Rhys Irwin was in dominant form on his return to the Masters Superbike Championship at Mondello Park last weekend (July 15th & 16th). Riding in the Lightweight Supersport class the Donegal teenager took three wins, along with three fastest race laps, and lifted an additional cash award for scoring the most points of any competitor in his class over the three races.
Making his second 2017 appearance in the Championship the Kilmacrennan youngster once again rode his Oasis Bar Letterkenny and Clean Rubber sponsored Aprilia 450, which he normally rides in the Thundersport UK Championship. Despite being well down on power, compared to the full specification Lightweight Supersport machinery he was up against, Rhys showed his class by leading each race from lights to flag.
Qualifying took place in damp but drying conditions and the end of the session it was Rhys’s name on top of the time sheets by eight tenths of a second. Race one saw Rhys make a superb getaway to take the lead. He then got his head down and rode consistently and quickly to win by the highly impressive margin of twenty three seconds.
Having failed to break a minute in race one Rhys had a new goal for race two and as soon as he was safely in the lead he set about bringing his lap times down. Another consistently strong run yielded a second twenty three second victory, with fastest lap, and a best time of 59.704 seconds, almost two seconds quicker than his fastest rival. Race three followed a similar pattern, this time with a slightly increased winning margin and an even quicker lap time in the low 59 second bracket.
Speaking after his hat-trick Rhys said, “I love coming to the Masters at Mondello Park and I’ve always done well here. As soon as we knew we had the speed to win the races my goal was to put in fast and consistent laps and I’m delighted to have done that, particularly in race three where I was in the mid to low 59’s all race. This weekend has given me loads of great track time which will help me when I go back to Thundersport in the UK. I have to thank everyone who helps us out, Oasis Bar Letterkenny, Wesley from Clean Rubber and everyone else who makes my racing possible, including of course my family team Irwin Racing.”