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Ex-Irish Superbike champion to make TT debut
25 January 2013
Former Irish Superbike champion Derek Sheils will make his Isle of Man TT debut this year with Northern Ireland team CD Racing.
Sheils, from Dublin, will ride Kawasaki ZX-10R machinery this season on the roads this season and is set to compete in the Superbike, Superstock and Senior races at the TT in June.
The 30-year-old has become one of the main contenders at national level on the roads in recent years, regularly battling with top names including Ryan Farquhar, Michael Dunlop and Adrian Archibald.
He clinched a Superbike victory at his home meeting, the Skerries 100, in 2011 to the delight of the partisan crowd and his ability on the roads has given Irish fans hope that he can scale the same heights as Martin Finnegan, who became one the sport's big stars before he was killed in an accident at the Tandragee 100 in Northern Ireland in 2008.
Sheils previously made his debut on the Mountain Course in the 2009 Manx Grand Prix Newcomers race on a standard-spec 675cc Triumph.
Despite poor weather conditions, he lapped at over 112mph on his way to a second place finish.
He was the runner-up in the Irish Superbike and Supersport championships in 2011 and last year finished third overall.
Paul Phillips, TT and Motorsport Manager, said: “Derek is a rider we have wanted to add to the TT entry list for some considerable time.
“He has consistently shown his road racing pedigree over the last few years in Ireland and I am sure the fans will eagerly anticipate his TT debut.
“He has the talent to be a great TT rider and by teaming up with the CD Racing team, a team that has achieved so much road racing success, he is giving himself every chance of fulfilling his potential.”
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