JAMIE Lyons’ season so far has seen him win eight races out of eight at the Mondello Masters in Dublin and he is the current Ulster Superbike Championship Junior Cup leader, but things, somehow, managed to get even better at the weekend when he received two pieces of good news.
The first announcement was that he had been selected as the May nominee for the Masters Young Racer of the Year award, which is open to any rider under 23 competing at the Mondello Championship and will see them go forward to the end of year shoot-out where they will have a chance to battle for the €10,000 prize.
While that first piece of good news was, perhaps, a little overdue considering his performances in Dublin so far this term, the second glad tiding came completely out of the blue.
Last October, while riding for Cairns Racing in the Young Guns class at St Angelo, a gentleman called Tim Rogers attended to watch the now 13-year-old Omagh lad race.
Having been impressed by what he saw, the Englishman, who is married to an Omagh woman, took another chance to see the Omagh Academy pupil in action onboard his new C&M Motors-liveried Kawasaki Ninja during a round of the USBK at Bishopscourt over Easter.
Again impressed by what he saw, Rogers, who is CEO of Texan company, Totem Oil Technologies, made the Lyons an offer they couldn’t refuse and now Jamie is gearing up for an outing at Knockhilll on the weekend of July 6-8 during the fifth round of the British Superbike Championship.
“Having seen Steven and Bronagh [Jamie’s father and mother] give Jamie this initial opportunity I have followed his progress,” explained Rogers.
“The sacrifices the family have made have paid off in so far as Jamie is recognised as one of the top young motorcyling talents in Ireland at this stage of his young career.
“It is important he gets a chance to race in UK events and this one is part of his learning curve. I’m pleased to help out in whatever way I can.”
Jamie will race in the Junior Supersport Championship alongside the brightest and best young talents on the British mainland, thanks to Rogers’ support, and further assistance from Cathan McCourt at CMAC Contracts, Dromore, while still being backed by principal sponsor, C&M Motors and his other regular supporters.
“Tim asked us what we’d like to do if he was to help, so we thought something like a round of the Thundersport, but it was clashing with the Mondello Masters, then he asked about the BSB!,” explained a surprised and delighted Steven.
“It’ll be a big learning curve for Jamie because not only will he have to get used to using a quick-shifter, which you’re not allowed to use over here, but also Pirelli tyres, rather than Dunlop, but it’s all about the experience for him.
“He’s earned it and while we’re under no illusions that he’s going to be anything other than a tail light over there, he’s riding well enough here and it’s nice for him to get the chance to see what it’s all about over there.”
In the meantime, Jamie is competing at the Mondello Masters today (Saturday) and tomorrow where, because he won the Young Racer nomination, he will receive a free entry, testing and garage space.