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March 18, 2009

Excitement Builds as Mondello Masters Entry is Finalised

The excitement continues to build as the first Mondello Masters of the ’09 season approaches. With twenty six of Irish motorcycle racings’ top names already confirmed, the battle to grab some of the events’ €6,500 prize fund will be one of the most intense yet seen at the Co. Kildare circuit.

Organised by the Leinster Motor Club the race meeting kicks into gear on Saturday with qualifying and racing for the first Irish Superbike Championship rounds of the season. The fastest ten riders from the Superbike and Supersport races will then be given the opportunity to join the invited riders for Sunday’s single ‘Mondello Masters’ qualifying session. The thirty six invited riders will then compete in qualifying on Sunday morning to earn one of the coveted thirty places on the grid for Sunday afternoon’s 'Masters' race.

Promoted by Mondello Park, with the assistance of Motorcycling Ireland’s Short Circuit Committee, The ‘Mondello Masters’ is designed to attract the biggest names in Irish Motorcycle Racing, backed up by occasional overseas entries, in order to create a highly spectator friendly event. The Masters succeeded in attracting the biggest crowds to attend Mondello for an ISB race meeting in many years, at the final event of ’08, and with a highly attractive entry list an even bigger crowd is expected for this weekends races. To add to the excitement most of the Masters entries will warm up for the big money race by taking in the concurrent Irish Superbike and Supersport races which will run over Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to the winners purse of €3,000 and significant prize money being paid down to sixth place, new for 2009 is the introduction of a €250 reward for the rider who takes pole position and €250 reward for fastest race lap while the bonus for winning two ‘Masters’ races remains at €3,000. Dunlop Tyres continue to support their customers competing in the ‘Masters’ with a full set of tyres going to the first Dunlop rider home, a rear tyre for second and a front for third.

The top five earners from 2008 will all return looking for another piece of the Masters pie. Alastair Seeley’s domination of the results last year came at the expense of second and third highest earners Marshal Neill and Jack Kennedy both of whom expected to finish the series much richer than they eventually did. Fourth in the money list was the ‘Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing’ team, who made two trips to Mondello last season and were disappointed not to take a stronger challenge to Seeley. Fifth was Declan Swanton who produced a fantastic giant killing act with his Supersport machine to take second place at the first ever Masters. One man who was extremely disappointed with his ’08 showing was Brian McCormack and the reigning ISB champion returns this year as part of BSB Team ‘Malcolm Ashley Racing’, who are the first English based team to challenge for the ‘Masters’.

As attracting spectators is the prime motivation behind Mondello Park’s Masters initiative, the circuit have put a number of measures in place to ensure that those attending get the best value for money in Irish racing. To improve viewing and the amount of racing which takes place in full view of spectators, the event will run on the Mondello Park national track. This will allow the number of laps to be increased to fifteen while creating closer racing on a circuit which suits the less powerful Supersport machinery being run by many of the field.

Admission to the event is just €15 for Adults or €25 for a rider and pillion passenger, and this price includes free admission to the grandstand and paddock and a free event programme. The Masters race is scheduled for 16:00 on Sunday at which time competitors will have their championship races completed and will be able to concentrate solely on the big race.