Last rumbles of Thundersport: Popular club racing series calls it a day after 15 years

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The Thundersport GB club racing series is calling time after 15 years of close competition and having played a vital role for young talented riders moving on up into both British and world championships.

Owner David Stewart confirmed the decision citing, a weariness for travelling, safety concerns and a “disillusionment” with the spiralling costs of racing for the up-and-comers.

Stewart said: “Club racing has always been the part of the sport that interested me most and it has become too expensive for most ordinary people to do.

Thundersport race bikes

“I have become disillusioned with seeing ordinary people taking on vast levels of debt to take part in the sport I have always loved.

“Youth sport was always a keystone of my interest having run the Superteen Challenge since way back in 2000 (when Casey Stoner beat Chaz Davies to the title).

“I have backed away from it over the past two seasons because the machinery now being used is not suitable for very young riders (in my opinion) and the high-profile fatalities across the professional youth championships have highlighted that to me.”

Thundersport racing action

He added:: “I miss that involvement, but we stepped away from it on a point of principle and that cannot change.”

There was interest in buying the series but Stewart says that none of the offers were right, as he explains: “The whole thing was built on my reputation and I have always looked at it as an extension of me. 

“Every bid we had came on the basis of it becoming a “normal” business and we have never run it like that. Turning it into a normal business would be something I would never agree to.”

Racing action from Thundersport at Oulton Park

He added: “Plus, I would never say that I wouldn’t organise something in the future, so I want to keep it in a dormant state in case my mojo for the sport returns.”

His comments were echoed by Steve Day, who cut his teeth providing commentary for the club before moving on to Dorna in MotoGP, and more recently BSB.

“Their aim when they started was to help riders make it onto the world stage,” he said. “They are memories that will always live on with me.”

The final round of the Thundersport Club Bike Championships takes place at Cadwell Park this weekend, October 15-16. For tickets and more information click here.

Stuart Prestidge

By Stuart Prestidge