MACKEM racer Ian Kirby will stick with pre-injection power, but make a shift of clubs in 2017 to the fledgling ThundersportGB Golden Era Supersport class.
The young Sunderland native began his club career on the somewhat infamous rotary-damper-equipped Suzuki TL1000S, but a couple years of ups and downs landed him at last year’s preseason change of machinery, when he decided to take on the seemingly ever-blossoming carbureted 600cc bikes.
Piloting a Yamaha R6 5EB, one of the most abundant choices on the grid, Kirby had a smattering of outings this year all over club racing, with forays in the Scottish Championship, NEMCRC, and Derby Phoenix.
At the Phoenix’s Croft round, the motor vehicles teacher took two podium positions in the Pre-Injection 600 class, behind the North East Club’s third place PI 600 man Ian Lawton and Golden Era Supersport multi-race winner Ryan Cooper.
And in September, Kirby took to a different kind of Derby when he rocked up at ThundersportGB’s penultimate round at Donington for a preview of 2017, which will be his second aboard the R6.
With grids packed like a tin of sardines, he wrapped up a meeting-best 14th among the compatriots he is to meet again on the full 10-round programme this year at the Stewart Events promotion.
Determined to travel outside the wilds of the North East, the 22-year old is relishing the challenge and targeting the pointy end.
“I’m aiming for a top five finish going into this season,” he told UK Clubsport, “but I’m juggling work and my racing at all times.”
“I won’t be at the North East this year so I can focus on the Thundersport championship- I’ve done a round with them before but this will be my first full season.”
Kirby’s season kicks off this weekend with a long drive down south to Kent – god speed, northerner…
*Image supplied by Ian Kirby