Karl Harris is currently demonstrating some excellent form aboard his Michelin-shod CBR1000RR Fireblade. Last time out, the Sheffield-based rider narrowly missed out on his first-ever British Superbike victory after a stunning battle with series leader Gregorio Lavilla at Oulton Park. Harris was beaten to the chequered flag by the narrowest of margins and the gutsy rider will be looking to redress the balance in the two 18-lap races as he goes in search of his maiden win this weekend.
Meanwhile, Japanese rider Ryuichi Kiyonari will also be looking to join his team mate on the British Superbike rostrum. Kiyo had a disappointing meeting at Oulton Park; the 23-year-had a poor qualifying session and, despite a pair of determined rides, was unable to join Harris on the rostrum. Last year, Kiyo celebrated a win and a third place finish at 2.17-mile track and he will no doubt be hoping that the luck of the Irish is with him this weekend as he looks for a turn around in fortunes at Mondello Park.
Meanwhile, John McGuinness arrives in Southern Ireland direct from completing his North West 200 campaign last weekend. The Morecambe-based rider, who currently lies in a strong third position in the Superstock category, has a busy weekend ahead of him as he competes in two rounds of the ever-popular class. The superstock riders will not be competing at Mallory Park due to limited space.
So far this season, McGuinness has produced ever-improving results and once again anticipates a strong finish at the Irish track.
Karl Harris: “I am more determined than ever to get that win this week, he (Lavilla) just beat me to the flag at Oulton Park. I know I can do it, the bike is great and everything is running well so there is no reason why I can’t win at Mondello.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari: “I should get a good qualifying this weekend and then have podium finishes. Mondello is not the fastest of tracks but there are many chances for passing. I am looking for a strong qualifying, strong start and hopefully more podiums.”
John McGuinness: “It certainly has been a busy time for me. This weekend there are a total of fifty points up for grabs so I will be concentrating on getting as many of them as possible and hopefully a top three finish along the way.”
Qualifying for the British Superbike Championship takes place on Saturday 20 May at 14.40 with racing on Sunday 21 May at 13.40 and 16.10. Qualifying for the National Superstock Championship takes place at 10.00 and 14.00 on Saturday 20 May with race one at 14.30 and race two at 17.15 on Sunday 21 May.
The ITV broadcast window is Sunday 21 from 13.30 – 17.00.