Tralee motorcycle racer Darragh Crean hopes to make his Isle of Man debut later this year. Crean is hoping to get an invite to the Manx Grand Prix in August.
He has launched an ambitious 2024 programme to get himself ready for the second biggest bike race on the island after the world-famous TT Races.
Late last year he was signed by Dublin-based DJ Racing for the year ahead.
Team principal Danny Breen was in Tralee over the weekend where he and Crean outlined the plans for the year ahead.
DJ Racing will enter Crean in the Sportsbike championship that runs alongside the prestigious British championship.
Breen (mentioned above) was the mastermind behind Cork-based racer Jamie Collins’ success in Mondello Park and Northern Ireland in 2022.
The team sat out the 2023 season due to the insurance crisis in the Republic of Ireland.
“With the disappointment of no racing in the south of Ireland in 2023, DJ Racing is broadening its horizons and moving ahead with plans for 2024. Next season a whole new challenge awaits.” said Breen.
“After winning various championships including the Dunlop master’s and the Ulster Superbike Championship the team are setting their sights on the National Sportbike Championship which is part of the British Superbike Championship in the UK.”
The championship gets underway with a trip to Circuit de Navaro in Spain on April 20th and 21st. Ahead of the season opener Crean and Breen will attend a test session in Cartagena, also in February and March.
Alongside his British campaign, where will race on legendary tracks like Brands Hatch and Oulton Park, Crean will also take in any of the Northern Irish Road races that go ahead this season.
The Aprilla RS660 mounted rider is already planning a return to the Cookstown 100.
Tralee-based rider Daragh Crean made his Northern Ireland road race debut at Cookstown last season where he finished third in the Lightweight race.
Crean, a class frontrunner in the Dunlop Irish master’s Championship in Mondello Park made his road racing debut at the Waldersrtown, near Athlone event in July 2022 on his Aprilia RS660.
A debut at Armoy, County Antrim is also on the cards, and he will be hoping for an invitation to race at the Northwest 200 in May too.
“I am looking forward to it all,” he said. “It is a new challenge, but you can only get quicker by racing in places like the British Superbike Championship.”
Ironically, Crean will not race in Ireland this year. He had already committed to paying British Superbike Championship entry fees before the insurance crisis was solved.
Mondello Park has yet to release a calendar of events for 2024 but Crean has confirmed that he will not race at the County Kildare track this season.
Photo credit: Sean Moriarty
Words by Sean Moriarty