One of the up and coming stars in this years ISB was Portadowns John Matthews the newly crowned Irish and Ulster Superbike Cup champion.
Admitting to be a bit of a late starter to the racing lark, John has always been interested in motor bikes, his Dad, Peter (Matthews) was one of the leading riders back in the days of the Cloughmills Supporters Club Streetbike championship, when he raced along side the likes of Geoff McConnell etc.
Amazingly, it wasn’t his Dad that coaxed him into racing, but a few of his close friends! Here John takes up the story ;
“I got into racing from a few of my friends buying track bikes and I bought a non runner 1987 yamaha fzr400 for a few hundred quid.
Along with my Dad we fettled at it to get it going, then took in a couple of track days, and before I knew it, I was hooked.
We then took in the training days early 2016 before acquiring my race licence .”
John certainly didnt disappoint, in his first race , he took his 600 yamaha to pole ,before going on to take third overall!
John continued to impress throughout the season, but a major engine failure at the third last round of the championships saw his debut season come to a rather abrupt end, nevertheless, John managed to take 4th place in the Ulster 600 Cup championship.
Over the winter, John mulled over what bike he should go for in 2017, after a long thought, he spotted a rather special Honda Fireblade for sale, owned by top manx endure specialist David McKnight!
Matthews took in a few track days at the start of the season to get the feel of his new mount, and it has certainly paid dividends, never has he been of the podium in his class this year!.
As he heads to the Sunflower, John has racked up an amazing 13 wins ,two second places and four third placings, and is already crowned Irish and Ulster Superbike cup champion.
“I would like to Thank everyone who has helped me with my racing, especially my Mum and Dad for helping me purchase this years fireblade, there is no other way I could have been racing this year without them.
Also my girlfriend Agnieszka for keeping us informed on the pit wall. Another mention has to go out to John and Matthew Coulter from Technidrive for helping me get started racing.
I wish everyone a safe and successful Sunflower meeting”
Admission Charges for Sunflower Trophy Race Meeting ; £10 on Friday£15 on Sat or £20 for the weekend. Includes free program and parking. Also no extra charge for campers or tents
Note for Sunflower race Competitors
Bishopscourt Racing Circuit
Gates Will Open On Thursday 19th Oct
at 2pm For Competitor Setup, Closing at Midnight. Friday 20th Gates Will Open At 6am Closing Again …
At Midnight Re opening Saturday 21st At 6am.
The Circuit To Be Vacated 7pmSaturday Evening