In a boost for the Motorcycle Union of Ireland, Tony Skillington has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of International Motorcycling (FIM), one of the highest positions within the world governing body of motorcycle sport and the first time anyone from Ireland has held such an elevated post.
A long-time motocross administrator, Dubliner Skillington was a member of the MCUI management council from 1984 until 1994 before becoming vice president of the Union between 1994 and 1998 and as a representative to the FIM where he was elected onto the Motocross Commission in 1991, before being promoted to Director of the MX Commission for the last five years.
Tony is not our only representative at FIM level with Dr David McManus, from Lurgan, the Director of the Medical Commission and David Rodgers, from Bangor, the Race Director for all world championship trials, underlining the respect in which Ireland is held at the highest echelons of motorcycle sport, again punching well above our weight, not only on the tracks but also in the administrative side of the various branches of motorcycle sport.
Today and tomorrow Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty continue testing at Phillip Island in Australia where the much-anticipated opening round of the 2019 World Superbike season takes place this coming weekend with Rea beginning the defence of his world crown and chasing a record fifth title in a row.
The Kawasaki Racing Team launched their 2019 squad of Rea and current British Superbike champion Leon Haslam in Australia at the weekend ahead of the on-track activities.
Eugene will ride for Team Go Eleven on a Ducati Panigale.
Some 50-60 newcomers to Tarmac racing attended their first training day at Kirkistown on Saturday ahead of the up and coming season with the training continuing this Saturday at Bishopscourt.
Meanwhile, the new AJ Plumbing Ulster Superbike season looms large on the horizon with entries now open for the opening three rounds.
The Temple Club host the first round on Saturday, March 30, followed on Saturday, April 20, by round two, promoted by the MCRRCI, both events at Bishopscourt, near Downpatrick and then onto Kirkistown for the Belfast and District third round in the series on Easter Monday, April 22.