Local men Sean Kelly and Gary Marmion are ready for the Irish motocross season to begin when the opening round of the Southern Centre Championship begins on their home turf in Dundalk.
Ready for racing following a winter of training and preparation, the Kilcurry duo of Kelly and Marmion line up behind the starting gate this Easter Sunday, April 16th, for what will be the first of a seven round series.
After a stellar 2016 season where the Team Area51 Racing duo placed top three overall in their respective classes, the Dundalk men are aiming higher in 2017.
Competing in the elite Grade A MX1 category, Kelly ended last year third overall having battled all season long for championship honours. With a solid winter of preparation under his belt, he’s keen to get going this weekend.
“It’s always exciting to get the racing season underway so doing it on my home track is certainly an added incentive to come away with some good results in the bag,” told Kelly.
“I feel ready for the season ahead. I took a much needed break towards the end of 2016 and then began to build things back up in the gym with DKIT Sport, on the mountain bike and on the practice tracks.
“With seven rounds and three races per round it’s a tough championship. But with a good bike and team behind me plus a lot of experience, I’m hoping to get things off to a strong start in Dundalk.”
Delivering his best season to date, 22-year-old Marmion came within a whisker of winning the Grade B MX2 class in 2016.
Finishing just two points shy of the title, Marmion is hoping that by stepping up to 450cc Honda machinery and switching classes to Grade B MX2 will see him lock down the top prize.
“Last year was a massive one for me,” told Marmion. “Although I just missed out on winning the championship by two points I learned a huge amount and improved my riding a lot.
“Moving from 250cc to 450cc machinery was a big decision to make. It takes a lot more skill and strength to muscle the bigger bike around, but so far things have gone well in training. Roche Emmett at DKIT Sport put together a great programme for me and my fitness is better than it’s ever been.
“With a long season ahead the plan is to ride smart — win races where I can but take a solid points haul when I can’t. If I can do that then I’ll be in the hunt.”
With the Southern Centre Motocross Championship kicking off in Dundalk before taking in races the length and breadth of Ireland, Team Area51 Racing are extremely thankful for the support of their loyal sponsors JSM Kelly, Marmion Motors Crash Repair Specialists and HireForklift.ie.
The opening round of the 2017 Southern Centre Motocross Championship takes place at Dundalk & District Motocross Park in Kilcurry on April 15/16. Youth racing is Saturday with adult racing on Sunday. Action gets underway both days from 11am. Visit their Facebook page @Dundalkmotopark for more information.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.