‘I spent half of my racing career on Suzukis’
Former British champion and WSB winner explains why he’s racing again “I’ve always had an affinity with Suzuki. I spent half of my racing career on Suzukis, from bikes I bought myself, to a proper factory set-up with Mick Grant and two years in WSB when the Harris brothers ran the factory team.
“I’ve raced most years since I retired, on MT125S and the Goodwood Revival. But the main thing is I still do a lot of riding on my training days. I’m on the back foot compared to someone who’s racing week-in-week out, but I don’t feel ring-rusty.
“I want to enjoy it. The worst thing you can do as an ex-racer is go back thinking you’re going to rekindle some of the old magic and somehow it’s all going to work out... it’s b****cks. You’re doing it to enjoy it and to have the craic with the team.
“I’ve only done three 24-hour races and three Suzuka 8-hour races. They were very much oneoffs. I’ve had to do the running start twice – once at Le Mans and once at Paul Ricard. Because you’re stood there and it’s quiet, for some reason the bike doesn’t seem like it’s with you any more, so you get more nervous.
“I remember the last time I ran across the track, looking down at my legs and thinking: ‘Well, move you bastards’, and they weren’t moving quick enough, but I was going the same speed as most others. I’m looking forward to it.”
‘You’re doing it for the craic with the team’
Whit’s normally No69 but today he’s sporting the team’s No7 plate