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Kerry motorcycle racers waiting on potential return of road racing in the Republic of Ireland



Kerry motorcycle racers waiting on potential return of road racing in the Republic of Ireland

Stephen Walsh at Kirkistown on Saturday

There are moves behind the scenes to revive closed-road motorsport motorcycle road racing in the Republic of Ireland, which would be welcome news for Kerry’s small but dedicated cohort of motorbike racers.

Due to insurance issues, the sport has not been able to run in southern Ireland since the end of the 2022 season. Moves are been made to get the sport back on track next year and a new closed-road sprint will take place on The Skerries Road Racing course in Dublin next month in an effort to get the ball rolling.

Ardfert-based Stephen Walsh has already confirmed he will enter the sprint in Dublin next month. He is also preparing for the Manx Grand Prix in August but his preparations are limited to closed road events in Northern Ireland and some circuit meetings which are helpful but not ideal as practice for a closed road event.

Walsh contested the latest round of the Ulster Superbike Championship on board the Honda 500 Twin that has been loaned to him by English racer Jeff Smith for the season.

”It was a tough day on Friday as the bike broke down on the third lap of qualifying but I had done enough to qualify fifth on the grid,” Walsh explained.

“I got the bike going but ignition problems meant the bike broke down again on the warm-up lap. Tried but failed to get it ready for the second race on Friday.

“I kept working on it Friday evening and got it ready for Saturday’s seven-lap race, ignition problems came back on lap four of a very wet race but I still finished second in the 500cc class so very happy.

“The bike wasn’t fit for the second race on Saturday so I took out my own Honda 350 and finished second in class again. I am very happy overall but a lot of work now to get 500 ready for Skerries sprint on July 6.”

Elsewhere, Andrew Murphy scored two class wins at Oliver’s Mount Road Racing Circuit in England over the weekend. It was the Mountcollins-based rider’s first overseas meeting in 15 years and like Walsh, he too is preparing for the Manx Grand Prix in August.

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