As Im sure many of you readers may have guessed I am a massive Motorbike fan but while I was at the Ulster Grand prix last weekend I got thinking about why and how I got into loving motorbikes. Motorbikes has been the one constant sport I have been interested in I followed football through till somewhere through secondary school and picked up ice hockey around this time. For me you cannot beat the noise the smell or the buzz you get seeing the bikes fly past you there is nothing else on this planet gives me the same feeling when Im watching it.
My earliest memory of really watching motorbikes comes from a flamboyant Italian by the name of Valentino Rossi I think it was the 2000 season as he was on the Nastro Azzuro Honda. My most prominent motorbike memories are from sitting in front of the TV engrossed in his races mum getting annoyed at me shouting at the TV egging him on from his battles with Max Biaggi right up to now fighting with the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez I still feel nervous when watching him race a feeling I get from nothing else sports wise and while GP may have lost its draw for me watching Valentino will never he is in my opinion the greatest rider ever to have graced a race track.
My love of superbikes started later when me ,my dad, my Uncle and a friend of theirs went to a British Superbike meeting in 2005. I had been going to the North West Ulster Grand Prix and other local Road races before that and I enjoyed it but it couldn’t beat Moto GP for me back then, But I remember setting off for the ferry in the morning the ride up and arriving seeing all the bikes parked up and the crowds it was amazing. This was the first time I ever saw Jonathan Rea racing he was riding for the red bull Honda team and was going really well in the race but crashed out in front of us, but seeing a local guy racing in such a big series and competing at the front was enough to grab my attention and since then I have loved British Superbikes and Superbikes in general.
At first my interest was about the riders the ones I followed were either characters Rossi, Edwards, Bayliss or local guys like Jonathan Rea but more recently I have taken an interest in the machines themselves how they are developed through a season and between seasons. Just walking through a paddock can take me forever as I stop and look over every bike I come across looking to see what different pieces different teams have the difference between Factory supported teams and customer teams etc plus the bikes that the teams run now are stunning bits of machinery.
I am lucky enough to live in a country that has a rich racing history I have spent many days looking up older races and either reading about them or watching them on youtube to see the likes of Carl Fogarty, Steve Hislop, Giacomo Agostini racing on roads that I travel on was great and knowing that the greatest ever Road racer came from a small village in my country is amazing the late great Joey Dunlop is still a Northern Ireland Sporting legend up there with George Best as the best in his sport. I got his autograph but at the time didn’t realise the importance of it, it sits in a book alongside the signatures of Carl Fogarty, Michael Laverty and Jonathan Rea to name a few it is one of my most prized processions.
Over the last year I decided to turn my love of motorbikes into a blog so far I think it has been going well my road racing previews and reviews epically have been viewed alot as well as the one rider Q and A I have been lucky enough to get with Christian Iddon I hope to be able to do more of these in the future as well as maybe write about Bikes in general for a living. I have also be throwing around the idea of doing a podcast about WSBK/BSB but finding others who have the interest to do this is proving a difficult task hopefully by next season this may come to fruition.