Season review – top five 2022 motorcycle news stories on Kerry Motorsport News

Motorcycle Road Racing to return to Athea in 2023.


The newly formed Southwest Motorcycle Road Race Club announced in September that it had secured an August 2023 date for the return of the Athea Road Races.
A hugely popular event from 2002 to 2009, (the 2010 edition was cancelled) the Athea Road Races have not run since 2011 when the previous organising club were hit will all sorts of financial troubles.
Now, thanks to the efforts of local racers and enthusiasts, the Athea event, on August 5 and 6 next year, will be a round of the Irish National Road Racing Championship, ensuring that some of the sport’s top names will descend on the West Limerick village for what is certain to be one of the biggest sporting occasions of the year.
Previous editions attracted more than 10,000 fans and that number will be a realistic target for the Southwest Motorcycle Road Race Club.

Anthony O’Carroll’s rise
Ballyduff racer Anthony O’Carroll had a remarkably busy season.
He contested both the Irish National Road Racing championship – taking several class podiums – and selected rounds of the Dunlop Masters at Mondello Park.
He also made his Isle of Man debut, after he secured an entry for the Southern 100 Road Races in July.
It is all part of a bigger plan to enter the world-famous TT Races on the island either next year or the year after.
His preparations for his debut at the biggest road race in the world are ahead of even his own plans – he was the fastest newcomer in both the Supersport 600 and Production Twins 400cc classes during practice and qualifying for the Southern 100.
He capped a fine season by winning the closed-road West Cork Hillclimb in September.

Emmet O’Grady’s first Superbike win
If there is one constant in Kerry motorcycle racing, it is the O’Grady name at the forefront of all things on two wheels.
Dad John, mother Brid and brothers Emmet and Evan are fixtures and fittings at every motorcycle race meeting in Ireland.
Emmet is a former Supersport 600cc national champion but, in recent years, has been plying his trade in the top Superbike class.
In June this year, Honda CBR 1000 rider took his first win in the country’s top class.
He was also a frontrunner in his favoured 600cc class and took seven race victories on his way to second in the Supersport National championship.
The unrelated Jack O’Grady won the Masters Supersport Cup class and will be promoted to Pro status next season.


Crean’s new machine


Kerry riders are not going to Mondello Park each month to make up the numbers, they are going there as serious contenders in each of the classes they race in.
And they are always looking for new challenges.
Tralee racer Darragh Crean dominated to Production Twins class in the Dunlop Masters Irish Championship at the County Kildare track in 2021.
He could have returned this year for more of the same or he could have stepped up a class.
Her chose the latter and armed with a purpose-built Aprilia RS660 he set about trying to win the Supertwin class in 2022.
A nasty accident in the opening race in April disrupted plans but he bounced back and took one win and 13-second places on his way to second in the title race behind Irish national champion Thomas O’Grady who was racing in both the Supertwin and Superbikes classes this year.
Crean also made his road racing debut this year, lining out in Walderstown and Faugheen on the same Aprilia.

Murphy brothers at home and abroad


Brothers Andrew and Darragh Murphy have been flying the Mountcollins flag at either end of the world this year.
Andrew finished runner-up in the Moto 400 class in the Dunlop Masters Championship at Mondello Park.
Darragh finished second overall and won the clubman’s title in the St George’s Motorcycle Club Sprint championship in Australia in September.


 
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