Newtonabbey’s Aaron Wright took the first 2018 nomination for the Masters Superbike ‘Young Racer of the Year’ award, at the opening event of the season in Mondello Park on March 24th & 25th. The Teenager began his first season as a Supersport Pro rider with two podium positions to leave Mondello Park with second in the championship standings and a place in the end of season Young Racer shoot-out.
The Masters Young Racer of the Year award is the only Irish competition which provides backing and support for young Irish Motorcycle Racing talent. The competition is open to any rider who is under twenty three and competing at the Masters. At each event one rider is nominated to go forward to the end of year shoot out where they will have a chance to battle for the €10,000 prize which is provided by Martin Birrane, owner of Mondello Park, Dawn International and Peter McMahon of EICL.
Having completed a part season in the Masters Supersport Cup in 2017, Aaron Wright graduated to the Pro ranks for 2018 and was immediately running at the front. Qualifying fourth for the opening race the seventeen year old dropped a couple of places at the start before battling back to grab his first Masters podium with third place.
Race two saw Wright line up in the middle of the front row, due to him achieving second fastest lap of race one, but once again he had to show his ability as he battled back from a less than ideal start to improve his finishing position to second. The final race was even stronger for Wright as he jumped straight from third on the grid into the lead and looked like taking his first win.
Race three turned into an exciting battle with Emmet O’Grady with the two swapping places throughout. Towards the end O’Grady used his much greater experience to make the best of the backmarkers, as he moved into the lead. As Wright closed back in heading into the final corner, the Marshals were displaying a yellow flag which Wright failed to see, as he was distracted by O’Grady’s machine which had slowed to stay behind a backmarker. Having not noticed the flag signal the youngster passed the leader and was first to take the chequered flag, but he was later penalised for his error and dropped to fourth place.
Despite his disappointment at losing the win in race three, Wright was extremely happy with his first weekend as a Masters Pro rider. “This was a really positive start to the year for me and picking up this nomination is a fantastic opportunity. I’m looking forward to building and progressing over the rest of the season and getting more results like this weekend, both at the Masters and in the British Championship. I’d like to thank the award sponsors, and all of my own sponsors, as well as Mondello Park for looking after us so well at the opening event.”
Having received his nomination, Aaron will now go forward to the competition final in October and will also receive a free entry, testing and garage space for the next Masters event at Mondello Park on April 28th & 29th.
For more information see http://www.masterssuperbike.ie/young-racer-of-the-year.
Images by: http://www.topgear.ie