Brechin motorcycle racer, Ryan Watson, has returned to Scotland after competing in the first half of the CEV Repsol Spanish Championship .
With an unprecedented amount of riders in the Moto 3 class, on average over 54 riders, Ryan and Watson Work Racing have set themselves a real challenge, racing on a new bike, on unfamiliar track in the blistering heat.
Despite the challenge Ryan feels he has made a good start in his bid to be Scotland’s next motorbike rider to ride in the Moto GP since John McPhee (Niall Mackenzie).
The 2013 CEV Spanish Championship started off at the track of Cartagena in front of a 15,000 strong crowd. Wet weather dominated the weekend which played into the hands of Watson Work Racing and saw Ryan being 12th fastest in qualifying sessions. Unfortunately, their good luck didn’t last in the race, seeing Ryan crash out in the sixth lap.
The second round moved to Motorland Aragon. A fast flowing track covering over five kilometres in the hills near Alcaniz.
This long track proved challenging for Ryan with limited track time. Qualifying much further down the grid, Ryan’s main aim for the race was to learn the track and improve his time on each lap.
With a full grid of 42 riders, Ryan made a good start and moved up a few places but three laps into the race Ryan got knocked off the track by a fellow competitor which rendered him virtually last. After rejoining the track, Ryan worked hard to recover his race position and finished in a respectable 26th place.
Ryan’s third and final race before the summer break saw him compete at Albacete. Although it was a smaller track, it is very technical in it’s layout.
Ryan’s father, Keith Watson, explained what a challenging weekend it had been. He described how, before even getting to the track, the Watson Work Race lorry had suffered significant damage following a tyre blow out leaving the team stranded just hours before they needed to set up.
Once the team got to the track, Ryan was once again faced with large numbers of competitors in the Moto 3 class. With only 42 places on the grid for the race, the slowest 12 riders would not qualify to race.
After a difficult start to the weekend, Ryan was determined not to be going home without a race. Despite problems, with suspension, Ryan qualified in 37th place and in the race he improved on his time and position to finish in 26th place.
Keith described the first three months of the CEV as a “logistic nightmare”. He added: “I can see huge benefits from racing the Spanish Championship for Ryan and the team. The calibre of riders and machinery in this championship superseded the current British superbike 125GP series. I can see how much Ryan’s riding skills are improving and adapting a more interactional racing style.”
During Ryan’s stint in Spain, he was also lucky to get some advice from a Moto GP star.
Keith explained: “Alvaro Bautista, who rides for Go&Fun Honda Gresini spent most of a weekend in our garage giving advice to Ryan and two other Spanish riders in the same garage. For being a Moto GP star he was very down to earth and very easy to talk to, telling of his stories as to when he started riding in the CEV championship. One that sticks in my mind is that his first ever CEV ride he never even made the qualifying position to start the race. He had a very similar set up to us with being his dad and his dads friend as the team and also struggled with getting funds but he kept going and was fortunate to get the breaks to take him to the top ,which in turn gives me the hope of also getting the right sponsor on board and also the lucky breaks.”
Now home for the summer, the team’s aim is to raise the profile of Ryan and Watson Work Racing, which they hope in turn will lead to further sponsorship.
Keith continued: “A team website is under development and plans for Ryan and Watson Work Racing to take a centre sport at the Brechin Harley Davidson even this weekend are two of the initiatives.”
Discussing plans for the Harley event, Keith commented: “This weekend the race truck will be parked up in Panmure Street and the Moto 3 bike will be on display all weekend. Hopefully it will create some interest. The whole team will be on hand to answer any questions. We have organised a raffle and a bottle stall to help raise funds to go back to Spain in September.”