Armoy Road Races: Davey Todd "excited" for 'Race of Legends' bid with Clive Padgett's Honda team

Davey Todd is aiming to go one better at this weekend’s Bayview Hotel Armoy Road Races on the Milenco by Padgett’s Honda machines after finishing as the runner-up in the ‘Race of Legends’ in 2021.

By Kyle White
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 2:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 2:47 pm

Todd edged out Mullingar man Derek McGee to clinch second place last summer at the County Antrim meeting on an ageing Wilson Craig Honda Fireblade, which he only rode for the first time in practice at the national road race.

The 26-year-old is having a season to remember this year, sealing four runner-up finishes at the North West 200 in May, a maiden podium at the Isle of Man TT in the Superstock race and bagging a sensational five-timer at the Southern 100, which included a coveted win in the prestigious Solo Championship race over former champion Dean Harrison.

Todd will compete in the Supersport and Superbike classes at Armoy and is one of several leading riders lining up with the aim of halting home hero Dunlop’s magnificent unbeaten run of nine straight wins in the blue riband Superbike race.

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Saltburn man Davey Todd was in dominant form at the Southern 100, winning five races including the Solo Championship headline event for the first time.

“I can’t wait to be back at Armoy, I always loved going there and I had a great one there last year with the Wilson Craig boys,” said Todd.

“I’m excited to go there with my Padgett’s team, although it wasn’t in our original plan. We obviously have our BSB schedule which is busy enough, plus the big international roads with the North West 200 and TT. I want to race every weekend if I can, and I know it puts a lot of strain on the team, getting the bikes prepared and ready.

“But I pushed them to try and do a few extra races as much as I possibly could and Armoy was one of them along with the Southern 100. Clive finally caved in and said we’d do the Southern, and obviously it went really well and the boys seemed to enjoy themselves,” he added.

“So after that we said maybe we can fit in Armoy as well, and fortunately Clive agreed, a few of the guys agreed, and we’re going to do the same as we did over at the Southern – we’ll just go over in a van with a couple of bikes and a few of the guys, not the full team, and go and do Armoy.”

Davey Todd will ride the Milenco by Padgett's Honda Superbike and Supersport machines at the Armoy Road Races this weekend.

Todd made his debut at Armoy in 2017, a few weeks after he made his national road racing debut at the Skerries 100. He returned to the event in 2018 with John Burrows’ team but missed the meeting in 2019.

The event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 but Todd jumped at the chance to return last year with Darren Gilpin’s Wilson Craig Racing team.

“It’s exciting times and I think Armoy is really building its reputation up and I’ve always loved it since I first went there,” said Todd.

“Certainly it’s one of my favourite national road races and that’s because of the atmosphere and the guys who run it – they do an awesome job.

“I think that shows in the entry that we have for this year and it’s hopefully going to make for some great racing this weekend.

“I’m just looking forward to battling with the guys and there’s a lot of quick boys who are going to be in the mix,” added the Saltburn man.

“Last year I rode a 2016 Fireblade for the Wilson Craig team and we literally hadn’t tested it or done anything with it. I did a race or two on the 600 for the Wilson Craig and we just pulled the 2016 Fireblade out of someone’s living room and stuck tyres on it, put fuel in it and we went and raced the thing. We finished on the podium in second place behind Michael.

“Given the situation this year, I’m well-rehearsed with the Padgett’s team on some awesome bikes that I’m really comfortable on, and loving riding, we’re in a lot stronger position.

“We’ll actually bring both big bikes, the ’stocker and the Superbike just in case, but we’ll do it on the Superbike I’m trying to get comfortable on the Superbike and I’ve loved it ever since I first got on it.”

The Armoy Club has attracted the best line-up for a national road race by far this year, with entries from Derek Sheils, Derek McGee, Paul Jordan, Adam McLean, newcomer Jamie Coward, Michael Sweeney, Mike Browne, Darryl Tweed, Dominic Herbertson and Phil Crowe.

Frenchman Pierre Yves-Bian is set to make his debut at the event for the Wilson Craig Honda team alongside Tweed, while Guy Martin and Ian Lougher are entered in the Senior Classic race.

Roads close on Friday for practice from 11am and will re-open no later than 9.30pm. The first Lightweight Supersport and Supersport 600 races will take place after qualifying.

On Saturday, roads will close at 9am for the main race programme and will reopen no later than 7.30pm.