Road Racing News

Ten Questions Challenge – Sam West

Established amongst the fastest rising stars of the TT Races, North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix and Macau Grand Prix, reigning TT Privateers Championship runner up Sam West is the next racer to take part in Road Racing News worldwide popular, ten questions challenge.

Amongst a very select group of racers to lap the fabled Mountain Course, at in excess of the 129.5 mph lap mark, his answers to the popular series of questions are as follows:

Q1: Favourite National Roads Meeting?

“I think the one that looks the best to me is Tandragee. I’ve never had the chance to do it as I’m always busy when it’s on, but to me that looks like a perfect little circuit.

I was a road rider before I raced and it reminds me of the roads I learnt to ride on. Out of the ones I have done the Southern 100 is a great meeting and the circuit is mint.”

Q2: Favourite Racing Bike?

“Has to be my BMW Superbike from this season, it’s like the stocker but everything is just that bit better.

It’s a bit lighter, makes a bit more power, brakes are a bit better. It’s not much but all adds up to being more fun and responsive to ride.”

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

“Has to be the circuits, a lot of short circuits are almost boring but some of the roads stuff is just incredible. People are always asking what the best bits of a track are and I can never decide.”

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

“Has to be the TT, there’s just nothing like it. A lot of people aren’t too keen on the North West 200 but I really enjoy it, and the Ulster GP is always good.”

Photo by Rod Neill

Q5: Most Respected Rival?

“It’s hard to ignore the lap times some guys achieved at this year’s TT but really the rivals I respect most are the other true privateers.

The lads who are building the bikes in a small garage after a long day at work, putting everything into it and then driving the truck, putting up the awning.

All that takes a lot of doing and there’s a big bunch of us all at it doing what we can, to put the best bike on the grid.”

Q6: Best roads moment thus far?

“I think probably getting my first pit board in the Senior TT this year, I had no idea if I was going well or not as nobody set off for I think 30 seconds in front of me, and I was gapping the guy behind so I was well out on my own.

I didn’t get a board till lap 2 on the mountain which is already 60 miles into the race. Seeing that I was less than 0.3 mph from breaking the 130 mph lap mark from a standing start was such a relief, after that I really relaxed and settled into the race.

I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed riding as much as I did for the next few laps, until the engine let go on lap 5!”

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

“Well I only live a few miles from the cat & fiddle, I’ve been riding the roads round there for years and there’s some pretty special stuff when you know where to look.

We get to travel a fair bit with racing anyway so it would be nice to have a local roads meeting.”

Q8: Who’s your road racing hero?

“It’s hard to ignore what John (McGuinness) has managed around the TT, he’s beaten pretty much everyone who’s come up against him over the years, and I don’t think anyone can forget that stunning Senior race from a few years ago when he just cleared off.

After a bit of a crap week otherwise for him he showed that nobody could touch him. I wouldn’t say he’s a hero though ha ha, he’s still just a rival same as everyone else!”

Q9: Supersport or Superbike?

“That’s easy, Superbike all day long. I’ve never raced a 600 on short circuits and I’m just generally not great on them, as I’ve never had a good one or put any time/effort/money into the class. For me it’s all about the big bikes.”

Q10: Pole position or fastest lap?

“Tricky one, cause if you get fastest lap but don’t win it’s just a tease. But pole position doesn’t matter to me too much, it’s all up for grabs into turn 1 anyway so it doesn’t really matter once the lights go out.

I think I’d prefer to win a race from the back of the grid, taking the fastest lap on the way!”

Words by Stevie Rial

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