Increasing and increasing in stature within the pure roads fraternity, another truly first rate entry has been accumulated by championship organisers, for the latest instalment of the IRRC Supersport series, which begins this weekend in the Netherlands, at Hengelo.
With reigning champion Joey Den Besten, stepping up to the Superbike ranks, a whole host of hungry, ambitious rising European roads stars, are all firmly up for taking over the Dutchman’s mantle of been the pace setter in the always closely contested championship.
Amongst them includes improving French roads competitor, Pierre Yves Bian. Touted by many as the favourite for championship honours, he has the proven front running pace, pedigree and growing series experience, to put himself in prime contention this year, for a maiden IRRC title.
Photo by Robby Repsol
Same applies to fellow title contender from last season, Thomas Walther. Part again of the Team Schleizer Dreieck set up, like counterpart Yves Bian, he sticks with YZF-R6 Yamaha machinery.
Others more than capable of contending for the middleweight title, include former double champion Laurent Hoffmann, Christian Schmitz and Dafit Moto Racing’s Kamil Holan, who like last year will take in a full seasons competition within both of the IRRC Supersport/Superbike championships.
Photo’s by Robby Repsol
Don’t discount as well the likes of Performance Racing Achterhoek’s Ilja Caljouw, Jochen Rotter, Luca Gottardi and class returnee, Imatranajo specialist Juha Kallio, from contending regularly throughout the season for rostrum finishes.
Further depth to the entry is provided by accomplished roads exponents, such as Lukas Maurer, Kai Zentner and Mike Ceuppens.
Plus Sebastian Frotscher, Suter Moto 2 mounted Henrik Voit and experienced French racer John Ross Billega.
Lots of focus will also be on the performances of series newcomer, Matthieu Lagrive. Formerly of the World Supersport championship, he’s certain to be one to watch, aboard the Wepol Racing Yamaha.
Photo by Robby Repsol
In total 26 riders, are set to take in the six rounds of the 2018 IRRC Supersport championship, which as in recent years will take in races in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Finland, Belgium and Germany.
Words by Stevie Rial