Apr 02, 2017
Michael Gillan first excursion back on the competitive motorbike racing in the first three rounds of the 2017 Masters Superbike Cup at Mondello Park was a learning exercise, but fruitful none the less. The Claremorris based Suzuki GSXR-1000 K6 rider returned to circuit racing after a long absence and made good progress over the weekend’s race card at the famous Kildare track. Excellent weather conditions made for perfect conditions for racing.
On day one and within the first qualifying session set up issues arose with Michael’s bike #106, a mechanical engineer by profession trying hard to get the bike’s suspension just right to suit Mondello’s International Circuit. Michael qualified 9th for the Superbike Cup season opener with a time of 1min flat.
The few changes made before race one worked somewhat with Michael gaining two positions to finish seventh. Still not entirely happy with the bikes handling a few more tweaks were made that evening, hoping it would improve things, and after a five-minute warm up on the Sunday morning, he said bike felt a lot better.
Race two on day two, Michael managed to get a good start but the suspension niggles returned and he struggled to keep up the fast pace, despite that he still finished in 6th place. All after two restarts from red flag incidents.
Race three was reduced to twelve laps, and Michael was quick from the lights again from sixteenth place on the grid to take the chequered flag in sixth position, with a good lap time of 59 seconds.
More technical modifications will be made to the bike for the next race in Kirkistown, Northern Ireland on the 17 April, with the ambition still burning to finish higher up the finishing rankings over the season.
Michael gave special mention to his sponsors and supporters – Murphy Sandblasting Services (Ballina), Fleet Transport and www.irishmotorsportsnews.com together with family and friends for helping him get to the starting grid.
Issued by Irish Motorsports News – 02.04.17
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