Eugene McManus ends World Supersport stint on high

Eugene McManus brought his short stint in the World Supersport Championship to a close on a high at Misano in Italy, where the Northern Ireland rider earned a fine top-20 result.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 1:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 1:06 pm

McManus was drafted into the WRP Wepol Racing Team to ride the Yamaha YZF-R6 for the injured Danny Webb, making his debut at Estoril in Portugal last month before arriving at the Marco Simoncelli circuit for round three of the championship.

The 22-year-old qualified in 32nd position after constantly improving his lap times on his maiden visit to Misano, where he ended race one on Saturday in 22nd place.

In Sunday’s second race, which was re-started following a red-flag incident, McManus made further progress on the Yamaha as the Randalstown man took the flag in a very credible 20th position.

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Eugene McManus (15) on the WRP Wepol Racing Yamaha at Misano in Italy. Picture: Vaclav Duska Jr.

Afterwards, he said he was ‘very happy’ with his performance across the weekend.

“Misano is a fantastic circuit. The weekend was tough and I spent the whole time learning,” said McManus, who will again compete in the National Junior Superstock Championship in England this season.

“The times were a lot closer this weekend and my times were constantly improving.

“I was happy with the way the weekend went. In race one the track conditions were difficult because of the heat but it was the same for everyone. Warm-up went really well and perhaps the cooler conditions helped me a little,” he added.

“We only made a few changes for race two and I am really happy to have finished in the top 20. I must end by thanking my sponsors and also the WRP Wepol racing team for all their help.”

His younger brother James is contesting a full season in the World Supersport 300 Championship in 2021 with the Cork-based Team 109 Kawasaki outfit.

The 17-year-old was 31st in race one as he, too, made his Misano debut, but McManus was denied the chance to improve on his result in Sunday’s race after became embroiled in another rider’s crash.

McManus made contact with the fallen rider and came off himself at Turn 4. He returned to the pits for some adjustments to his bike and re-joined the race to gain some more track time.

“In free practice I was just learning the track. It was the first time I was here so I was just chipping away,” he said.

“In Superpole everyone was trying to get a tow and just trying to get the best position they can, so I had to try and do the same myself; my time wasn’t too bad.

“I got a decent start and had a battle with a group in the first race. In race two I got a good start but I got caught up in someone else’s crash at Turn 4,” McManus added.

“I got the bike back to pit lane and they fixed it up and I went back out just to get some laps in. A big thank you to my sponsors and Team 109.”

McManus will also ride in the British Junior Supersport series this year after finishing 12th in the championship in 2020.

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