AUGHNACLOY teenager Andrew Smyth will be the first to admit that 2018 didn’t pan out the way he would have hoped.
At the start of the short circuit season he was looking forward to a campaign in the Thundersport Superteens Series at tracks across Britain onboard his KMR-prepared Kawasaki Ninja 300.
However, shortly after the start of that season, he received an offer from Ron Mullin to ride his Cannock Site Services Moto3 Honda in the Mostar Hel Performance Series, a support class of the British Superbike Championship (BSB).
So far, so positive. Unfortunately, things didn’t really progress as initially hoped as the Aughnacloy College pupil found the Honda uncomfortable to ride, but almost as suddenly as the opportunity appeared, it disappeared again.
Despite the frustration at his season unravling before it really got going, the 15-year-old never gave up hope and he secured a ride on John McAllister’s Pit Lane Bike Services 125 at the remaining three rounds of the Ulster Superbike Championship.
But things took an even more positive step forward last week when, with the help of a silent backer, Andrew and his hard working father, Kenny, secured a deal with Paul Tobin and Team 109 to purchase their 400cc Kawasaki in order to compete in the BSB’s Dickies Junior Supersport Championship in 2019.
What makes the acquisition all the more eye-catching, apart from the fact that machine looks like beng ridden to this year’s title by Eunan McGlinchey, is that it also comes with technical support from Team 109 for the whole of next season.
“We’ve finally got a bit of luck going our way,” beamed Kenny, who was pleased to confirm his son will get his first taste of the new machine at the Sunflower Trophy races in a couple of weeks.
He added: “Andrew’s over the moon because he was down in the dumps a bit. We had that Moto 3 and for some reason or another it disappeared, but he wasn’t comfortable on it.
“It was all guns blazing. At one point, we were at Oulton Park three weekends in a row and then there was nothing.
“I really felt for Andrew, but things look to be falling into place now and we will float our own boat from now on.
“We’ll be a privateer team that receives technical support and help with set-up from Team 109, so we know were we stand.
“It’s good that Andrew will get a run on the bike at the Sunflower. He’s really excited about the future,” Kenny concluded.