Condensed calendar puts extra strain on local teams

IT’S already a logisitical and financial nightmare for local, family-run teams to compete in the Bennett’s British Superbike Championship support classes.
On top of entry fees and associated bike costs, teams based in Northern Ireland also have the massive extra financial burden of ferry crossings and more time off work for the distances needing to be travelled.
It’s just about manageable for a full season, which normally runs between April and October, but when two and a half months of that calendar gets taken away and the same amount of rounds are sandwiched into just a five month schedule, things get all the more difficult.
The BSB organisers decided to reduce the length of the 2021 season without reducing the number of rounds in order to have as many fans as possible at each set of races, but that decision is proving frustrating for smaller teams on this side of the Irish Sea.
For riders who remain in education, like Jamie Lyons, who is considering a third year in the British Talent Cup, and Cameron Dawson, who is set for the British Junior Supersport series, there won’t be as much of a disruption to their GCSE studies as quite a bit of the season will be played out over the summer period.
However, for their parents, who tend to fund most of their riding, it will prove a massive blow and to riders like Andrew Smyth, Andrew Cairns and Michael Owens, who have full-time employment to worry about.
For Smyth’s dad, Kenny, who not only has to find funding for his son’s racing, but also needs to take time off work to drive the bike to each round, it’s left him with a massive headache with regards to how to manage things.
“It’s crazy and I don’t know what’s going to happen,” admitted the bemused Aughnacloy man, who is considering staying in England during the first three rounds of the National Junior Superstock Championship, which take place on consecutive weekends between late June and early July.

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