The Isle of Wight isn’t necessarily the first Country, Island, place, town, city that springs to mind when thinking about pure road racing.
This has all changed though across the last couple of years, thanks to frequent talk about a major international road race taking place.
Whilst chat, news around this topic has dried up recently, the Island enjoys prominent reputation on the racing front in real roads circles, thanks to Ryan Whitehall.
Open B race winner last month at Armoy, Whitehall’s brings with him to IOM shores, a growing wealth of roads craft experience.
In between getting breakfast ready for his team, Road Racing News caught up with him, to discuss his sophomore Mountain Course tenure.
When posed the question, what does it to mean to him, to join the Manx Grand Prix rider ranks, he enthusiastically stated:
“It’s a dream come true, I’ve always wanted to do the TT but if I can’t this is the same thing but different and actually now, I’ve been here I’ll probably stay here as long as I can but we’ll see.”
Summing up how qualifying week has unfolded, Whitehall who regularly posts updates on his You Tube channel, said:
“We’ve chipped away, just learning the circuit more than anything, the lap times I’ve kind of not been concentrating too much.
But hopefully we’ve got in a new engine in (Pegasus Externals/Reel Networks backed R6 Yamaha), cause the old one’s gone bang, blown a head gasket, we’ve taken one out of Kieran Brockie’s bike, so thanks to him.
If I can into the teen’s, (113 mph +) then I’ll be happy with that but at the minute I’m at 112.”
Whilst the ambition of racing at home hasn’t yet materialized, Whitehall has enjoyed honing his roads scene application, experience at the bulk of the Irish national meetings.
Which one though has he liked most?
“Probably this season Armoy, the Irish stuff, Skerries is just ridiculous, Kells is good, they are all amazing.
I like the format more I like the fact that you have a qualifying session then straight into a race.
Round here you need it but you don’t need any-more practice, I think it just encourages people to go faster, so, if you can just go out and go straight into a race, no messing about, straight to the point, enjoy that.”
Onto the topic of his unusual nickname, ‘Captain Insano’! What is the story behind this?
“That was down to Dom (Herbertson) and Chrissy Rouse, they gave me that.
Think I’ll put that one the leathers next year, seems to have stuck, didn’t want the nickname but they gave it to me, so you’ve got to embrace me.”
Photo credit: Nick Wheeler
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou