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March 16, 2009

Top Riders and Teams Line-Up for Mondello Masters

An impressive line-up of Ireland’s top riders and teams will line-up at Mondello Park next Sunday for the first of this seasons two Mondello Masters races. More than twenty top riders have been confirmed for the race, which takes place on Sunday 22nd March, with a further ten spots in qualifying still available. The two day event also includes a full Irish Superbike Championship and support race programme.

Last seasons undoubted Mondello Master, Alastair Seeley, returns with his eye on snapping up the top prize once again. Seeley won all three races last year, while setting an ISB lap record on the full international track and an outright lap record on the national circuit, the same track which will be used for both ‘Masters’ events this season. All of the top names will be back to try and stop Seeley with, British Superbike support series riders Jack Kennedy, Brian McCormack and Marty Nutt and last season’s closest rival to Seeley on the National circuit, Marshall Neil, all in the hunt.

Adding an international flavour to the event will be two teams from the British Superbike paddock, TAS and MAR. Top Ulster team TAS will bring their Relentless Suzuki’s back to the circuit to try and make up for their defeats at the hands of Seeley last season. Ian Lowry will have his second run at Mondello on a TAS Superbike while BJ Toal will back him up on a Superstock machine. Malcolm Ashley’s team MAR, will run Brian McCormack on their BSB privateers cup machine with the reigning ISB champion looking to make up for his disappointment at not defeating Seeley during the Masters series last year.

Top road racer Keith Amor will be another overseas visitor with the Scot hoping to finally make it on track at the Masters following machinery problems at Mondello on his last visit. Road racing will also be represented by Michael Dunlop on the Street Sweep Supersport machine and he will have his team mate Mark Lunney alongside him.

Other Masters regulars from last season Declan Swanton, Denver Robb and Rory Clarke will be joined by fellow ISB stars James Dickson, Kirk Jamison and Gerard Kingham and all of these could be in contention for a podium finish, with Swanton in particular the one to watch out for if the circuit is wet. Two more ex-BSB support riders, Paul Barron and Mark Pollock are also making their Mondello return at the event on Supersport machines.

This seasons Masters series will be a very attractive one for spectators, not only due to the quality and the quantity of entries being received. The event represents fantastic value for money with single admission being kept at the regular race event level of €15.00 with a reduction to €25.00 for a rider and pillion passenger. In addition racing will take place on the National circuit which offers better spectating, more laps and closer racing and both events will be part of an ISB round so there will be plenty of on-track action. For the Masters race the difference between the faster Superbikes and the Supersport machinery will be reduced due to the tight and technical nature of the track which should improve the show still further over last season. The grid interviews, guest commentators and post race podium presentations will continue as per last year in what will be the biggest Short Circuit Motorcycle Race event of the season.

Masters Top Twenty Entries
Alastair Seeley Brian McCormack Ian Lowry BJ Toal Jack Kennedy
Keith Amor Michael Dunlop Marshal Neil Marty Nutt Declan Swanton
Denver Robb Mark Lunney David Haire James Dickson Kirk Jamison
Gerard Kingham Paul Barron Mark Pollock Rory Clarke Johnny Buckley