2019 Alpe Adria Road Racing Championship season provided Palmen in Motorradsport some great stories to write about. An interview with Manuel Rocca, a great podium finish by Jasmin Sarjos and a “pill” dedicated to Rocca and Luca Tommasini found some well-deserved space during the past few months. Well, now it’s time to tell you about Jirka Mrkyvka.
If you are a big fan of World Superbike, this rider’s surname might sound familiar to you. Why? Because he’s the son of Jiri Mrkyvka, a privateer who took part in 135 World Superbike races from 1996 to 2006, as he achieved a tenth place in 2004 as his best result. Once he retired from racing, Jiri transmitted his passion for racing to his son and later on, Jirka (the diminutive of Jiri) decided to follow that path.
What you will read in the following lines is the story of Jirka Mrkyvka from his first races to the dream of racing in World Supersport in 2020, following the great 2nd-place finish achieved this year in Alpe Adria Superstock 600.
This is how it started…
Born in 2000, Jirka Mrkyvka started riding for fun: “Once I was watching a pocket bike race with my father. I asked him if I could try it and in the end, it was love at first sight…At the beginning it was just about having fun, but when I was 10 I decided to start my career“. Jirka raced with pocket bikes in 2011 and 2012 and he achieved very good results: “I rode a Blata Ultima, the best pocket bike available back then, and in those two years I won several races and became Czech and Slovak Champion in my category“. Jirka later stepped to MiniGP in 2013, but it didn’t go as well as in the previous two years: “I was already quite tall and this gave me great problems. Anyway, it was a good experience“.
ADAC Junior Cup and first year on a 600cc
In 2014, Jirka Mrkyvka switched to big motorcycles and big circuits, as he moved to Germany to race in ADAC Junior Cup. Jirka spent two years in the series powered by KTM and after ending his rookie season in twelfth place (with 39 points and three ninth places as best results), in 2015 the rider from Brno fought until the end for the top-3. However, he dropped to 7th place after he was disqualified from one race. Such experience was followed by Mrkyvka’s move to Alpe Adria Superstock 600. “At the beginning it looked so f***ing fast – says Jirka – but then I got used to it and I got to love it“. After several point finishes, in fact, the Czech scored four top-6 results and so he finished the season in tenth place.
“I accepted an offer for CEV Moto2. It turned out to be a mistake…”
Following his positive debut season on a 600cc machine, Jirka Mrkyvka was later asked to race in CEV Moto2. He didn’t want to skip steps, but finally he accepted that proposal. It could have been a dream, maybe, but it definitely was a nightmare: “In the half of the season I was kicked out from the team for no reason. They f***ed everything and I had to stop racing for a year. I really regret accepting that offer…“. Jirka made his return to racing during the final part of 2018, when he re-joined Alpe Adria Superstock 600 for the final three races of the season.
Jirka Mrkyvka’s career needed a new start and so, for 2019, he joined Fritze Tuning R6 Cup team and remained in Alpe Adria Superstock 600. The Czech rode a competitive Yamaha YZF-R6 and despite starting the campaign with two DNFs, he managed to end the championship in a significant second place, behind Richard Bódis. Jirka scored podiums and podiums as the season went by and so he became Czech Champion and Yamaha R6 Cup winner, in addition to being the overall runner-up among more than 50 riders. This is what Jirka had to say: “It’s been my best season so far: I graduated Czech Champion and I finished second overall among more than 50 riders. It was possible thanks to my father and all my sponsors and I wanna say thank you to them.”
What now? “I want to race in World Supersport”
2019 was full of satisfaction for Jirka Mrkyvka and now the 19-year-old is looking forward to what’s next. Different scenarios may come true, but in addition to several offers from Alpe Adria and German IDM Championship, there’s a big goal named Supersport World Championship. “I would like to get there next year – says the rider from Brno – and I have also received some offers. It’s difficult, because they’re asking for much money, but I really hope to make it!“. Jirka is currently focused on his training plan, studies and friends, but may he become the second member of Mrkyvka family to hit the world stage?
Hodně štěstí, Jirka!!!