By Kyle White
A proposed tyre deal potentially worth £50,000 to short circuit motorcycle racing in Northern Ireland has been dismissed by the Motorcycle Union of Ireland Ulster Centre.
Plans for the introduction of a Pirelli control tyre for the Irish championships have now been shelved with the majority backing of the Ulster Centre – the governing body of the sport in the country – which voted 10-0 in favour of scrapping the deal at a specially convened meeting on Wednesday night, with six abstentions.
The decision was taken after Irish short circuit riders voted 85-7 against the proposal at a competitors meeting on Monday evening, which was called by the MCUI Tarmac Committee.
It is understood the Pirelli deal would have been worth £50,000 over two years – financial clout which would have been used towards boosting prize money and promoting Irish championship races.
However, had the deal been approved, it would have resulted in the demise of the Irish Superbike Championship, with Motorcycling Ireland operating an open tyre rule for short circuit races in the Republic of Ireland.
Jack Agnew, Chairman of the MCUI Tarmac Committee, said he was pleased the situation had been resolved and that the ISB series would be retained for 2012 in its current format.
“The majority of the riders were against the control tyre deal and they are pleased that they got the backing of the Ulster Centre,” said Agnew. “The proposal was that a Pirelli control tyre would be used for all Irish short circuit classes with the exception of the Sidecar and Classic races.
“If the deal had gone through it would have meant the end of the Irish Superbike Championship because there is no one-tyre rule in the south of Ireland.
“Some of the competitors were concerned that there was no Pirelli tyre for 125cc or 250cc machines, although Jason Griffiths – who attended the meeting for Pirelli – assured us that a tyre was being developed and would be ready in time.