When the Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship competitors return to action on July 23rd and 24th they will have more to focus on than championship points. The biggest single race award of the season, the Hutchison Trophy, is also up for grabs. The trophy is adorned with many famous Motorcycle Racing names including, Joey Dunlop, Eddie Laycock, Jeremy McWilliams and the only two previous winners on this years entry list, Derek Sheils and Brian McCormack, and will be presented to the winner of the Leinster 200, the final Superbike race of the weekend.
Alongside the prestigious Leinster 200 race the Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship reaches another significant junction at its July event. Rounds ten, eleven and twelve will be the last chance for riders to improve their points tally before dropped scores are taken into account in preparation for the 2022 Shoot Out. The Shoot Out will take place over the final two events of the season in August and September with riders counting all of the points scored over the six races.
The Superbike Class has been incredibly close so far this year with two new names, Alan Kenny and Emmett O’Grady making the top step of the podium for the first time. Thomas O’Grady leads the championship chase, following a run of podium finishes, with Kenny and Emmett O’Grady close behind, just ahead of Derek Sheils. Former Leinster 200 winner Sheils, will be one of the favourites to lift the Hutchison Trophy, but alongside the regular championship opposition he will also have fellow TT competitor Brian McCormack to overcome in order to take the win. The Waterford man will ride a BMW for British Superbike Team FHO, as he returns home to compete in the Masters Superbike class for the first time in a number of years.
Just like the headline Superbike class, the Supersport racers will have their own trophy to compete for with the Leinster 100 trophy up for grabs. Having become more competitive as the season has progressed the Supersport class is set to go up another notch, as 2021 Champion Kevin Keyes rejoins the grid. Keyes will join fellow British Superbike paddock refugee Josh Elliott, Emmett O’Grady and Elliott’s AKR Racing team mate A Jay Carey as the favourites to add their name to the Leinster 100 roll of honour.
While all eyes will be on the Supersport and Superbike battles, the Principal Insurance Supertwin class will also benefit from the return to Mondello Park of another Irish Road Racing star, Joseph Loughlin. Loughlin recently became the first Republic of Ireland rider to win at the North West 200 since Raymond Porter in 2005, and only the eighth in the history of the event, joins the grid. The Monaghan based rider and former Masters Supersport race winner will join the Masters Supertwin grid at Mondello Park looking to end the Supertwin domination of the Aprilia’s with his Kawasaki.
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