Richie Welsh’s Manx GP Journey – Part 2

Richie Welsh’s Manx GP Journey – Part 2

Part two of Road Racing News interview with Kingston Upon Hull’s Richie Welsh, sees Richie showcase in precise detail what it means to tackle the world’s most famous road race circuit, the unparalleled Mountain Course.

Picking up from where we left off yesterday, Richie continues his reflection on his first Manx GP expedition.

“I knew an old friend of mine Tom Warner, who raced for years as well throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s, has retired recently.

He was coming over to play some rounds of golf and have a bit of a watch, he’s brought his fantastic son Adam with him, who’s also raced an R6 and a mini twin, so they’ve got good experience between the two of them.

I’ve known him twenty odd years, soon when I found out Tom was here on the Island and he brought Adam with him, I thought thank you.

Because I’ve been on my own you see, my wife is fantastic but there is only so much my wife can do because I’ve got my nine-year old son with me and he’s not allowed in certain areas of the paddock.

So, these guys turned up, rung them up said you’re not playing golf, come and help me in the paddock, you’ve got to do help me spanner, move things around, need something to lift my spirits, cause of this massive eye opener.

What a support they’ve been, they’ve been fantastic my wife has settled into a great role, isn’t so nervous now these guys are helping me, which is a nice support for family as well.”

“I was able to then let a bit of trust out to these guys because I know them, all round they’re good, Adam’s a good pair of hands, he can get the trolly about, move around the paddock.

Adam’s dad has a good calm nature, good sort of methodical state of mind, he’s almost like a team boss.

Normally you’d see me on my own doing this but again I felt a little bit overwhelmed, so it’s nice to just have that bit of extra support, can’t thank them enough. My wife Nicola and my son Egan have been fantastic.

My son has been cleaning my visor, cleaning the fairings, helping Adam, my wife has been going to the race office, getting information from the race office, looking online for all that sort of stuff, know what is going in with changes in the weather, red flags.

So, she has been fantastic and Tom has been the overall calm figure in the group and then me as the racer, it’s worked out.”

Richie added about his FZR 400 Yamaha steed, sponsored by EdenExpo, FlemingFisher, Rock Oil and AJs.

“I’m still mechanic for my own bike but these guys are helping me (Tom & Adam Warner), which is good.

One of the nice things that I have enjoyed and I am proud of is that I built that bike out of the bike I usually race on short circuits and Oliver’s Mount.

The No.1 bike is a bit of a weapon but it’s still in the van and we had an idea about changing to a faster engine and I feel if I had been knocking on the door of a podium, maybe a top ten or a top five, the advantage we might have gained with that faster engine might have worked.

But that steadier engine has been brilliant and worked all week. Now we know where the standing is, our glory is a race finish. I’ve been a built tank 24 litre fuel tank because that is within the rules and trying to be a bit of a wily old fox, I thought if I’m not quick on track, I can try and skip the fuelling.

We’ve had two fantastically successful three laps runs and come back with four and a half litres in the tank.

We’ve checked that it’s not over capacity, just in case we get checked by scrutineers after the race, so were well within the rules.

It’s gone through scrutineering every single time without fault which I am really proud of because I built that bike.”

Prior to placing 32nd in the weather impacted Sure Lightweight race, Welsh, presently second in the Oliver’s Mount 400cc 4-stroke Championship, openly expressed his pre-race thoughts:

“It’s race day we were ready yesterday, we were up at the top even though there was a worry about rain, we wanted to be ready.

So, the team went with me, just put warmers on and then it started raining. But we are ready to go, feel relaxed and I’m treating it like a three-lap test session.

My wife is worried about this place, she wouldn’t be human if she wasn’t but she also knows that I’m more relaxed around road racing then I ever was at the club circuits, Bemsee, New Era, Derby Phoenix.

I always used to get a little bit stressy because I had a big target on my back, were as when I go road racing, it’s a little bit more, if you want to pass me fine, I’m going ride as fast as I feel safe.

There are areas around this track which I’m intimidated by, it’s a very, very intimidating, scary, intense place, the glory is there but there is a lot of risk.”

“I’ve enjoyed the experience of coming over here, it’s been made even better by the fact that I’ve got my wife with me, my son with me and Tom Warner one of my best friends for years and his son I’ve known since he was a wee lad, it’s a good little team we’ve got going.

If I can get a solid finish for all of us, then that’s my Manx accomplished, that would be brilliant.”

When asked if he come up his first Manx GP voyage in one word, he stated:

“Overwhelming, after 22 years of racing I thought I’d seen and done it all and then I come here and this is just a different planet, so, overwhelming.”

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou

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