Brechin youngster Ryan Watson is gearing up for the weekend, as he prepares to race at the famous Silverstone race track, home of the British Grand Prix (writes Steven Rae).
Ryan, aged 13, of Trinity Road, Brechin, is competing in the British 125cc Mortorbike Championship, a support category for the British Superbike Championship, on Sunday.
“I’m excited and looking forward to it”, said Ryan, who is sixth in Britain at the moment. “Until now, Donnington was the biggest track I’d raced on.”
Ryan is now in position to earn a top-five place in this year’s championship, a great achievement given that this is his first season and he is the second-youngest rider in the whole competition.
In a competition dominated by English riders, Ryan is at a disadvantage for practising.
“Because the English riders are close to the tracks we race on in the British Championship, they’re testing on them most weekends,” he explains
It is European competition that Ryan really has his eyes on though.
Number one fan and Dad, Keith, explained: “He’s applied for the Red Bull Rookies who run alongside the MotoGP, it’s another championship but it’s on the European GP circuits.
“He’s been accepted for a trial for that so here’s hoping it goes well.”
Ryan added: “I would like to race in the Red Bull Rookies, because they race in Spain, Italy, Portugal - hot places!”
With three podium places already this year, European competition is certainly an exciting prospect for Ryan, who won the 2010 80cc British Motor Cycle Racing Club Championship.
However, as Keith explained, funding is a major issue.
“The cost to us just now is huge. The Red Bull Rookies is like another step up.
“If we can raise enough money he’ll do the British Championship and the Red Bull Rookies next year.”
If Ryan is to compete in both competitions, it will mean 20 races a year, a big uptake for the youngster.
But the experience he will gain is invaluable.
“If he does get in it will improve his riding loads; the lad who did it last year has come on immensely, and he’s now the leader in the British Championship”, said Keith.
Ryan’s last race of the season for the British Championship is on October 7, 8 and 9, then his test for the Red Bull Rookies is on October 10, 11 and 12, which means finishing the British race and heading on a flight almost straight away to Spain. A practice, interview then proper, 20-minute trial will take place in Jerez, Spain.
Ryan’s lack of funding is still the key concern, however, as Keith explained: “If we don’t get a level of sponsorship, we probably won’t be able to do the Red Bull Rookies, because it means travelling to Europe for every race.
“We’ve basically self-funded it ourselves, there has been a little bit of sponsorship, but nowhere near the level Ryan really needs.
“Sponsorship includes the company name being displayed on the bike, transport vehicles and race-wear and viewed on Eurosport and ITV channels. Plus the advertising is tax-deductable, so our thinking is instead of giving it to the tax man, they could help Ryan and give him an opportunity to race at that level.”
Ryan added: “I definitely want to go professional one day, and this is the way to get noticed.”
Ryan’s race is live on British Eurosport 2 this Sunday, with the programme beginning at 1.30 pm.
For more information on Ryan’s racing or for details on sponsorship, contact Keith at: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07939241152.