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Northern Irish road racing being saved is “massive”, says TT podium finisher Todd

Isle of Man TT podium finisher Davey Todd says it’s “honestly massive” for road racing in Northern Ireland to have been saved for 2023.

Davey Todd, Milenco by Padgett's Motorcycles

Tony Goldsmith

In February the Motorcycle Union of Ireland UC announced that all road racing, short circuit racing and trials competition in Northern Ireland would be cancelled for 2023 due to insurance costs tripling.

However, on Wednesday night it was announced that the MCUI had secured a new, lower insurance rate and that – coupled with a crowdfunding campaign raising nearly £90,000 – was enough to save most of the racing in Northern Ireland for 2023.

This means the North West 200 will go ahead in May as planned, which Padgetts Honda rider Todd – who has won at the event before – is important for those taking part in the TT.

Speaking exclusively to Autosport, Todd – who cut his teeth racing in Ireland – says the impact on the 2023 calendar being saved is huge for the country, and likened the popularity of road racing in Northern Ireland to that of “football in England”.

“It’s honestly massive, I think for a lot of reasons,” he said when asked for his thoughts on the 2023 Northern Irish road racing calendar being saved.

“The heritage of road racing in general is massively from Northern Ireland and racing in Ireland, because it really is like grassroots racing there.

“It’s one of the biggest sports in the country. It’s like football is in England.

Davey Todd, Milenco by Padgett's Motorcycles

Davey Todd, Milenco by Padgett's Motorcycles

Photo by: Stephen Davison

“In Northern Ireland you go and you’re right up there with the top athletes in the country if you are a road racer.

“So, it’s so important to everybody: to families, to everyday people who go and support local road racing.

“It’s really important to have those races there, for all the community, for the economy in Ireland as well.

“But also for our preparation before the TT, having some road racing before…. I think it’s possible to go to the TT and not do a road race before.

“But it’s not ideal. There’s nowhere where you get the speeds that you do at the TT on a short circuit.

“You can’t emulate that, you’re never anywhere near the same sort of speed.

“Whereas you go to the North West a couple of weeks before the TT and get your brain up to speed, it gets your brain working faster and gets your head up to speed with the speeds.

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