There’s been lots of positive news this year for pure road racing fans from the Isle of Wight. Most notably the upcoming International Diamond Races plus the Island’s latest roads scene competitor, Ryan Whitehall impressing during his maiden roads outings.
Whitehall’s first road race tenure took place in August at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough, taking in the three day Barry Sheene Classic.
Catching the attention of various spectators with his spectacular riding style, he claimed at Scarborough four top ten finishes which included a brace of top six finishes from the Supersport B class encounters.
Speaking about his first impressions of the 2.43 miles long Scarborough course, Whitehall stated the following:
“I was pretty scared to be honest, the course is a pretty wild place but I’d say suits my riding style with the harsh braking areas, hairpins etc.
I struggled to get my head around the danger aspect of it but after I learnt the track a bit more I stopped fixating on the fence posts and gates and really enjoyed riding, especially how close you are to the crowds.”
The Pegasus Externals, Yarborough Homes supported racer went onto add that one area in particular of the Mount, that he gelled particularly well with was the famous Mere Hairpin.
“I’d say I gelled with mere hairpin the most, it’s an ace run into it with a fence both sides and a decent enough surface to get the back end stepping out and bit of run off so you can really push on. Your really close to the fans as well so can put on a bit of a show.”
Following his Scarborough adventure, September saw Whitehall sample Irish roads competition at Cookstown.
Third within the Senior Support (A) race at Cookstown, I was keen to pose this question; Compared to Scarborough, how different did you find the Cookstown 100 course (Orritor Circuit)?
“They are both awesome places but Cookstown just felt a lot more grass roots, it was a proper old school road race, everything about it was what all racing should be.
The track was really exciting to ride, blacks jump along the back straight with the crowd behind a barb wire fence was mint. However Jefferies Jumps at Oliver’s Mount were just as good.”
My recent chat with the Isle of Wight’s leading up coming roads talent, then moved onto his home Island’s proposed first closed roads meeting, the Diamond Races.
“I am really excited for the diamond races, I haven’t had any confirmation that I’ll be able to ride it yet but we will just carry on as we are and if we get the invite then I’d love to give it a go.
The roads they’ve chose will make an awesome circuit and I’d love to ride my race bike around it rather than the clapped out bikes I’ve raced round there as a nipper.”
Looking towards next season, alongside hoping to tackle the Diamond Races, Whitehall revealed how his 2021 schedule is shaping up:
“For 2021 I’m hoping to move out to Ireland and live in my van to do as many road races as I can, alongside any Manx events that run. With the goal of coming home at the end of the year to compete on my door step, hopefully.”
Words by Stevie Rial