G&G Motorsport by BMW Motorrad’s Didier Grams heads into this year’s IRRC Superbike series, favourite for many to clinch an unprecedented sixth IRRC title. Amongst those hugely capable of dethroning the ebullient Grams include long time Championship leader last year, Lukas Maurer. Eager to sign, seal, deliver the IRRC crown to Switzerland, Maurer’s latest roads tenure sees him stick with Kawasaki tackle, competing under his own teams’ banner. Alongside last season’s pace setters, added vigour to competition this year has been provided by returning 2016 Champion Vincent Lonbois. Largely absent from the roads’ scene in recent years, Lonbois who is due to race the Mototech Yamaha, is never to be underestimated as showcased during high-quality Superbike race tussles alongside Danny Webb at Circuit De Chimay in 2018. A second IRRC title on the horizon? It’s going to be fascinating to see his turn of speed comparison alongside the likes of Grams, Maurer. Rico Penzkofer’s Penz 13 squad once again has an impressive rider line-up, which features Italy’s Luca Gottardi and Finland’s top pure road racer Erno Kostamo. In particular much will be expected of established series front-runner Kostamo whilst new team-mate Gottardi aims for an impressive maiden Superbike class campaign. Penz 13 are also backing rising German roads force David Datzer. Datzer who has shown strong form during pre-season tests, races this year under the MTP-Racing by Syntainics Penz 13 umbrella. Added European roads greats capable of contending for podiums, race wins across 2022 include: Joey Den Besten (Motorradtechnik Geenen GmbH Kawasaki), Virgil Amber Bloemhard (Performance Racing Achterhoek), Laurent Hoffmann (Hoffmann by MRP BMW), Kamil Holan (Blue Garage Kawasaki) and Supersport Championship runner-up in 2021 Ilja Caljouw. Others on the 2022 Superbike entry list include the UK’s only representative Mark Purslow (Never Be Clever Racing BMW), new Hoffmann by MRP signing Markus Karlsson, Johannes Schwimmbeck (MTP Racing), Amalric Blanc (Team B&M BMW). Since it’s inception in 2010, the International Road Racing Championship, has steadily grown in stature, within the pure roads’ fraternity. As previously mentioned, it’s now in my opinion the most notable series/championship to comprise of roads circuits, since the TT Formula TT series, of the 1980’s, which was dominated by great names such as Joey Dunlop, Carl Fogarty, Steve Hislop, Brian Reid and Tony Rutter. Photo’s by Robby Repsol Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou
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