Eugene McManus ‘stunned’ by World Supersport chance

Eugene McManus said he was left ‘stunned’ by the opportunity to make his World Supersport debut this weekend at Estoril in Portugal.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 5:41 pm
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 5:45 pm

The Randalstown rider was offered the chance to ride a Yamaha YZF-R6 for the WRP Wepol Racing team as a replacement for the injured Danny Webb, who is continuing his recovery from wrist surgery following a pre-season crash.

McManus, who will embark on his second season in the Pirelli National Junior Superstock Championship, follows his younger brother James into world championship racing, who is riding in the World Supersport 300 series this year for the Cork-based Team 109 Kawasaki team.

The 22-year-old will also ride for the WRP Wepol Racing team at the Misano round in Italy next month.

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Eugene McManus on the Affinity Sports Kawasaki in last year's Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship. Picture: David Yeomans.

McManus said: “I am stunned by the opportunity offered to me and can’t thank everyone enough for believing in me.

“I am really looking forward to the challenge of both these iconic circuits,” added McManus, who finds himself in the same paddock as six-time WSBK champion Jonathan Rea.

“I must thank WRP Wepol Racing, Danny Webb, my sponsors and John Laverty.”

McManus was 24th fastest in the opening free practice session on Friday and 25th quickest in FP2.

Both Eugene and his brother James spent a long winter preparing for the season ahead.

Apart from their all-year-round regular training schedule of gym work and mountain biking, they also spent two months in Spain, where their training programme included cycling, Supermoto, pit-bikes and flat-tracking.

The brothers also took advantage of the chance to soak up advice from World Superbike riders Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes, plus Moto2 contender Sam Lowes, who trained with them in Spain.

The first World Supersport race takes place at 15:15 BST on Saturday, with race two at 12:30 BST on Sunday.

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