Following some impressive performances during 2017 Rhys Irwin from Kilmacrennan has been announced as the first recipient of support from a new initiative by Motorcycling Ireland’s Short Circuit Committee and Motorcycling Ireland.
The initiative aims to help young Irish racers to develop their talent and further their careers internationally.
For 2018 Rhys Irwin will be the first young Irish rider to have use of a Honda Moto3 bike, which has been purchased by Motorcycling Ireland, in preparation for his debut in the new British Talent Cup.
The bike will also be made available to other young Irish riders in advance of future British Talent Cup selection events, with all riders chosen to take part being given time on the bike as preparation for the selection day.
Any rider who makes it through to the full 2019 championship will be then given more extensive access to the bike.
The newly arrived Honda Moto3 machine was officially handed over to Rhys earlier this week by Eamonn Medlar of the MCI Short Circuit Committee and the Kilmacrennan teenager will have his first outing on the bike in Spain in just over a week’s time.
The Spanish test session will mark the beginning of Rhys’s preparations for the 2018 British Talent Cup where he will be the only Republic of Ireland representative amongst twenty two of the best young racers from the British Isles
The British Talent Cup will take Rhys to Britain, Holland and Spain as he races free of charge for a place in the MotoGP paddock.
The championship for identical Honda Moto3 bikes, similar to the Motorcycling Ireland example, will support MotoGP, World Superbike and British Superbike races.
While the British Talent Cup organisers will provide the bikes which all of the riders in the championship will race, the MCI bike will allow Rhys to build up his knowledge and experience of the Moto3 machine prior to the start of the season.
The teenager will also use the bike to keep himself sharp in between Talent Cup races, and this extra mileage will be invaluable in helping him make the most of his opportunity.
Irwin said: “From the time I was selected for the 2018 Talent Cup we immediately started looking into how we could get as much time on a Moto3 bike as possible.
‘“We could just about afford to buy one but then running it would have been a strain so to have Motorcycling Ireland provide us with this machine is an incredible boost. I’ll be able to get plenty of track time now, starting next week, prior to the Talent Cup pre-season test at Valencia in March.
“During the year I will also compete in the BSB Moto3 Standard class and the CEV Junior World Championship to keep myself sharp and I really feel that this will make all the difference to my Talent Cup chances.”