The Masters Superbike Championship is getting ready for one of the annual highlights of its calendar as it heads for Bishopscourt County Down. Rounds sixteen and seventeen of the Masters take place on the fast former airfield circuit on Sunday August 20th in what will be the penultimate race weekend of the Masters season.
As an added attraction the Bishopscourt event will include the ‘Norman Brown Trophy’ feature race for the fastest Superbike and Supersport competitors over the course of the event. The feature race will have its own prize fund separate to the Masters races, with £500 going to the race winner out of a total fund of £1,150.
The Masters Superbike class has closed up recently with two wins in a row for Charles Stuart helping the Parker Transport backed Yamaha rider to close the gap to championship leader Richie Ryan by forty points. Ryan with his Mobil-1 backed R1 had won the previous five races and remains the man to beat in the championship, as he holds a seventy three point lead over Stuart. Third placed Mark O’Byrne, with his Ray Quinn Solicitors BMW, is under increasing pressure from Luke Johnston, as the reigning Supersport Champion gets used to his Unlimited Industries backed BMW.
With a number of riders expected to return to the Superbike class at Bishopscourt, Ryan and Stuart will have a fight on their hands to continue their winning ways. Gerard Kinghan is expected to make his comeback to the series having missed two events while Peter Moloney and Brian McCormack could also return following massive accidents at the July rounds of the Masters at Mondello Park. Additional riders are expected to make one off appearances and details of these will be available closer to the event.
In Supersport Jason Lynn, on the Walter Bell Suzuki continues to lead from Kingsbury Packaging’s Ross Patterson, with these two riders having shared ten of the fourteen race wins so far this season. Their main opposition has come from Korie McGreevy who has made occasional appearances at the Masters this season and taken two wins. If he joins the grid at Bishopscourt, the top two will once again be in for a titanic battle.
Also guaranteed to figure at the front is the Supersport Cup leader Eunan McGlinchey. The young man from Aghadowey has regularly put it up to the overall front runners, but is no longer aiming to become the first Cup rider to win a Masters Supersport race overall, as this honour was taken by another highly impressive young rider, Kia McGreevy, at the last Mondello Park round.
Of the supporting races the Principal Insurance pre-injection class is developing into the most tightly fought, as Darryl Sharkey and Joe Grant continue the season long battle which has seen them swap positions at the top of the standings after almost every race. The combined Supertwin and Production Twin race has been enlivened by the presence of the aforementioned McGlinchey who continues his giant killing act by putting his Production Twin machine in amongst the Supertwins on a regular basis. The final support class to travel to Bishopscourt will be the Lightweight Supersport championship which is currently led by Jason Cassells.
The build up to the Masters at Bishopscourt can be followed on the Masters Superbike Championship and Bishopscourt Racing Circuit’s facebook pages. Information on the championship along with the Bishopscourt entry form can be found at www.mastersuperbike.ie.