James McManus graduates to WorldSSP300 with Team 109 for 2021

Monday, 8 February 2021 12:31 GMT

A new addition to the grid in 2021, Ulsterman James McManus will be on the world stage for the first time

After an impressive ride at the final round of the 2020 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship, James McManus will be a full-time rider on the 2021 WorldSSP300 grid. The teenager, who will turn 17 by the time the season starts, finished 12th overall in the British Junior Supersport Championship and enjoyed a podium to his name, whilst finishing ninth in the Last Chance Race at Estoril in his WorldSSP300 debut. With the new season set to begin at the iconic TT Circuit Assen in The Netherlands at the end of April, Team 109 hopes to be back on track in the coming weeks for a number of preseason tests.

Commenting on his leap to the WorldSSP300 Championship, McManus said: “I am super excited to get 2021 underway. It will be a such great experience to race full time in the World Championship as well as in the British Championship in one year. It will be tough but I’m up for the challenge. 

“Testing pre-season and during the year will be important as it will be my first time at most of the circuits that World Superbike uses. It’s important to start off on the right foot and find a good rhythm that we can build on early. It’s such a massive opportunity and I can’t thank Team 109 for giving me it. I don’t have any real targets or expectations; I just want to enjoy it and to improve every session and get closer to the front. I have a lot to learn and I will do my best to enjoy it and let’s see where we end up.”

Team manager Paul Tobin welcomed McManus to the team full-time for the year ahead, saying:  “We are delighted to welcome James McManus to Team 109 for 2021. James filled in for our injured rider at Estoril at the end of last season. He came into the team with everything new… the track, bike, tyres, and he did a cracking job. He improved every session, and I was pleasantly surprised with his maturity, it’s hard to remember that he is only sixteen! 

“He has been putting in a 100% in the off season to be ready and I am confident he will be in great physical and mental shape when we get to Assen for the opening round. He has a lot of riding ahead of him this year. He will ride for the Affinity Sports Academy with whom we have created a link with in BSB and it’s great to share and work with others within the sport that share the same ethos as Team 109 - a vision of developing riders. 

“The entire team is excited to work with James as part of a two-year plan. We want him to learn the tracks and we are sure that as he progresses on the world stage it will help him back in the UK. He showed us great enthusiasm when we first met last year, and it was refreshing to see. We want to thank all of our loyal sponsors who have made it possible for us to run on the world stage once again and for giving James a platform to make his full-time World Championship debut.”

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