By Kyle White Belfast Newsletter.
Ulster team Burrows Engineering/RK Racing have signed promising southern Irish road racer Mike Browne for 2020.
The quiet Irishman will ride a Superstock Suzuki GSX-R1000 and a Yamaha YZF-R6 for John Burrows’ team at the Irish national road races this season, plus the North West 200 and the TT, which will be the team’s key objectives.
Team owner Burrows, who also plans to add a second rider to the line-up to replace Derek Sheils, said: “I’ve been keeping an eye on Mike Browne for a while now and I had a good chat with him at the TT last year.
“I’m excited to work with Mike because he’s a young rider who I feel has good potential.
“He has a good attitude to racing and I was impressed with his 18th place in the Supersport race at the TT, where he only had limited laps due to the bad run of wet weather.
“He is still very inexperienced at the TT so that was a really solid result and hopefully we can help Mike take the next step in his career.
“Mike knows the Irish road racing circuits and he fits into our strategy of trying to bring promising talent through the ranks. He’s a hot prospect for the future and he could be the man to take over from the likes of Derek Sheils, Derek McGee and Michael Sweeney in the coming years if he keeps learning his craft.”
Cork man Browne finished fourth in the Irish Supersport Championship in 2019, ending the year on a winning note with victory in the second 600 race at the East Coast Festival at Killalane in north county Dublin last September.
He also showed his potential with an excellent ride to 18th place in the second Supersport race at the Isle of Man TT after finishing 20th in the first race.
It was an impressive performance by Browne, who was competing at the TT for the first time after finishing fourth in the Senior Manx Grand Prix in 2018 on his Mountain Course debut.
He said: “I’m delighted to be joining Burrows Engineering/RK Racing and John runs a great team, so I’m in good hands.
“Having the bikes prepared for me will make a huge difference because I was spending a couple of nights a week in the shed doing my own spannering last season, which wasn’t really ideal.
“I’m ready to put in a lot of effort this year and try and make the most of this opportunity.
“I’m going to push and see how we get on, but definitely in the Supersport class I’d like to think we’ll be challenging at least for the national championship title,” he added.
“The TT is the main target for us and I just hope this year that we get some good weather because both times I’ve been there, it has rained.
“Between the Manx Grand Prix in 2018 and the TT last year, I’ve only done 15 laps of the course, so I need to get more laps under my belt and build up my experience.”
Businesswoman Charlotte Richardson of RK Racing is entering her second season of involvement with the Dungannon-based team and says she is excited by Browne’s potential.
“It’s great to continue the collaboration with John and the Burrows team and I am excited to have Mike on board – he has a lot of potential and is very hungry to progress,” she said.
“Helping upcoming riders is something I am passionate about and I can’t wait for testing and the coming season.”