Former Irish Superbike Champion Michael Pearson is aiming for podium success at this year’s KDM Hire Cookstown 100 on April 25 & 26 with the Northern Escalator Installations squad.
The Ballygowan man narrowly missed out on a champagne finish at last year’s event, with a brace of fourth-placed finishes in the Open A and Cookstown 100 races. But in his fifth year of competition at the County Tyrone event, the 36-year-old is confident of putting his Northern Escalator Installations ZX10R Kawasaki on the box this time around.
The 2012 Supersport Race B winner at Cookstown said: “Last year we had a good run at Cookstown in both the Superbike and Supersport classes, and with the new ZX-10R Northern Escalator’s Kawasaki now well set-up after our test at Cartagena – my goal is to jump on the podium this year.”
Pearson will ride for a second season with the Hotties Road Racing team that now has the luxury of Northern Escalator Installations stepping in as title sponsor for 2014. The KDM Hire Cookstown 100 will give the team – that includes wise-cracking Fermanagh lad Paul Gartland, who was last year’s Cookstown 100 B Race winner – their first road race outing of the season, and who would bet against Pearson taking it to the front-running regulars on his all-new MSS Kawasaki prepared ZX-10R Superbike.
Talking of the season ahead, Pearson added: “My plans for this year will be to compete in the 2014 British Powerbike Thundersport Championship. I will also be competing on the National and International Road Racing scene and there’s no better place to get that part of my season underway than at Cookstown.
“Even though track time in qualifying is limited to get three bikes set-up, it’s a great wee circuit and the fans always come out in force with it being the opening race of the year between the hedges locally. Last year it was Michael Dunlop and Guy Martin out in front in the big class, but with no Guy this year hopefully we can close the gap to Micky and make a decent race of it and be fighting for a podium.”
Pearson will also ride Supersport and Supertwin Kawasakis at this year’s KDM Hire Cookstown 100, which should give him two more opportunities for success at the 2.1-mile Orritor Circuit. The Supertwin machine is owned and prepared by Rod Lee Racing.