Ulster Superbike season roars into action at Bishopscourt after insurance threat turmoil


Bishopscourt Racing Circuit in Co Down hosts the opening round of the Ulster Superbike Championship, which has been dominated for the past two seasons by Carrickfergus man Alastair Seeley.

However, there will be a new name on the trophy this year after Seeley clinched a deal to return to the British championship in the National Superstock 1000 class with the Moneymore-based SYNETIQ BMW team.

The two-time British champion and record 27-time North West 200 winner will be in action this weekend at Donington Park for an official test ahead of the championship opener at Silverstone, which takes place over the Easter weekend from April 7-9.

Aghadowey’s Eunan McGlinchey, another leading name who added British championship lustre to the domestic scene in 2022 when he rode for Cookstown’s McAdoo Kawasaki team, is also a notable absentee after signing with Val-Tech Racing to ride a Yamaha in the British Supersport series.

In Seeley’s absence, last year’s Ulster Superbike title runner-up, Jason Lynn, will bid to go one better with Banbridge team J McC Roofing.

Lynn was regularly second best behind Seeley in 2022 and racked up 15 podiums on his way to the championship runner-up spot.

Meanwhile, Tobermore’s Adam McLean is a new face in Jason McCaw’s team and will be a frontrunner in the Supersport class after switching to a Yamaha R6.

The 2022 Scarborough Gold Cup winner, who parted company from McAdoo Kawasaki last June after four years together, will concentrate on the Supersport and Supertwin classes this season.

Adam McLean is focusing on smaller classes this season

McLean’s top priority is the North West 200 in May after he has opted to sit out this year’s Isle of Man TT.

“I’ve got two good bikes for both classes that are capable of delivering good results and the plan is to do some select road races and short circuit meetings,” McLean said.

“I had considered a Superbike but I’m going to concentrate on the smaller classes for now.

“This year I think it’s better to focus on the Supersport and Supertwin and try and get a few good results at the likes of the North West 200, which will be the big meeting of the year for me.”

The line-up at Bishopscourt today includes Ballynahinch man Korie McGreevy, who has joined the McAdoo Kawasaki team to compete in the Ulster Superbike Championship in the Superbike, Supersport and Supertwin classes.

Dungannon’s Burrows Engineering/RK Racing team is also at Bishopscourt with road racer Mike Browne and team boss John Burrows’ teenage son Jack.

Both riders took advantage of some warm weather testing in Spain at Almeria and Andalucia earlier this month, where Cork prospect Browne rode the team’s new ex-Ian Hutchinson BMW M1000RR for the first time.

A full programme of races features Superbikes, Supersport, Supertwins, Classics, Moto3/125GP, Moto-One, Lightweight Supersport/SS300 and Pre Injection 600cc.

Sidecar racing – initially not included as part of the reviewed insurance deal agreed by the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) last week – will now be able to go ahead this year after confirmation yesterday that an agreement has been reached with the insurers.

Organised by the Temple Club, timed practice on Saturday is scheduled to commence from 9am with racing expected to get under way at approximately 11am.

Admission is £15, payable at the gate, with under 16s free.

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