The search for the next Irish road racing legend begins

The Team Wood Motorcycle Youth Academy has been set up to provide young aspiring motorcycle racers a route into the sport

Tianda 300

THE Team Wood Motorcycle Youth Academy has been set up in Ireland to give children and parents the support and knowledge needed to succeed on the roads and the track.

The academy is headed up six members from the Motorcycle Road Racing Club of Ireland (MCRRCI), which runs the Enkalon Trophy and David Wood Memorial short circuit meetings. They received the blessing of Joey Dunlop’s former manager to proceed with the project in 2020.

Committee member Mark Sanlon said: “After our David Wood Memorial race event in September, we identified that we could possibly help with the way youths are introduced to the national tarmac motorcycle racing from mini, pit-bike and motocross racing when they become 12 years old.

“Currently, the Irish Minibike Championship caters for youth riders from the age of six years to veteran road racers.

“Many European countries have established a way to turn schoolkids into Grand Prix champions: Italy and Spain lead the way, while Britain only recently introduced the British Talent Cup, now a British Championship class in which youngsters get a shot at the big time.

“The difference here in Northern Ireland is that we need to encourage the youths that race in local mini-moto and pit-bike racing that they can come and have a go at national racing from the age of 12.”

To begin with, the team is putting their efforts behind 12-year-old Alexander Rowan from Dromore, Co. Down. As part of the deal, he will receive Tainda TDR300 (as pictured above), racing the machine in the Moto One class at Ulster and Mondello Park.

Rowans 2019 record is exemplary, with 15 wins from 15 starts in MCRRI Pit-Bike 125cc Championship. Speaking of the opportunity handed to him, he said: “I’m really excited to have been selected to represent the Team Wood Motorcycle Youth Academy in 2020 on a brand new 300 Tianda.

“Everyone at Team Rowan would like to thank the Academy for the opportunity to ride for their team.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and a great privilege to represent and to be associated with the prestigious David Wood name, who has done so much for our sport over the decades.”