Road Racing News

Ten Questions Challenge – Robbie Silvester

A former Manx GP/TT competitor, mechanic for leading teams such as McAdoo Kawasaki and KMR Kawasaki, but now more known as owner of the VRS Racing team, all round roads stalwart Robbie Silvester is the next rider to take part in Road Racing News, ten questions challenge.

Robbie’s answers to the popular series of questions, are as follows:

Q1: Favourite National Roads Meeting?

“This would have to be the Manx GP followed closely by the Dundrod 150, if we are talking actual national meetings, if it’s the Irish National roads then it’s Got to be Cookstown, my association with McAdoo Racing and me riding there for them makes the place real special to me, and I always receive a warm friendly welcome.”

Q2: Favourite Racing Bike?

“I have had the pleasure to ride many fantastic bikes, but my favourite is my Denis Ireland RG 500 Suzuki stroker, it’s a proper mans bike that won the Belgian GP in 1979 (40 years next year), no electronics just a pure unadulterated power house.”

Q3: What’s the best part of competing on the roads?

“There’s nothing that gives you the adrenaline rush of riding quick between the hedges, the bumps, jumps and sheer speed, still gives me goose bumps just thinking about it, also your competitors become life long friends, not like some of the butt heads I have met at BSB (British Superbikes) events etc.”

Q4: TT, North West 200 or Ulster Grand Prix?

“Nothing compares to the TT but the Ulster is a very close second, for me the North West 200 has been spoilt over the years.

Guy (Martin) for all the flack he took wasn’t far from the mark, it’s so hard on engines now with all the flat out back to first gear stops just to please the insurance companies! Drifting the rear through Mathers in 5th was some feeling! But no more now.”

Q5: Most Respected Rival?

“I have respect for anyone roads/tracks that pulls on a helmet and a pair of leathers, and got on the grid with me, especially in those early days when it seemed like I had no respect for anyone.”

Q6: Best roads moment thus far?

“Far from being my own achievements on the roads, the parts I have played in so many others getting wins at the TT etc have been some of my best moments in road racing.

Seeing Ryan Farquhar get his first win on the Mountain Course and Jamie Hamilton get his first national win on my bike were some highs, but being along with Jamie watching him win the Irish championship in 2013, after a massive 160 mph off minutes earlier, I would prob put right up there.”

Q7: Is their one place or country in the world, where you would like to see a roads meeting held?

“My great friend Mark Buckley, worked hard to bring a pure road race to the borders in Scotland etc, I would to see an event like that go ahead in his memory.”

Q8: Who’s your road racing hero?

“Were do you start with this one? Joey (Dunlop) was my hero, Steve Cull, Steve Ward and all those boys from back then were also heroes.

I have huge respect for what the likes of Robert Dunlop and Dean Cooper did returning from horrific injuries, to ride competitively again, truly heroic, but Ian Hutchinson’s ride at Macau after his return from hell was amazing and should make him my hero, but it’s hard to call someone you would call a friend as a hero.

Michael Dunlop’s 250 win at the North West 200 in 2008, only hours after his fathers passing has to be the most heroic thing, I have witnessed in road racing, but my biggest hero of the road racing scene was Doc John (Hinds)!. So many owe him so much, he is a real legend and my standout hero, RIP John.”

Q9: Supersport or Superbike?

“Really???, you have to ask?? You step off the Superbike then onto the Supersport at the TT, and you think it’s broken, you spend half the lap deciphering if it’s actually bust or not.

The big Superbike wheelies where you would never think it would, and gives you such a rush, when riding one quick there is no comparison.”

Q10: Pole position or fastest lap?

“Throughout my early days in the British Championship rounds of the ACU Star/Marlboro Clubmans etc, every practice session was treat like a race so the answer would be, all of the above and throw in a race win and you get a happy Robbie!!”

Words by Stevie Rial