Aug 01, 2018
After a successful year in the Mondello Masters Superbike Cup, motorbike racer Michael Gillan decided to change to Road Racing in the Supertwin 650cc class.
The Claremorris based mechanical engineer’s first outing in this series with a new bike – a Suzuki SV650 was at the recent Principal Insurance Walderstown ‘Race of the South’ in Athlone where he competed in the Junior support races.
Organised by the long established Fore Motor Cycling Racing Club, the two-day event has gained a strong reputation for top class racing. High profile competitors from the past included Joey Dunlop, Eddie Laycock and Johnny Rea. Michael was more than satisfied with his maiden runs securing third and fourth places in a competitive field.
In his own words, he describes how the races went: “Saturday was a nice warm day, perfect conditions for qualifying and I had five laps practice following the marshal and then made some adjustments to the bike. Out on qualifying, the bike felt great and was handling perfect, so after five laps I qualified fourth fastest, which was pleasing.”
“In the first race, I got a good start off the line and was leading, but Barry Sheehan came past and managed to stay in front. I held onto second place for about a lap but Ray Sheeran passed me but I managed to stay with the front runners and keep third place with only 1.5 seconds from the overall leader.”
“Next morning for Race 2 on Sunday was very wet and with rain promised all day, I went out in practice to get used to the slippery conditions, and laid claim to fourth on the grid for the second race. By the first corner I was up to second place but as the laps went by, fell back to fourth, which I was happy enough with, especially in tricky conditions.”
The road races were held along closed routes from north Athlone to Mullingar, taking in Walderstown and Mount Temple.
Michael wishes to thank his team at Gillan Racing including family and friends who helped to get him up and running in his new challenge, especially to everyone who assisted over the weekend and all the marshalls and medics that were on duty at the event.
“I would also like to thank Murphy Sandblasting Services (Ballina) and irishmotorsportnews.com for their continued support.”
Michael will be racing again in Killalane on 8/9 September.
Check out his race updates on Facebook #GillanRacing & on Twitter @GillanRacing
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