Biggest Entry of 2024 sees Principal Insurance Masters set for bumper weekend

The 2024 Principal Insurance Masters Superbike Championship races back into Mondello Park this weekend (June 29th & 30th) with the biggest entry of the season so far, as it reaches its halfway point. 170 riders will contest Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the Masters Championship along with Round 2 of the FIM MiniGP Ireland Series, the only FIM World Championship series running in Ireland.

With the support of Irish Motorcycle Insurance specialists Principal Insurance, Part of Howden, the Masters series is continuing to get back to the glory of its most successful season, in 2022, just prior to Motorcycle Sport’s enforced break. Returning for 2024 the championship was expected to take time to get back to full strength, but the enthusiasm of Irish competitors and fans has seen the series exceed all expectations this season.

The headline Principal Superbike class will have some opposition for fans attention this weekend, as the Supersport ranks have swollen to more than forty five bikes. The quality of the riders and machinery at the front of the Superbike field, which includes Kevin Keyes, Brian McCormack and Michael Sweeney who are all getting back into Short Circuit mode following the Isle of Man TT, will guarantee plenty of high speed action. However the sheer number of competitive Supersport riders means that the lighter machines could provide the real action this weekend, with Keyes and Sweeney also on the start list, alongside event two stars Oisin Maher and Emmet O’Grady. Superbike and Supersport will headline the weekend’s action with qualifying and race one on Saturday and two prime-time races for each on Sunday.

The Megabikes Twins class is also on the up, with a full grid of Super and Production Twins set to race. In Supertwins Oisin Maher will once again have British Sportbike Championship contender Darragh Crean for opposition, which should make it harder for him to continue his winning streak. The presence of Michael Sweeney and Kevin Baker on the grid, will only add to the competitiveness of the class. The Production class has had four different winners across the fist six rounds and seven different riders on the podium and this unpredictability is expected to continue into June’s event.

The young stars of the DM Groundworks Junior Championship will have a physically tough day on Sunday, as they tackle three races in one day for the first time. The entire field will be out to stop Reuben Sherman Boyd from continuing his Junior Supersport winning streak, with Rhys Gates as the most likely to knock him off the top spot. The concurrent Moto1 races will be just as hard fought, with championship leader Fionn O’Connell looking to maintain his advantage over Fionn Stephens.

The FIM MiniGP class makes its Mondello Park return this weekend and will complete all of its qualifying and racing on Saturday. The FIM sanctioned series, for 10 to 14 year old’s, on identical Ohvale bikes, will run on the full Mondello Park National Circuit for the first time.

Racing on Saturday gets underway from 12:00, once qualifying has been completed. Sunday’s race programme begins a lot earlier with the first race scheduled for 10:00. Admission to the event is €17.50 for adults, booked in advance on-line, or €20 at the gate, while Under 16’s are admitted free. All admission includes free Grandstand seating and a complimentary event programme along with Pit Lane access during the Sunday lunch break.