Secondly, we’ve also lent our support through sponsorship to John Oliver, who decided at 50 years old to pursue a lifelong dream of racing at motorcycle events after spending 35 years “twirling spanners,” building some world-class bikes and specials that have finished the infamous Isle of Man circuit. After spending years riding and repairing them for a living, helping others make their dreams come true at events such as the Classic TT and Superbikes, he bought a big truck and a cheap bike. Mike and his team managed to beat everyone including a former TT winner (80CC) GP rider. John races as a personal goal and that of his club, Preston and District MCC. He assisted Rob Barber, who won the first electric TT race, in the idea of a new class to get new racers into the sport that wouldn’t be overly expensive or too daunting speed-wise:
“Streetstock 125 is based around readily available road going 125cc motorcycles the same as learners use but fitted out for racing with minimal tuning allowed.
The first race of the season saw 6 bikes turn up and a couple of good riders including Rob Barber (who fell off in front of me!) so a small grid but some decent riders. By the end of the season there were 10 bikes in the paddock and it has been hailed a success. The number of new riders getting involved or interested is really encouraging as that was the idea. I know the grid will start with at least double the number of bikes going off the interest shown in the paddock and on the Facebook page:
I am currently building a new bike after the learning curve of this season, it will be much lighter and be as tuned as the rules allow. I was second all through the championship behind a guy who used to race GPs back in the 1990s right up to the last race. I would have been happy to have come second behind such an accomplished rider but as it turned out I beat him to take the championship win.
I am stunned and I said I would only race for one year but I have to defend my title…so roll on 2017! I would really love to get youngsters interested in having a go as it’s exciting and relatively safe. So if anyone wants information, I will gladly help them get involved.”