Young Irish rider, Ben Kennedy now has a years experience under his belt racing in the adults and he hopes for better and bigger things in 2019.

Kennedy has put in a strong winter’s preparation and will race the Hawkstone International event this weekend in the MXY2 125cc class. It’s not going to be easy as he’s racing against some world class talent in the form of Kay de Wolf and Joel Rizzi to name just a few but he’ll leant a lot.

With Hawkstone International taking place this weekend we caught up with young Kennedy to get his thoughts on the event and his goals for the year ahead.

Gatedrop: Ben, you’ve decided to race Hawkstone International this weekend, you must be looking forward to such a big event?

Ben Kennedy: Yes, I’m really looking forward to Hawkstone International this weekend. It’s a well run event with a great crowd watching.

Gatedrop: Have you ever rode at the track before or is this your first time and what are you expecting from the event?

Ben Kennedy: Yes, I rode the track last year. I expect it will be some strong competition in the 125cc class.

Gatedrop: In the 125cc class you’ll be racing against the likes of Kay de Wolf and Joel Rizzi, are you looking forward to learning as much as you can from the likes of them?

Ben Kennedy: They are both top riders and I am excited to be racing against them, you can always gain experience racing with riders of this level.

Gatedrop: Do you have any other plans to do any other races outside Ireland in 2019?

Ben Kennedy: I am doing most of my racing in England this year and have plans to do a few more in Europe.

Gatedrop: Last year was your first year racing the Adult Ulster/Irish Championships. How would you describe 2018?

Ben Kennedy: Well, in 2018 I started the Adult Class and ended up top 10, running with the big boys. But half way through the season I got a small injury and was out for a few weeks, I came back for the end of the BYN and was happy with my speed and performance.

Gatedrop: What are your goals for 2019?

Ben Kennedy: My goal for 2019 is to win. It’s my second year on the 125cc now and I believe I’ve got what it takes to win and hopefully get another championship to my name.

Gatedrop: You’ll race the 125cc again this year, did you ever consider switching to the four stroke?

Ben Kennedy: Yeah as I said it’s my second year now and I want to do the best I can and maybe next year think about going four stroke.

Gatedrop: How has your winter preparation went as you prepare for the season?

Ben Kennedy: My preparation has been going great this winter. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been thanks to McQuaid Training and I’ve had good bike time with setting it up. So I’m definitely ready for this season for sure.

Gatedrop: Who would you like to thank?

Ben Kennedy:  I would very much like to thank the following people for their support – Bannside Pallets & Haulage, Russells Motorcycles, Alpine Star, GForce Suspension, TS Foods, MB14, Drenagh Sawmills, Frenchs Cafe & Bistro, Eric Strain Truck Repairs, Edgar Electrics, Down Tyres, S Jones & Son, WRC Recycling, Denis McBride Sales & Marketing, Carlisle Fuels, GP Haulage, Milwaukee, Magilligan MX Park, Joov Muscle Rub, Ecclefecham Coal Co, TA Carruthers Timber Haulage, SGUT MX, NI Plastics, G&G Ross, Risk Racing, Bell Helmets, Chips Ahoy, Belfast Ship Stores, Nutt Travel, Scarlett DIY, Moto Graphix, McQuaid Training, Michael Gibson and My Family.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Pic: Nigel McKinstry

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