British Superbike Ireland preview

The first ever visit to Ireland of the thrilling British Superbike Championship Powered By Halls will take place at Mondello Park this Saturday and Sunday with the support of Failte Ireland's International Sports Tourism Initiative. Round Eight...

The first ever visit to Ireland of the thrilling British Superbike Championship Powered By Halls will take place at Mondello Park this Saturday and Sunday with the support of Failte Ireland's International Sports Tourism Initiative.

Round Eight of the British Superbike Championship series will consist of two races featuring full grids of 36 Superbikes including such names as Ducati, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki & Yamaha. The series is contested by spectacular 1000cc machines capable of up to 200mph which are based on the road bikes ridden by many of the championships fans. All the leading teams and riders will be on view including the championship leading MonsterMob Ducati with star rider Shane Byrne and double Rockingham winner Yukio Kagayama on his Rizla Suzuki.

A record 30,000 plus spectators are expected to converge on Mondello for the adrenaline filled weekend with significant numbers travelling from the North of Ireland and from the UK. Irish hopes will centre on several wild card entrants including Hilton Hincks (Waterford), Denver Robb (Ballymena) and Derek Wilson (Cork) among others Jamie Patterson (Bangor), Matt Niland (Dublin) and Stephen Thompson (Northern Ireland).

Commenting on the sponsorship announcement Mr John O'Donoghue T.D., Minister for Art, Sport and Tourism, said "Failte Ireland has worked closely with Mondello Park to develop the Co Kildare circuit into a major tourism attraction for Ireland. Events such as the British Superbike Championships showcase to the world Ireland's versatility as a sports tourism destination. Over the next three years this event will yield great dividends to Irish tourism through increased visitor numbers and through the invaluable media exposure that this exciting international championship generates."

Mr Shaun Quinn, Chief Executive, Failte Ireland, sponsors of the Irish BSB round said, "We at Failte Ireland are delighted to have secured this high profile event for Ireland in association with Mondello Park. Added to the many additional overseas visitors to Ireland that event will attract, the positive coverage of Ireland on Sky Sports and BBC in the UK is extremely beneficial to our sports tourism strategy. Failte Ireland is sponsoring 14 sporting events in 2003 and the British Superbike Championship is one of many highlights". More-- Page 2

Mondello Park Circuit Director John Morris said, "We know the potential spectator appeal of the BSB both domestically and internationally and we have been trying to secure a round for Ireland for some time. This event has the potential to be the biggest ever staged at Mondello Park and we are delighted to continue our partnership with Failte Ireland in what is our most exciting project to date".

The action packed weekend programme will include an impressive series of support races. The list includes the British Supersport Championship for 600cc machines, the British 125 Championship, two spectacular International Sidecar Invitation races and an MCUI open Invitation race, which will see a full grid headed by Marty Nutt and Derek Shields.

The British Superbike series has been secured for Ireland until 2005 through sponsorship funding from the International Sports Tourism Initiative co-ordinated by Failte Ireland. The Initiative identifies and sponsors major sporting events with the capacity to enhance Ireland's reputation as a premier holiday location. The BSB is one of 14 plus events sponsored by the Initiative in 2003. Other events include last week's Smurfit European Open at the K Club, the Special Olympic World Games last month as well as the forthcoming European Eventing Championships at Punchestown in September. Together these events attract thousands of overseas visitors to Ireland and also serve to generate much invaluable international media coverage outlining some of the qualities that Ireland has to offer the holiday maker.

For more information on Failte Ireland's International Sports Tourism Initiative visit www.sportireland.ie

For information on the British Superbike Championship at Mondello Park visit www.mondellopark.ie

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Series Other bike
Drivers Yukio Kagayama , Shane Byrne , Denver Robb , Marty Nutt