Motorcycle racing could face an insurance crisis

Kerry Motorcycle racers face an anxious wait before the season starts as the sport’s governing body, Motorcycling Ireland is having difficulty finding insurance.

Last season a total of 18 riders represented Kerry in the Dunlop Masters national championships in Mondello Park and in National Road racing events.

A similar number of riders are preparing for the season ahead and several new bikes have arrived in the Kingdom during the off-season.

However, since January 1 there has been a worrying trend within the off-road branch of the sport.

Motocross and trial events traditionally take place in the winter months while the short circuit and closed road seasons run from April to October.

The one insurance policy covers all aspects of the sport in the Republic of Ireland and since the start of the new year, a trials’ event in Dublin and a motocross race in Cork were not able to go ahead due to the lack of insurance.

Local competitors remain in the dark ahead of the start of the season.

“We are wondering which way it is going to go,” said one Kerry rider who is planning a short circuit and road racing season this year.

Some Kerry riders said they would consider a season in Britain but not all would have the budget for overseas events. 

The insurance issue could also spell the end of ambitions by the Athea Road Racing Club to bring closed-road motorcycle racing back to the West Limerick village for the first time since 2011.

Motorcycling Ireland President Sean Bissett said he was confident the issue will be resolved by the time the short circuit season starts in April. 

“We are in negotiation, it is a bit later and more difficult this year,” he said, “It is not only motorcycling, many other activities are finding it hard. The biggest problem is Brexit, in the past UK companies could insure us but we have to go outside the UK now and that put a huge spanner in the works.”  

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