Exciting road racing prospect Malachi Mitchell-Thomas has joined Ulster team Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing for 2016.
Mitchell-Thomas set a new lap record of 122.22mph as he claimed victory in the Senior Manx Grand Prix this year and finished second in the Junior race, with his bid for victory thwarted by an overheating problem.
The 21-year-old from Bolton will contest the international road races for team owner and former racer John Burrows, plus selected Irish National meetings and the Southern 100.
Mitchell-Thomas replaces Jamie Hamilton in the team, who was badly injured following a crash in the Senior TT in June.
Hamilton, though, will remain involved with the team this year as he continues to battle his way back to fitness.
Burrows said: “Malachi will ride for us in the big three International road races, the Southern 100 and selected Irish national meetings, kicking off his campaign at Kirkistown on Easter Monday. He has been over to Ireland recently and he took the opportunity to do reconnaissance laps at Cookstown and Tandragee as well as getting acquainted with the team and the bikes he will ride.
“He will have Supertwin, 600 and 1000cc machinery at his disposal next year as well as a 125GP machine, which will allow him to get some extra track time at the circuits he is not familiar with.
“Malachi may be relatively inexperienced but Jamie Hamilton and I will be on hand to help him learn all the new circuits so I'm confident he will quickly be on the pace at the various venues,” he added.
“Jamie will be involved with the team full-time this year as his recovery from injury continues and his track knowledge and his knowledge of the machinery will be invaluable to Malachi.”
Team boss Burrows revealed that he intends to field a second rider in the Superbike class at the North West 200, TT and selected Irish road races, with further details set to be confirmed soon.