Ulster Grand Prix winner Neil Kernohan adds Yamaha R1M to Logan Racing stable

Ballymena man Neil Kernohan with his new Logan Racing Yamaha R1M. Picture: Mark Fenton.
Ballymena man Neil Kernohan with his new Logan Racing Yamaha R1M. Picture: Mark Fenton.
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Ulster Grand Prix winner Neil Kernohan has added a Yamaha R1M to his stable of machinery for 2019 when he will again compete under the Logan Racing banner.

Kernohan also has two new Yamaha R6s at his disposal and a Kawasaki Supertwin, which is being backed by McCloy Home Improvements.

Ulster Grand Prix winner Neil Kernohan's Logan Racing Yamaha R1M and R6 machines.

Ulster Grand Prix winner Neil Kernohan's Logan Racing Yamaha R1M and R6 machines.

The Ballymena rider, who turns 31 next week, intends to compete at all the Irish national road races plus the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix.

Kernohan last rode a 1000cc machine two years ago but is hopeful he can make solid progress this season on the Yamaha R1M, which has been built by Geoffrey Barron of IFS Racing.

“I rode a Kawasaki ZX-10 a couple of years back but we never really got a good run at it,” Kernohan said.

“I’m riding for Logan Racing again and I’ve got a Yamaha R1M this year, which has been built by Geoffrey Barron of IFS Racing.

“They are running Gerard Kinghan in the Ulster Superbike Championship and Geoffrey will look after the bike for us this year.

“I mainly wanted a Superstock bike for the internationals,” added Kernohan, who won the Lightweight race at the Ulster Grand Prix in 2016 and again stood on the top step last year after taking the honours on the 250cc Logan Honda.

“I’ve also got two new Yamaha R6s and a Supertwin, plus the 250 Honda, which we’ll probably only use at selected road races and the Ulster Grand Prix, which I’d like to try and win again.

“The plan is to do all the national road races and the internationals as usual and hopefully we can get some decent results.

“I’m a frontrunner in the Lightweight class so it would be nice to get a bit further up in the other classes as well.”

Kernohan would love the opportunity to compete in the Lightweight race at the Classic TT on the Isle of Man, which features the largest line-up of 250cc bikes at any road race.

He has raced around the Mountain Course before at the Manx Grand Prix and was leading the Newcomers’ race when he broke down in 2015.

Kernohan also experienced bad luck with a DNF in the Senior MGP and hasn’t been back since, although he hasn’t given up hope of securing an entry for the Classic TT in August.

“I’d love the chance to go back to the Manx Grand Prix even though I never had any luck when I went there for the first time,” he said.

“I broke down when I was leading the Newcomers’ race and then the bike broke in the Senior, so I haven’t been back since. I’m self-employed and run my own gearbox repairs business, so it’s just impossible to get away for a fortnight to do the event and plus I’d need to pay boys to come and help me, so it would cost a fortune.

“But I’d jump at the chance to do the Lightweight race at the Classic TT on a 250. It’s still early days I suppose so we’ll wait and see.”

Kernohan plans to compete in a few short circuit races ahead of next month’s Cookstown 100, including the Easter meetings at Bishopscourt and Kirkistown to get some track time under his belt.

“The plan is to do a few of the short circuit races before the roads and we’ll probably get to the first Ulster Superbike round at the end of March,” he said.

“I’ll probably do the Easter races as well just to get a run out before Cookstown.

“Hopefully we’ll have a good year this year and the sport really needs it because it was a bad season last year. Sometimes things go that way and I think road racing was really under the spotlight last year because we lost so many big riders.

“Everything is blown up now with social media and all the coverage, but you just have to get on with things.”