Belfast Telegraph

Ryan determined to retain his Superbike crown at Mondello

 

Lee Johnston
Lee Johnston

By Roy Harris

A packed weekend of motorcycle action sees the final round of the Dunlop Masters series take place at Mondello Park.

Both the feature Superbike and Supersport titles are still up for grabs at the Co Kildare venue.

Defending Superbike champion Richie Ryan and Cullybackey's Luke Johnston are in a straight fight for the honours, while Cork's Ray Casey and Limerick's Andrew Murphy go head-to-head for the Supersport prize.

Three races over tomorrow and Sunday will decide the champions for 2019 and the contenders will not have it all their own way, with Brian McCormack returning to the action having earlier in the season taken four wins and two second places from just six starts prior to his road race campaign.

Peter Maloney also returns after missing two rounds through injury, with British Superstock 600cc contenders Caolan Irwin and Eunan McGlinchey making a welcome appearance on their Kawasaki 636cc machines. They are ineligible for Supersport, so will be interesting entries in the Superbike.

North West 200 and TT Supersport winner Lee Johnston (below) on his Ashcourt Yamaha heads the entry for the return of the Gold Cup meeting at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough tomorrow and Sunday.

With Dean Harrison still recovering from his Classic TT accident, Johnston's biggest challengers may well be Magherafelt's Paul Jordan - making his debut at the Yorkshire circuit - Joey Thompson, David Jackson, Neil Kernohan and Tom Weeden.

There will be 34 teams of the top motocross competitors in the world lining up at Assen for the 73rd Monster Energy FIM Motocross de Nations, with three riders representing each country.

The Irish team consists of Martin Barr, Stuart Edmonds and debutant Jason Meara under manager Philip McCullough.

Barr and Edmonds are old hands at the 'Olympics of Motocross', while Meara can put his selection down to a great season on a 450cc machine.

The SSE Arena, meanwhile, will host the first two rounds of the 2020 Arenacross series on January 17 and 18.

And the latest round of the World Superbike Championship will be held at Magny Cours in France this weekend, with Ulsterman Jonathan Rea looking to extend his title advantage as he chases a record fifth successive crown.

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