Track racing saved my life’
Former professional motorcycle racer Antoine Richards has credited his track career for saving him from possible death on the roads.
Mr Richards, founder and chief instructor at the Bermuda Motorcycling Academy, said track racing kept his speeding away from public roads.
He added he had seen social-media footage of racers on public roads, some of whom caused crashes.
Mr Richards said: “I am 31 now, but when I was 19, I was that exact same guy. I probably would have died, but the first week after I started racing professionally, that was over for me.”
Mr Richards explained: “It allows you to be able to learn what a bike is trying to communicate to you. Once you have that, you start to hear and feel how far from the edge you are. We learn that by falling over, but we have suits and barriers and learn on a circuit. We learn by trial and error, not death and injury.”
Mr Richards was speaking after a proposal for a high-profile motorcycle road race in Bermuda next year was submitted..
Organisers said they wanted to encourage riders to gain top-notch skills.
Mr Richards said the race had the potential for riders to get involved on a professional basis and become good role models.
He added: “We are going to be highlighting the racers that are experienced and who have been through the training.
“It is not a free for all and it is not pack racing. It is the polar opposite.
“We are a motorcycling island, so the prestige behind an event of this calibre would be a game-changer for the motorcycle riding culture.
“The culture is no longer going to be popping a lot of wheelies or an ace boy who leans so far that his sidestands start to scrape — that is not an idol.
“We will have Bermudians stepping up and racing with audiences of 180 million people with high-tech bikes — the real aficionados who go above and beyond just trying to impress the ladies.
“By raising the profile of motorcycle racing, Bermuda Charge will also help to raise the profile of our local clubs; you can see you don’t have to just play football and cricket on this island.”
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