Carrick’s Andrew Irwin has made the step up to the British Supersport Championship this season after joining Team Appleyard Macadam Racing.
The young Ulster rider, whose brother Glenn is gearing up for his debut in the MCE British Superbike Championship on the PBM Be Wiser Ducati, finished the 2015 season in fourth place in the National Superstock 600 series, claiming three podium finishes along the way.
The 21-year-old hopes to be in a position to challenge for the top six as the year progresses and is eager to make the most of the opportunity afforded to him to take his career to the next level.
“First of all I want to say a massive thank you to Robin, Peggy and Doug for this opportunity. I really do believe this team and set-up is what I need to take my racing to the next level. I can’t wait to get going,” said Irwin.
“We’re going into the season with the simple of hope of making good progression throughout the year. If we’re tenth in the first race, I want to be ninth in the second and so on. Hopefully we can battle towards the top six and even the podium places as the year goes on.”
Irwin is joined in the team by Offaly’s Kevin Keyes, who won the Young Rider of the Year accolade at the recent Cornmarket Motorbike Awards in Belfast.
The promising young Irish rider will compete in the National Superstock 600 class after finishing second in the 2015 KTM Junior British Cup.
Meanwhile, the Blackhorse NI Motorcycle Festival continues on Saturday and Sunday at the Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park.
A huge crowd attended the first day of the show with thousands more expected over the weekend. Opening hours are 10am to 5pm.