February 2020
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by / Monday, 24 February 2020 / Published in Blog / News, Motor Bike Racing

Photo By Maurice Montgomery

The Motorcycle Road Racing Club of Ireland Ltd are a promoting motorcycle racing club who promote two premier short circuit events each year, the annual Enkalon Trophy Races on Easter Saturday and the David Wood Motorcycle Trophy Races in September.

After our race event in September, we identified that we could possibly help with the way youth are introduced to the national tarmac motorcycle racing from mini, pit bike and motocross racing when they become 12yrs old. Currently the Irish Minibike Championship, cater for youth riders from the age of 6yrs to veteran road racers.

Many European countries have established a way to turn schoolkids into GP champs. Italy and Spain lead the way, while Britain only recently introduced the British Talent Cup, now a British Championship class in which youngsters get a shot at the big time. The difference here in Northern Ireland is we need to encourage the youth that race in local mini moto and pit bike racing that they can come and have a go at National Racing from the age of 12.

Our very own five times World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea started out in youth motocross and there is no reason why any youth competitors of today couldn’t reach World Championship levels.

A committee of 6 club members have set up with Mrs Lee Wood blessings “The Team Wood Motorcycle Youth Academy” that is inspired by our late Chairman and great friend Davy Wood, who was dedicated to helping others within motorcycle racing with his Team Wood and sponsor deals for Championships.
Our academy’s aim is to help Parents/Guardians with our support and knowledge to give these young competitors between the ages of 12 -15, both boys & girls an opportunity in motorcycle racing at a lower cost and receive the right training, technique to inspire confidence.

The Academy received 5 applications and our initial objective was to help one competitor in 2020, that appliciant would have the use of a new Tianda TDR 300 machine to compete in the MOTO-ONE class at Ulster Superbike and Mondello Park events. This is an entry level race class and a purpose-built pukka machine. After further meetings we decided that all five would get support with free entries to all MCRRCI events in 2020.

The committee have also worked hard over the recent months to attract sponsors, donations and race support discounts from long established trade, club sponsors and race supporters.

We can announce that 12yr old Alexander Rowan from Dromore Co Down will have the full support of the Academy.

Alexander had a fantastic 2019 season in minibike championships
MMRCI Pit bike 125cc. 15 wins from 15 starts, secured 2 x championships.
2019 Ulster & Irish Champion. (junior gearbox pro class) Irish Minibike Championship (IMC) KTM 65cc 5 Race wins, 7 other podiums and finishing 3rd in the championship.

Ulster Superbike Championship (Young guns class). Aprilia RS 125cc. Alexander only started after turning 12 at end of June.

Round 7 – Bishopscourt, 7th & 4th.
Round 8 – Kirkistown, 2nd & 2nd.
Round 9 – Bishopscourt, 4 x 4th places.
Finished 6th in championship.

Alexander will have full use of the Academy Tianda machine, Academy race suit supplied by Forrest Chen at First Choice gear, an Arai Helmet from Arai, boots & gloves by Ernie Coates Race support and IFS Global Logistics support.
The other four Academy competitors are

Martin Burnett from Glengormley 15yrs Kai McClintock, Ballymena 13yrs Robert Ronan from Co Dublin 13yrs Lee Hara, Coleraine 13yrs.

All five youth competitors will receive mentorship from Ali Kirk, Ulster Superbike Championship runner up in 2019 and multiple Irish Supersport Champion and triple David Wood Trophy winner Jason Lynn.
Plus, workshop training on basic and base suspension set up by Pro Link Racings – Clarence Bell, our Ohlin’s expert.

We have race commentator Alan Drysdale onboard to give advice on self-promotion and press interviews.

All five riders are coming from IMC minibike Championship and all academy competitors will have trade, discounts and other support from Arai Helmets, Wiz Knee sliders, Rea Timber Craft, Signstik, Nutt Travel, Pirelli tyres, NRG, ANJ Parts, The Visorshop- Crossan Motorcycles and the Irish Classic Bike Festival.

The future of our sport is the Youth of today, this is our start to helping towards the future and hopefully a World Champion. We will endeavour to build on the academy and the number of competitors we currently help in 2021, Anyone wishing to contribute to the academy please contact MCRRCI club.


Mark Sanlon
Team Wood Motorcycle Youth Academy. 07861747004

Input from Alexander Rowan on what it means to have been given the chance to ride the Team Wood Motorcycle youth Academy this season.
I am really excited to have been selected to represent the Team Wood Motorcycle Youth Academy in 2020 on a Brand new 300 Tianda.

Everyone and I at Team Rowan would like to thank Team Wood Motorcycle Youth Academy for the opportunity to ride for their team. In the coming season I will be riding a 300 Tianda in the new Moto-One class at USBK and Mondello Masters. It is a fantastic opportunity and a great privilege to represent and to be associated with the prestigious David Wood name, who has done so much for our sport over the decades.

I would also like to thank everyone at the MCRRCI and especially Mark Sanlon for the huge amount of effort it has taken to provide me with this opportunity.

Alexander #46

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