Matty Whelan (Loose nut connected to the bars)
MR T (Chief Mechanic)
DR Watson (The UK's finest MV Agusta Technician and suspension support)
Ken Green Tuperstar (Ex MT125 superstar and Track Guidance)
SO who am I and what bike do I ride?
My names Matty Whelan born on the 8th of July 1997. I eat sleep and breath motorcycles and have done since being born. I first rode a motorcycle on my own at the age of 4. A little Italjet 50 my dad found in a skip. Since then I have gone on to ride and race motorcycles and is all I know.
I first started riding round a local field just off South Road in Dodworth where I live. After a short while my dad decided I was pretty good for my age and asked if I wanted a new motorbike and obviously the answer was yes! But it wasn’t what idea my dad had in mind. I wanted a MX bike. My dad thought differently… he wanted something slower and less dangerous. Maybe like a Beta 50 automatic that Santa would bring later that year. I went and watched a few trials locally and decided yeah alright let’s have a go. I got the beta in December 2003 and started doing trials with clubs such as Huddersfield Falcon MCC and Spen valley. Then started riding mainly with the Barnsley trials club and from then on progressed on and on until I was a good schoolboy trials rider. I then got a Beta 50 manual and did my first ever British Trials Championship in Pontypool in Wales. I came LAST position. But after the long year of riding I managed to finish in the top six of the British Championship and managed to pick up a sponsor Blueline Taxis Barnsley. From then on in trials I managed top six in C class and B class then in the first year of A class I found out what a real bike was. I went to watch my dad’s friends parade their old bikes at CRMC at Cadwell Park. (Neil Tingle, Darren Swaby, Richard Beeby) The three musketeers on two old Suzuki GSXR750 Slabside and an XBR500 belonging to Richard. I found it hilarious how slow they were going and how much fun riding round a track flat out looked! SO that was the year I decided ‘I’ve had enough going slow and feet up I want to go fast and knee down’. Maybe something that would change the way I look at motorcycles forever or not? So Neil found out that I fancied my chances and wanted to have a go at riding a road bike around a track but obviously couldn’t afford a race bike being 16 and an apprentice and this needed some warming to from my mum and dad. Neil rang me a few weeks later and said be ready in half an hour were going to buy a bike. I had no idea what bike we were going to look at or anything. Anyway this bike turned out to be the one I m riding nowadays. The Yamaha FZR400 3TJ-1 RRSP. We bought the bike for a whole £820 and it fell to bits immediately. So Neil built the bike and started all over again with it making it right for me to do a few track days and do my ACU race license on. After a couple of Track days a lot of people started noticing me being a pretty handy rider by the end of 2nd track day at Darley moor I had managed to get my knee down and be 9 seconds of the race pace. Not bad If I say so myself. After a few more I gradually plucked up the courage to enter my first race. First race 18th May Cadwell Park with Auto 66. Oh dear what a disaster a crash and last place finish was not what I had in mind for my first ever race meeting but hey ho you live and learn. Then Monday 25th August I raced at Darley Moor in pouring down rain all day and managed three second places and a 1st. Eventually I started getting pretty good and went to do an evening track day at Cadwell leading up to the next meeting at Darley moor. I went and everything was going well faster than I’d ever been going then BOOM the engine blew itself to parts holes in the crankcase etc crankshaft pistons everything was mangled. This put an end to that year of racing. At this point I had no sponsors apart from (Neil’s bank) as Peter at Blueline wasn’t too keen of the idea of me road racing until I got some Insurance. We all sat down.. Me, Dad, Neil and Mum and decided what would be the best option for me. We found a place that were well known for building Yamaha FZR400 RRSP engines called BDK Race Engineering in Norfolk. We rung them and told them what had happened and they gave us a rough price. In the end the whole plan for 2015 came to £15,000. This was with no expectations apart from just to go out and gain experience. Anyway we decided to enter the EDIasia F400 rookie championship with the British Motorcycle Racing Club. The First meeting was at Brands Hatch on 28/29th Match. We turned up with no expectations and ended up coming home with 4 1st place trophies and 2 hats and a lot of people talking about me. Since the start of the season I have won 19/22 races at different circuits such as Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Silverstone, Cadwell Park and Pembrey. The only meeting I didn’t win and had a DNF (did not finish) was at Oulton Park when bad luck struck us really hard. The first morning practice session on the Friday the engine blew up 2 laps in. We managed to get the spare engine in. (A completely standard engine built for reliability. I was around 10 bhp down on the rest of the grid and managed to qualify second on a track I had only done 1 Lap of. First race Saturday morning the track was damp so went out on my wet tyres for the track to dry within in minutes leaving me with destroyed tyres 3 Laps in but still managing to get on the podium. Race two I went out and lead the whole race up until last lap when the (reliable) engine also blew up leaving me with a DNF. We went away from Oulton Park with nothing but sad faces. We spoke to the engineering firm what built the engines and they told us that they would fix the problem not mentioning the price. This ended up being £1500 after spending £5000 with them earlier in the season. We got the engines back on the 10th June Thursday and got to Cadwell Park at 12 o’clock Thursday night ready for practice on the Friday. Went out on the new engine got 4 wins in dreadful conditions. So far this year I have dominated the series and after the performance at Pembrey I have a lot of people talking about me after getting Top 5 as a rookie in the main grid. As you can see im not just winning I’m dominating the championship and have sought professional advice on where to go next year from Clive Padgett from Padgetts Race team which have many Isle of Man TT records and wins within their team. The advice we were given was to go with Super stock 600 bike. A Yamaha YZF-R6 built by Padgett’s of Batley. I need to find as much funding to allow me to be able to race this bike next year. But until I get the sponsorship I can’t go ahead with the decision. We have calculated we need around £36,000 pounds for next year to compete in the British Racing Motorcycle Club Team respro MRO 600 championship. We do have sponsors what have already confirmed they are willing to help me out but still need help. All our sponsors will be emailed and kept up to date with results and progress throughout the year.
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