Gillan races to Masters Superbike podium hat-trick at Mondello
Encouraged by a successful Fund Raising event in his hometown Claremorris, Motorbike racer Michael Gillan did not disappoint his many supporters the following weekend with a trio of podium finishes in the latest rounds of the Masters Superbike Cup Championship held at Mondello Park.
The white Suzuki GSXR-1000 K6 rider began the triple-header race card for Rounds 7, 8 & 9 at the famous County Kildare circuit with the first qualifying session on the Saturday morning.
The day began on a positive note as the weather was good with Michael heading into the fray with confidence from the success of the last rounds to when two second place finishes were recorded. “I went out to qualify in great shape and did the first timed laps and was in fourth position right up until the last lap when I pushed a little harder and qualified second.”
Following a few adjustments to the bike’s suspension, Michael, a mechanical engineer by profession, was ready for Race 1. “I got a good start from the grid and managed to stay with the professional riders for about a lap but they were racing on and I couldn’t keep up with their pace but still managed to settle for second place behind series leader Andrew Murphy, and six seconds ahead Raymond O’Neill in third place.”
Another quick start from the lights for Race 2 saw Michael once again chasing the pro riders but with great effort somehow he kept them in his sights to take the second step on the podium and achieve a personal best lap of 57.1 seconds around the National track.
After that race and upon entering the field for Race 3 Michael said that the bike #106 was in top shape but the rear tyre was starting to wear. As the race went on he beginning to struggle with less grip. However, consistent fast lap times paid off and came yet another second place.
Michael now lies second in the Masters Superbike Cup Championship with 131 points, 26 points behind Andrew Murphy, who won all races over the weekend and 6 points ahead of Dean O’Grady.
Looking ahead to the next round of the ‘Masters’ which will be held once again at Mondello Park over the weekend of 15/16 July, Michael has one objective to achieve the first elusive win. “I’m going in with confidence and with great hope for the win. I would like to thank the many local businesses for supporting my recent Fund Raiser at the D’Alton Inn Hotel and to www.Irishmotorsportsnews.com, Fleet Transport (www.fleet.ie) Claremorris and Murphy Sand Blasting Services, Ballina for their continued sponsorship to me over the 2017 season.”
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The 2017 Masters Superbike Championship is Ireland’s biggest Motorcycle Racing Series. The Championship attracts the best of Ireland’s Short Circuit racers, many of whom regularly compete on the support package of the British Superbike Championship, along with occasional appearances by top Road Racers backed up by an impressive line-up of local stars and up and coming young riders. The series has run since 2011 and is seen as the ideal proving ground for young Irish riders looking to build an International Motorcycle Racing career.