Gillian returns to podium at Dunlop Mondello Masters Superbike Championship
Having tried his hand at road racing last season the lure of the confined circuit proved too strong for Mayo racer Michael Gillan with a return to Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship last weekend.
With his newly liveried bike – a Suzuki SV650 Supertwin, Michael adapted to his new but not too unfamiliar surroundings at Mondello Park, finishing 5th in race one, and 3rd in the following two races at Rounds 4, 5 & 6 around the County Kildare track. The Claremorris based mechanical engineer rebuilt his bike over the Winter break changing suspension set-up and decided on giving it a new vibrant colour scheme. Michael describes how the weekend turned out for him: “I headed to Mondello on the Friday morning to get the bike set-up as there were major changes made to the bike from last year. With the help of Mark Arnott from Moto Shox, we managed to get a good suspension set-up ready for qualifying Saturday morning.”
“The bike was ready to go and I went out into qualifying, which was a timed practice of 17 minutes. After a few laps, I was lowering my lap times, but the bike still wasn’t the way I wanted it and qualified 4th in the Supertwin race.
Before Race 1, I made another adjustment to the suspension and went out in the warm up and the bike again felt much better which led making a good start and managed to get up to 4th place but after two laps the race was red flagged. When the PCRS Twins race restarted I got off to a bad start and managed to finish in 5th place.”
“On the Sunday there was a warm up and two races, and I was looking forward to a good return from the day’s activities ahead. On my first run on the day in Race 2, I had a great jump off the lights, feeling strong and able to push harder and finished up in 3rd place.
In the next race (#3), I got up to third place and was keeping up with the front runners Ross Irwin and David Halligan, but struggled to keep up to their pace, so I settled for 3rd place and a secured personal best lap time of 1min 52.571, two seconds faster than my previous time, which was pleasing.”
After the adrenalin rush calmed down Michael reflected on his successful return and thanked his family and friends, Lucy, Liam, Liam Murray and Mark Gillan. “I would also like to thank everyone in the garage at Mondello Park for helping with the pit board and to my sponsors – Fleet Transport, www.irishmotorsportsnews.com, The Hideout Pub; Foxford, Deys Motorsports; Ballyvary, Murphy Sand Blasting Services, Functional Fitness Ballina, Polish School Claremorris,
FB Avon; Tuam and Moto Shox.”
For regular updates on Michael’s season, follow Gillanracing on Facebook.
On the 25th May in the Hideout Pub, Foxford, Michael Gillan is hosting a Rock Night fundraising event, with barbecue, spot prizes and drink promotions on the night. Starting at 9pm, everyone is welcome to come along and support a local racer and have a good night craic.
Photos courtesy of Johnny Sweeny.
Issued by www.irishmotorsportsnews.com