Kerry motorcycle racers heading overseas this year

Several Kerry-based motorcycle racers are planning events overseas this season as the insurance crisis that threatens to derail the sport in Ireland deepens.

Mondello Park has already cancelled its Dunlop Masters National Championship and both short circuits and road racing in Northern Irland have also been pulled.

There are efforts in Northern Ireland to attempt to save some events and the North West 200 went ahead with an event launch last week despite the uncertainty.

Road racing in the Republic of Ireland has not yet been officially cancelled but it seems unlikely that permits will be granted given that short circuit racing cannot go ahead this season.

As a result of the uncertainty, Kerry riders are eying up international championships this year.

At least three are understood to have entered the opening round of the Wirral Championship in Wales over St Patrick’s Weekend.

The Wirral championship takes in three rounds at the Anglesey track in North Wales and two events at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

Late last season both Emmet O’Grady and Darragh Crean both raced in the final round of the Wirral Championship and look certain to return to do the full championship this season. A third Tralee rider is expected to join them once his new-for-2023 bike is fully built.

Meanwhile, road racer Anthony O’Carroll made his Isle of Man racing debut last season as he prepares for his TT debut next year.

He will enter more preparation events this season and will be joined by Classic racer Stephen Walsh,  a regular in the Irish Classic Racing Championship., who will make his Isle of Man debut in May.

His entry has been accepted for the Southern 100 International Road Races.The May 26 to 28 event is based on the closed road Billowen Circuit and is considered a stepping stone towards inclusion in the TT Races in the future.

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