2016 Young Motorcycle Racer of the year Award Winner – ROBERT ENGLISH
|Robert English was our first ever Young Motorcycle Racer of the Year award winner and will use his prize to fund his 2017 British Superbike Championship Superstock 1000 campaign. Robert will race in six BSB events thanks to the support of Mondello Park, Dawn International, AJ Plumbing Supplies, PAt Duke Plant Services and Megabikes along with his own existing sponsors.
You will be able to follow Roberts Progress here as the 2017 season unfolds.
BRITISH NATIONAL SUPERSTOCK 1000 CHAMPIONSHIP
BSB Donington Park March 30th – April 2nd
BSB Brands Hatch April 15th – 17th
BSB Oulton Park April 29th – May 1st
BSB Knockhill June 16th -18th
BSB Brands Hatch July 21st – 23rd
BSB Silverstone September 8th – 10th
25th April 2017:
British Superstock season continues for Young Racer Award winner
Masters Superbike Championship Young Racer of the Year Robert English continues his maiden BSB Superstock season at Oulton Park this Bank Holiday weekend. The Bangor rider will race his IFS Yamaha in the British Championship for the third time in five weekends with backing from Young Racer award sponsors, Mondello Park, AJ Plumbing Supplies, Dawn International, Pat Duke Plant Services and Megabikes.
The opening two events of the 2017 season have been tough as English and the IFS team have struggled to adjust to the different specification to which they have to run their bike this season compared to last. A positive start at Donington produced a top twenty finish in one of the most competitive fields ever seen in any motorcycle racing championship.
The level of competition was even higher at Brands Hatch where the top twenty six riders were covered by a second in qualifying. English was happy just to make the grid at the Kent circuit, having struggled to find a strong set up for the extremely technical track. Changes for Sunday’s first race did not improve things, leading to a non-finish, but further adjustments for Monday were a move in the right direction as English finally made progress during the second race to leave Round 2 feeling more confident for this weekend’s double header at Oulton Park.
“I was very dejected on the Sunday night but we made another large set-up change for morning warm up on the Monday and changed my seating position, both of which helped.” commented English after race two. “In the race I achieved my best lap of the weekend and passed a few riders at the start which helped my confidence and now I will go to Oulton Park in a more relaxed frame of mind which is when I ride at my best. Once again I must thank all of the award sponsors as without them none of this would be possible.
English will race this coming Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday at Oulton Park after which the championship takes a six week break returning at Knockhill in June. During the break English and the IFS team will compete at home for the first time in 2017 by entering the Irish Championship event at Bishopscourt on May 20th.
4th April 2017:
Tough weekend for English at BSB opener
Young Racer of the Year award winner Robert English could not have picked a tougher weekend to make his British Superstock 1000 debut than the Donington Park season opener. The first race of English’s season took place under extremely changeable weather conditions, on an unfamiliar circuit and included the first endurance race he had ever tackled.
Competing in his first BSB Superstock 1000 event was always going to be a steep learning curve for the reigning Masters Superbike Champion and the changeable weather did not make his task any easier. Following two dry practice sessions qualifying was wet and having been as high as twentieth on the time sheets Robert eventually dropped to 29th, but was still happy to be one of the forty riders who qualified to race from the fifty racers entered.
Races one and two would provide the Mondello Park, Dawn International, AJ Plumbing Services, Pat Duke Plant Services and Megabikes backed rider with the biggest challenge of his career. The first two races of the season would be eighteen laps each, with just a ten minute break between them, making for an hour of almost non-stop action. The longest race English had previously contested was a fifteen minute Masters race around Mondello Park.
With so little time between races the IFS Yamaha team knew that they were stuck for two races with whatever set up they went for in race one, but they opted to take a gamble on a wet set-up. Race one was initially playing into their hands, as English climbed to 9th from 28th on the grid, but as the track dried he fell away to finish 18th. There was just time to change tyres and re-fuel before the restart, so English had to tackle the dry second race with a wet set-up and this dropped him to twenty fifth at the finish.
Having acquitted himself well over the longer races the Bangor rider was confident for Sunday’s shorter final race but soon found out what life in the middle of a packed Superstock 1000 grid was like. The early laps were spent avoiding other riders accidents and off track excursions, so with finishing as his main aim English took his time until the latter stages and then got his head down to set his fastest laps of the weekend on his way to a safe finish in twenty fifth.
English summed up his weekend as “A tough one, but one where I learned so much. I’ll go to Brands Hatch now with a much better understanding of what a BSB Superstock weekend involves and I will look to push harder to get towards the points. Everything about the weekend was new to me from the race distances to the level of competition, as these events are such a huge step up from the Irish scene. I’d like to thank all of the award sponsors who contributed to this weekend, and all of my other supporters and team members for helping me to get this season together and I look forward to giving them some better results at the second event”.
English’s next BSB event will be at Brands Hatch in two weeks time. For the second event the Superstock 1000 will once again have a new format as they tackle a fifty mile race on the short Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
Robert English wins inaugural Young Motorcycle Racer of the Year Award
Following a year long selection process and a final one day shoot-out twenty three year old Robert English has been announced as the first Masters Superbike Championship ‘Young Motorcycle Racer of the Year’. English was announced as the winner at the annual Masters awards ceremony in County Kildare and will now receive a support package valued at €15,000 for his 2017 racing season.
This fantastic new award was introduced by Mondello Park for 2016 and has been a huge success with nineteen riders entering the process. The championship organisers were delighted to receive backing for their unique initiative from Mondello Park owner Martin Birrane, Bishopscourt owner Jim O’Brien, Dawn International, AJ Plumbing Supplies, Pat Duke and Oxford Products which will allow them contribute financially to the next stage of Roberts career as well as providing free race wear and equipment.
English began the year as reigning Masters Supersport Champion and following an impressive debut on his graduation to the Superbike class, was the first nominee for the Young Racer award. Over the remaining five Masters events English was joined by Aaron Clifford, Rhys Irwin, Aaron Armstrong, Jason Lynn and Luke Johnston in a strong line-up which would contest the final of the selection process.
The one day shoot out to decide the best young competitor in the Masters Series took place two weeks ago at Mondello Park, where riders were put through their paces both on and off the track. Each nominee was assessed in a number of areas. Mondello Park general manger Roddy Greene assessed each riders presentation of their past and future careers, communications consultant Gerry Dawson assessed the nominees on their media skills while experienced racers Jeremy McWilliams and Jim Halligan assessed the riders ability with their bike both in the garage and on the track.
When the points in all categories were added up it was English who came out ahead by a slender margin, in what turned out to be a very close competition. Following the shoot-out the competitors were required to wait two weeks to hear the verdict which was announced as the final award of a very successful night for the championship. Speaking after the announcement English expressed his delight saying, “This is the pinnacle of my career and the biggest prize we’ve ever won. It’s unbelievable and incredible. I’m particularly happy to win it as it’s not something you can win by just winning races as it takes everything into account. Winning this award will make my career progression much easier and will go a long way to helping me to reach my aim of racing in Europe next year. Thanks to everyone involved in the award this will make such a huge difference to my career”.
Mondello Park, the competitions supporters and the winner Robert English will agree a plan over the coming days as to how they can assist him with the next stage of his career and are all looking forward to working together to help Robert become Ireland’s next big star.