Burrows Engineering Racing unveils new-look Suzuki for 2019

John Burrows with Derek Sheils and the new-look livery the Burrows Engineering Racing team will run in 2019, in association with new sponsor Richardson Kelly Racing.
John Burrows with Derek Sheils and the new-look livery the Burrows Engineering Racing team will run in 2019, in association with new sponsor Richardson Kelly Racing.

Northern Ireland’s Burrows Engineering Racing team has unveiled a striking new livery for 2019 after joining forces with Richardson Kelly Racing.

Dubliner Derek Sheils will spearhead the team’s international road racing effort along with new signing Tom Weeden from Kent, who won the 2016 Senior Manx Grand Prix.

Dublin rider Derek Sheils with the Burrows Engineering Racing/RK Suzuki he will race this season.

Dublin rider Derek Sheils with the Burrows Engineering Racing/RK Suzuki he will race this season.

Sheils will make his return to the fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils in May after missing the event in 2018.

The 36-year-old will ride the latest specification Suzuki GSX-R1000 machinery in the Superbike and Superstock classes, while Weeden will ride a Superstock-spec Suzuki plus a Yamaha R6.

Looking ahead to the North West, which runs from May 12-18, Sheils said his main objective was to finish inside the top ten.

On his last visit to the North Coast road race he claimed an impressive fifth place in the first Superbike race, although Sheils points out that the damp conditions levelled the playing field somewhat on that occasion.

“My main ambition in 2019 is to get some strong top ten finishes in all of the international road races,” he said.

“I never seem to have enough power and top speed for the North West. It’s hard to compete with little fellows on factory machinery around there.

“I got that fifth place in 2017 in the damp but I had to ride the wheels off the bike when it was dry in the second race just to get ninth,” he added.

“The new Suzukis should help us close that gap this time around.”

New recruit Weeden also missed the North West 200 last season through injury following a serious crash at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.

Now fully recovered, the 25-year-old hopes to get his career back on track and return to the potential he displayed in 2016, when he toasted success at the Manx Grand Prix.

Weeden said: “I’m really looking forward to joining the Burrows Racing team and I can’t wait to get going. It will be fantastic to have the chance to ride the big Suzuki and I’ll also have a 600 Yamaha.

“The team’s reputation speaks for itself when you look at the young riders they have helped to bring on, such as Davey Todd last year, plus riders like Malachi Mitchell-Thomas and Dan Kneen.

“I hope to absorb as much of John’s knowledge as I can and hopefully learn from him,” he added.

“The internationals will be the main priority but I’m looking forward to doing the likes of Cookstown and Tandragee as well for the first time. I just want to keep improving and progressing, and going faster than I’ve done before.”

Team owner John Burrows is looking forward to a new partnership with Richardson Kelly Racing this year and highlighted the importance of the North West for the team’s sponsors.

“We are coming to the North West with our new sponsor this year and it will be an important event for us and our riders after they both missed last year’s meeting,” he said.

“I want to help Tom get his spark back after his injury. He was the fastest newcomer at last year’s Ulster Grand Prix and he hasn’t forgotten how to ride a motorbike.

“Derek had that great 5th in 2017 and I want to see him back up there at the front, mixing it with Glenn Irwin, Alastair Seeley and the rest of the frontrunners.”

The Dungannon-based team continues to grow in stature and NW200 Event Director says the success of Burrows Engineering Racing is a testament to ex-rider Burrows and his close-knit team.

“Derek has produced some great performances at the North West and Tom has plenty of promise to deliver,” Whyte said.

“John Burrows has developed one of the most professional teams in the road race paddock and it will be fantastic to have the team in its new livery on the start line in May.”