A former hang gliding and paragliding world champion, ninth within last years Lightweight Manx Grand Prix, the multi talented Rob Whittall is the next racer to take part in Road Racing News, ten questions challenge.
Originally from Leeds, now resident in New Zealand, his answers to the popular series of questions are as follows:
Q1: Favourite National Roads Meeting?
“Paeroa, Battle of the streets, New Zealand. Racing down the high street at 150 mph is a rush, shops flashing by and a wire fence around the entire course make it fairly intense.”
Q2: Favourite Racing Bike?
“That’s a hard one simply because there have been so many amazing machines made, I guess to pick one it would have to be the Ducati 916, from back in the Foggy days, that bike was a game changer.”
Q3: What’s the best part of competing on the roads?
“The roads are more fun than circuits, the bumps, the changes that happen from year to year to the courses and the fact that there are serious consequences, you have to really ride within your limits and be brutally honest with yourself about your skill level.”
Photo by Jim Gibson
Q4: TT, North West 200 or Ulster Grand Prix?
“I am all about the marathon and time trial factor, which makes the TT unique. The North West 200 and Ulster GP though are amazing and I take my hat off to the racers that take on that challenge, you have to be hard core especially in the wet!”
Q5: Most Respected Rival?
“At 49 years old I don’t have rivals, I just get on with my own thing and enjoy racing with everyone.
I have really enjoyed doing laps with my friends at the Manx GP, Victor Lopez, James Chawke, Gareth Evens and Allan Brodie JR.”
Q6: Best roads moment thus far?
“Every lap of the Mountain Course is special, I can not get enough, it’s the ultimate buzz.”
Q7: Is their one place or country in the world, where you would like to see a roads meeting held?
“South of France, Route Napoleon from Grasse to Gap. I spent a few years living there back when the cops were not so hungry. It was madness, amazing corners and a quality road surface for miles and miles.”
Q8: Who’s your road racing hero?
“It’s not any of the big names, it’s the guys that have to dig deep to do what they love and the riders that come back after serious injury, they are real bloody heroes.”
Q9: Supersport or Superbike?
“I don’t care as long as I am riding one or the other!”
Q10: Pole position or fastest lap?
“Having not had enough of either it’s hard to say, but I always thought we were racing for the final result, neither pole or fastest lap matter if you don’t win! I rarely win either so I don’t worry about any of it.”
Words by Stevie Rial