Another bumper year for Kerry motorcycle racers

Motorcycle racing in Kerry enjoyed another strong year after 18 riders competed across several categories this season.

Despite five Kerry-based riders moving on the different things this year, five newcomers took their place ensuring the same number of riders were in action all season.

Only counties Dublin and Cork are better represented during Dunlop Masters meetings at Mondello Park.

Dylan McElligott emigrated to Australia in May but his father Tom Sr bought his bike and raced in the Production Twin class against his other son Tom Jr.

Photo by Dan Tucker

Superbike racer Frank Doherty took up cycling and enjoyed some top results on the local road racing scene with Killarney Cycling Club.  Newcomer Stephen Heelan, from Headford, ensured that Killarney’s representation continued at rounds of the Dunlop Master Irish Championship all season.

Heelan raced in the Production Twin class too as did fellow newcomers Alex Kenny, Alex O’Grady and Rob O’Donoghue.

Photo by Dan Tucker

They replaced Samantha Martin, Siobhan Ardener and Maurice Fealy on the Mondello Park grids.

Kevin Coyne spent most of the 2021 racing in Britain but elected to take a year out to concentrate on his college studies.

Kery still had representation across the Irish Sea with Jack O’Grady, the Irish Supersport Cup champion, taking in a race meeting in Snetterton in September.

That did not go according to plan, his rented race bike was down on power compared to his own self-prepared Suzuki but he did describe his trip to England as a learning experience.

For the first time ever there was a large Kerry presence at the Irish Road Racing events.

Photo by Dan Tucker

Anthony O’Carroll did the full season and made his Isle of Man debut too. Stephen Walsh from Ardfert raced in the classic category in the road racing series and made his Mondello Park debut in August during the historic motorsport festival there.

Emmet O’Grady and Darragh Crean made occasional appearances on road events throughout the season alongside their Dunlop Masters commitments at Modello Park. Both riders finished runner-up in their respective classes at Mondello Park. 

This number is likely to increase next year with the return of the Athea Road Races in August. Moto 400 championship runner-up Andrew Murphy will enter his local road race but has hinted that he may enter other events before Athea to get dialled into the finer art of racing on closed public roads.

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