Young prospect Eugene McManus Jnr will ride a top-spec Moto3 Grand Prix machine in the HEL Performance British Motostar Championship this year.
Randalstown teenager McManus, who made his full debut in the class last year, has secured a 2016 KTM purchased from world championship outfit Team RBA for the season ahead.
His father, former Grand Prix rider Eugene Snr, said the plan was originally to continue racing the same 2014 KTM raced by the 17-year-old last year for E15 Racing.
However, when the chance arose to buy the newer model, he decided the opportunity was too good to turn down.
“We had originally planned to ride the same 2014 KTM we used last year and had it totally refreshed ready for the off when this opportunity came about,” McManus said.
“Eugene will again take part in the Motostar British Championship riding under the RS racing banner with continued support from all our sponsors.
“Going back for a second year, some may see it as being easier this time, though from experience it can prove more difficult.
“Maybe Eugene over-achieved last year in some respects, so he has created a fairly high level of expectation,” he added.
“With the help of Patrick from Spartan Fitness Belfast, Eugene has developed his fitness and strength this winter more so than last year, which can’t be a bad thing. He is showing plenty of discipline and focus for the journey he has chosen.”
McManus, who works to his father as a civil road tarmac-resurfacing employee, clinched three sixth place finishes in 2016 during a promising debut in the ultra-competitive Motostar class.
He was grateful for the advice and support of British Superbike rider Michael Laverty last year, while leading international road racer William Dunlop has also been on hand to offer the aspiring young rider valuable guidance as he follows his racing dream.
“I can’t wait for testing to start now and the bike looks awesome,” Eugene said.
“I would like to thank all my personal sponsors, including Paddy at Spartan Fitness for getting me in shape and Ryan at RS Racing.”
McManus, known as ‘The Wee Bull’, has spent time training alongside PBM Ducati British Superbike rider Glenn Irwin in the gym and has worked hard throughout the winter months to be in the best shape possible for the season opener at Donington Park next month.
With a full season under his belt, McManus is determined to build on his experience this year as he attempts to climb the leaderboard and become a consistent challenger for the top six.