JOHN Burrows said the decision of his team to compete at this year’s Isle of Man TT wasn’t taken lightly.
In fact, the owner of the Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing team insisted had there been any doubts he wouldn’t have hesitated in pulling out of the famed international road racing meeting.
No further away than Tuesday Burrows, along with other well known faces from Northern Ireland road racing fraternity, attended the funeral of Malachi Mitchell Thomas in Lancashire.
The talented 20-year-old rider was wearing the Burrows colours when he was killed following a crash at the North West 200 earlier this month.
Hundreds of bikers turned up at the funeral in Chorley to pay tribute to one of the sport’s up-and-coming stars.
Burrows admitted the past few weeks had been difficult but insisted the decision to compete in the TT was the right one.
“It simply wouldn’t happen if everyone in the team wasn’t in the right frame of mind,” the Cookstown man told the Herald.
“We are a rare breed and recent events will be blocked out when it comes to competing.
“Of course things will be talked about but there will be no issue for the riders.
”We hope as a team that the fans and general public will respect our decision which has been a hard one. It’s bad timing that such an event is so close to the death of Mal who was much more than a rider to the team and the Burrows family.
“It was only after much thought and consideration with Kevin Thomas (Malachi’s dad) sponsors and TT organisers, that we have come to the decision to carry on and represent Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing at the 2016 IOM TT races.”
The Burrows camp also confirmed they would be supporting Derek Shiels for the remainder of the Irish national road races.
A statement released by the team said Shiels would continue to ride in both Supersport and Superbike races while Peter Hickman would be competing in the Supertwin classes at the TT.