BURROWS ENGINEERING/RK RACING RETAIN MIKE BROWNE FOR 2022 ROADS ASSAULT AS YOUNG-GUN JACK BURROWS SET FOR MOTO3 DEBUT
Northern Ireland’s Burrows Racing/RK Racing team will go back to their roots in 2022 in a full-scale return to the Irish national road races with promising Cork rider Mike Browne spearheading the challenge.
Browne will be the team’s sole representative between the hedges next season, when he is also set to make his debut at the North West 200 prior to the Isle of Man TT.
Road racing has been particularly hard-hit by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 18 months, with only three Irish national meetings taking place during that time, while the headline events such as the North West and TT suffered back-to-back cancellations.
However, a full calendar is in place for next year, including a return to racing in the Republic of Ireland for the first time since 2019, and the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Team will provide Browne – a Superbike winner at the Cookstown 100 in September – with top-class Yamaha YZF-R6 and Suzuki GSX-R1000 machinery, in addition to a Moto3 250 Honda.
Team owner John Burrows’ 11-year-old son Jack will also be a prominent member of the team in 2022 as he makes the step up to the Ulster short circuits on a Moto3 after cutting his teeth on two wheels this year in the Irish Minibike Championship. Jack will continue to race in the thriving IMC series next year as he builds his racing knowledge and experience, with the ultimate aim of joining the prestigious British Talent Cup grid in 2024 – a move put on hold for the next two years following the introduction of a new minimum age rule.
Team principal – John Burrows:
“Next year the plan is to concentrate solely on Mike Browne at the Irish national road races plus the three major events: the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix, if it returns. As a roads team, national road racing is very close to my heart and that’s where I want to be in 2022 with Mike. We’re focused on making sure Mike has the best opportunity possible going to each and every race: he’s happy within the team and we are happy with him, so it’s a productive environment and we’re all looking forward to next year.
“Mike has been with us now for two seasons, albeit we haven’t had the opportunity to do much racing during that time. However, we have managed to undertake a significant amount of track time in terms of testing and competing at several short circuit events at Mondello Park and Kirkistown, plus the three Irish road races that have taken place since the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020; and a run to the Scarborough Spring Cup this year. Another plus for Mike is that he has had time to gel with the team over these past two seasons and we have got a solid base setting going into 2022, so he is in a comfortable position ahead of next year. I felt he really raised his game and he was rewarded with a good win on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 this year at the Cookstown 100, which was very impressive considering that Mike had never rode a big bike before prior to joining the team in 2020. We’re going into 2022 with strong foundation for Mike and I fully believe in his ability to do a good job. I don’t have any expectations or goals set out for him, but I do believe he will achieve good things for us at the national and major road races.”
“My son Jack will also be a big part of the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Team next year. I had actually considered running Jack in the British Talent Cup in 2022 but a change to the rules with regards to the minimum age means we will have to wait for another two years. With that in mind, we are now going to run Jack on a Moto3 machine at the Ulster short circuit meetings at Bishopscourt and Kirkistown, but we will also concentrate on the Irish Minibike Championship and a few rounds of the British Minibike Championship as well. My plan for Jack is to get him as much track time as possible on the short circuits here over the next two years before making the switch to the British Talent Cup in 2024.
The coronavirus pandemic has presented extra challenges for the team over these past two seasons, but I’m so lucky to have a main sponsor on board with us like Charlotte Richardson of RK Racing. Charlotte has been fantastic for our progress as a team, we speak on a weekly basis, she has a great passion for this sport and we have a great relationship. I cannot thank her enough for what she has done for us over these last number of years. Put simply, if it wasn’t for Charlotte we wouldn’t be able to operate on the scale that we do. We have numerous other sponsors on board as well who understand the challenges we have faced because of Covid-19, with so few opportunities to go racing. They have stood by us and we are very grateful to them for their ongoing support.”
“It’s great to have signed again with the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Team for 2022. John and the lads put so much work put into the bikes this year to get them to suit me. We got them right towards the end of the year, got some decent results, and now we can go into next year with a bit of a head-start. The nervousness of riding a big bike has definitely gone and now the aim is to just try and get even faster on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 next year. That’s what I want to concentrate on in 2022 and I feel happy and well settled in the team, so everything is looking good and at the moment it seems as though we’ll be in for a busy season.
“John is keen to really put a big effort into me next year and he has put a lot of work into the bikes – any little thing I’ve suggested or asked for with the bikes he has gone above and beyond this year, so the bikes will be among the best on the grid. It’s a brilliant team to be involved with and Charlotte is a great backer to have behind us. With a bit of luck we’ll have a lot of bike racing to do next year, which will be great after two years with very little action because of Covid.
“The Irish nationals are obviously a big focus for us as a team but the main event in 2022 will be the Isle of Man TT, because I won’t be expecting too much at the North West 200 or the Ulster Grand Prix, where I’ll be going as a newcomer. I’m just praying and hoping for a good, dry two weeks at the TT and my main aim will be to try and do a good job for the team over there.”
“I’m thrilled to have been able to support the team over this period and can’t wait for a full season. It’s great to see Mike loving the big bike and it’s great to see Jack move to two wheels so successfully – exciting times. I love being part of this team and as a Manx girl I obviously can’t wait to get back to the TT!”