Mullingar’s Derek McGee is ready to seize his big chance after joining Wilson Craig’s privateer Honda team for 2015.
The unassuming Irishman, who won the Irish road racing Supersport title last year and finished as the runner-up in the Supertwin championship behind Connor Behan, will ride Honda Superbike, Superstock and Supersport machinery for Craig plus a 650cc Kawasaki in the Supertwin class backed by Emerald Road Racing Magazine.
The 28-year-old HGV mechanic will make his debut at the Vauxhall International North West 200 in May before tackling the infamous Mountain Course for the first time at the Isle of Man TT races in June.
McGee - who made his roads bow at his home race at Walderstown in 2011 - will be following in the footsteps of some of road racing’s greatest names by linking up with Craig’s team, including Guy Martin, Keith Amor, Cameron Donald and William Dunlop.
“I’ve been to the Island twice and while I spent the first trip on my own, the second one was much better as I spent three days there with the help of [Richard] ‘Milky’ Quayle,” McGee said.
“I’m really starting to get to grips with the course and I know it will be a major challenge for me and Wilson Craig Racing. I’m delighted to be part of the team, and I’m looking forward to getting the results that the team deserves.”
Team owner Craig is confident McGee can raise his game to the next level in 2015, aided by the quality of machinery at his disposal.
“I’m looking forward to the new challenge with Derek, he has impressed me over the past year and I know that he will do the bikes justice,” Craig said.
“He is a clever rider, and also very fast, and we look forward to the challenge of the new season.”
A test is planned at Donington Park in March and McGee is expected to compete in the Easter short circuit meetings at Bishopscourt and Kirkistown before participating in a further test ahead of the Cookstown 100 in April.