Flash your mind back to the ACU Youth Bri­tish Tri­als Cham­pi­onship around 2006–2012; I cer­tainly can. A few names come to mind that for what­ever rea­son dis­ap­peared from the sport. At the early 2017 sea­son adult Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship round at Hook’s Wood a po­lite young man came and talked to me, it was Chris Stay. I can re­mem­ber the likes of Chris, Bradley Cox and Ge­orge Gos­den all bat­tling in the youth classes. A series of events took Chris Stay away from the sport but, now more set­tled in life at the age of 22, it’s very much a case of un­fin­ished busi­ness as he re­turns with sup­port from TRS im­porter Steve Saun­ders and BVM Moto.

Back in tri­als, how good is that?

My pas­sion for the sport never went away, it was just a change of cir­cum­stances that cre­ated the fact that I moved away from com­pet­ing. This year for me is about get­ting back into tri­als and see­ing how I get on in the Ex­pert class as I pre­vi­ously rode the Cham­pi­onship route. Next year I am hop­ing to im­prove in the Ex­pert class. Hope­fully all be­ing well and with a suc­cess­ful 2018 I can move back up to the Cham­pi­onship class in 2019.

I re­mem­ber you giv­ing it full gas at the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship rounds.

They were re­ally good times. As you have men­tioned, the com­pe­ti­tion be­tween my trav­el­ing part­ner from the Isle of Wight Ge­orge Gos­den, and friends Corey Cu­bik, Tom Dex­ter, Joel Ed­wards, Jack How­ell, Bradley Cox and many oth­ers was very in­tense but equally en­joy­able; happy times!

Did you win any Youth Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship ti­tles?

Yes, I was C Class Bri­tish Cham­pion in 2006 and I also came 2nd in the Youth B and Youth A Classes. Who spon­sored you in the Youth Cham­pi­onships? I rode for John Lamp­kin on Beta for three years in the C Class, one year on a Sherco in B Class, and fin­ished off my youth years on a John Shirt Gas Gas. We had good sup­port from John Shirt Jnr at Gas Gas UK and, of course, my par­ents – the bank of mum and dad. I would like to thank ev­ery­one who has ever spon­sored or sup­ported me. I ap­pre­ci­ate ev­ery­thing ev­ery­one has done to help me over the years.

Then you sort of dropped off the radar?

I started work­ing in my dad’s garage, which was a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion for me, but I did not re­alise how much work­ing there would change my life. There was a per­son that worked at the garage who did not have any re­spect for other peo­ple and would bully me and put me down at any op­por­tu­nity; this re­ally af­fected my con­fi­dence as I was still only 16. Away from work I then un­for­tu­nately got in an al­ter­ca­tion with an­other per­son which re­sulted in my jaw be­ing bro­ken. This re­ally af­fected my con­fi­dence and with prob­lems at work I did not re­alise I was en­ter­ing the down­ward spi­ral of de­pres­sion at a very young age.

Dif­fi­cult times, I would imag­ine?

Yes, very dif­fi­cult. I left the garage and started tak­ing ca­sual labour jobs, but in truth I was very de­pressed. Tri­als rid­ing was the last thing on my mind. I lit­er­ally cut my­self off from the out­side world.

How did you turn this around?

I started talk­ing to the right peo­ple about my prob­lems and go­ing to the right places to seek help; things turned around and started get­ting a lot bet­ter. Some­thing good usu­ally comes out of bad times and I now have a job I re­ally en­joy, work­ing on diesel pumps and in­jec­tors in a work­shop en­vi­ron­ment based in Southampto­n with good peo­ple.

And so you moved back to com­pet­ing tri­als?

The Gas Gas that I started prac­tis­ing on again was from when I was rid­ing for John Shirt in 2012. It lay in my fa­ther’s garage for 4 years un­til I got back o n it again and started rid­ing. I soon re­alised that I still had a burn­ing pas­sion for the sport. De­spite the fact that I had been away I en­joyed com­pet­ing in the Ex­pert Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship.

How good’s the TRS?

It’s very, very good! I will con­test the last few rounds of the BTC this year and in 2018 my aim is for the top in the Ex­perts Cham­pi­onship. I am hop­ing this will be my sec­ond-chance year. For ev­ery­one who has made this pos­si­ble – TRS UK, BVM MOTO, my dad Alan Stay, Joe Hen­der­son, Mark Coombes and my train­ing part­ners Josh Stevens and Ge­orge Gos­den, and es­pe­cially the tri­als ‘fam­ily’ for wel­com­ing me back, it’s a mas­sive thank you.

53 Chris Stay (JST Gas Gas UK)


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