When glancing over the entry list for this years IRRC Supersport series, it’s fair to say for many one name in particular stood out, four times World Endurance champion Matthieu Lagrive.
Prior to his pure road racing debut at the Hengelo based Varsselring, it was difficult to tell how competitive the experienced Frenchman would be.
Given his vast racing CV, you knew he was race fit, you knew he would be quick, but could he take his skills from purpose built circuits to the roads?
Photo by Robby Repsol
The answer was a resounding yes, as Lagrive looking at one with the Wepol Racing YZF R6 Yamaha, made a quite magnificent roads debut on the short but technical Varsselring course.
Banking back to back IRRC Supersport victories, the high profile IRRC debutant excelled around the Varsselring, as he showcased his ability, albeit in the early stages of his roads career, as one of a select group of racers like Peter Hickman, Josh Brookes, who can run at the front on purpose built circuits, and also on closed roads courses.
The amiable Frenchman’s performances at Hengelo left those who hadn’t considered him a contender for championship honours, quickly changing their minds.
Words by Stevie Rial