto3 standard class and CEV Junior World championship events (in Spain) to keep myself sharp, something that will make all the difference to my Talent Cup chances."
Clearly a step in the right direction, with the foresight towards up and coming young competitors by MCI to be applauded.
I just wonder if the Ulster Centre has any plans for their young British Talent Cup competitors for next year?