Three-year deal signed to bring World Superbikes to Northern Ireland

Three-time champion Jonathan Rea could soon be racing in a World Superbike round on his home patch in Northern Ireland.

A three-year deal has been reached between World Superbike Championship organisers Dorna and Manna Developments to host a round of the series at the £30m Lake Torrent Circuit in Coalisland, Co Tyrone.

Triple WSBK champion Jonathan Rea could soon be racing in front of his home fans as early as 2019 after news of the agreement was confirmed on Thursday.

An aerial view of a generated image of how the new 30 million Lake Torrent circuit will look.

Work is currently underway on the 2.2-mile circuit at the former clay pits site and Daniel Carrera, World Superbike Executive Director, said he was delighted to be adding Northern Ireland as a new location for the series.

Speaking at a reception in the Mid Ulster Council offices in Dungannon, he said: “We are delighted to be adding Northern Ireland as a destination for the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, Lake Torrent circuit is a fantastic project that will deliver a high-class facility for competitors and visitors.

“We are proud that Manna Developments and Mid Ulster representatives have chosen World Superbikes as their top event for the international promotion of the circuit and region.

“We know that the proper management of this kind of facility could provide the local community with new opportunities through business, job creation, leisure and tourism. With the large tradition and culture in motorcycling in Northern Ireland, I am sure that this event could become a reference in our Championship in the near future.”

David Henderson of Manna Developments added: “For the past 15 years it has been a dream of mine to build a motor racing circuit that incorporates the feel of the road with the safety of an international standard track – and also to bring the World Superbike Championship to Northern Ireland.

“Having finally identified the perfect location and achieved planning permission last year, today sees the completion of that dream and is a day that will only be topped when we see up to 30,000 spectators converge in Coalisland for the first World Superbike racing event in Northern Ireland. They really don’t come much bigger than this,” he added.

“This is a historic milestone for the town of Coalisland, the county of Tyrone and indeed for the whole of Northern Ireland as we celebrate the realisation of our vision to create an internationally recognised motorsport arena which will become a venue for regional, national and international competitions for many years to come.”

More from Sport