This is the fifth in a series of Q&A's with those involved with motorcycle road racing; grid girls, marshals, photographers, journos, and the racers themselves. Through these Q&A sessions the answers will hopefully help you, the reader, dispel any myths, confirm your suspicions or generally give some insight into who these people really are and what drives them to be involved in, what is considered by many, a dangerous sport. Should you want to take part and tell your story (or if you know a racer and can cajole them to take part), drop me a line through my Twitter or Facebook page and we'll sort something out.
Back in 2004, eight year old Wigan born Daley, rode in the British Minimoto 4.2 Championship and finished as runner-up during three consecutive years. He soon progressed through various different classes and for the past two seasons contested the Evo class in the British Supersport Championship with a best result of 11th overall at Snetterton. Last year, twenty year old Josh started his first TT season on a Kawasaki ZX6R as the youngest TT competitor, lapping at around the 115mph mark. He'll be returning again on the same bike for 2017, with a plan to move up to a 1000cc bike in 2018. Josh is definitely an up and coming rider and is one to watch over the coming years.
With the pressures of the day I only managed to get one shot of Josh last year at the TT, just as he and his dad were walking his bike to the start line on Glencrutchery Road. I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for Josh this year (hell, I shouldn't be able to miss him with all the fluorescent yellow!).
The following is in his own words...
Josh walks his bike up to the startling of the 2016 Isle of Man Supersport 2 TT race, with dad (Andy) alongside.
What do you do for a living? – Air conditioning engineer for Environment & Power Technology, who are also one of my sponsors
Who or what attracted you to road racing? – My dad took me to the TT for the first time when I was 4 years old.
What would you have replaced motorcycle racing with if you had never become a racer? – Rugby. Had to make the choice between rugby and racing when I was fifteen.
If you packed racing in today what would you do for the rest of your years? – Probably have money in my pockets!
What do you do out of race season? – Still train throughout winter, work as much as possible to get funds for upcoming season.
What was the first bike you raced (and have you still got it)? – 1st minimoto was a Polini GP3, 1st race bike was an Aprilia 125 Superteen (not got either of them now).
What’s the best race bike you’ve ever ridden? – My Kawasaki ZXR400 (it was 21 years old and I was 14/15 years old).
Which racing bike from history would you like to ride? – Suzuki RGV500 GP bike.
Who is your racing idol, and have you met them? – Joey Dunlop (no), David Jefferies (no) & Kevin Schwantz (yes).
Have you ever been star struck (racer / non racer) and who was it? – No
Who do you admire (racer / non racer)? – My dad. I wouldn’t be racing where I am now if it wasn’t for him.
What’s your greatest achievement so far? – Two race finishes at last years IOM TT.
What achievement are you striving for? – I’d like to eventually be a seeded rider at the IOM TT.
If you had your time again, what would you have done differently? – Don’t think I would change anything.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into road racing? – I can’t really give any advice as I have only just started on the roads myself, but I was told, do it for the right reasons, and do your homework.
How do you want to be remembered? – A fast and smooth rider and got time for everybody.
Josh (on the right) at his very first race aged 4
Racing on the TT Mountain circuit - what are you thinking about:
When you land on the Isle of Man to go racing? – Two weeks of living the dream, going fast on a motorbike on closed roads.
As you walk through the gate from parc ferme onto Glencrutchery Rd. at race time? – Getting enough fluids onboard, and getting into the shade to keep cool.
As you come up to the start line? – Just waiting for the tap on the shoulder (best feeling ever!).
As you set off down Glencrutchery Rd? – Relax, get the right line for St Ninians, concentrate, be smooth.
When you cross the finish line at the end of a race? – Beer tent.
What typically do you talk about with your team / family before and after a race? – Anything really, just try and remain calm.
Before each race do you have :
Any rituals? – Name on dog tag has to face outwards, my dad always has to fasten my helmet (something we have always done since I started racing). Dad stands on right hand side of bike and starts it, handshake with dad.
Any lucky charms? – None
Things you say to yourself or out loud? – None
IoM TT 2016: Dad (Andy) fastens Josh's helmet strap, as he has done since Josh started racing. (Picture credit - Karla Saunders)
LIFE IN GENERAL
What nicknames do you have? – Dougal (SnapChap: I'm guessing this is haircut related?)
What three words describe you? – Realistic, Focussed & Skint (because of racing)
What have you always wanted, and did you ever get it? – To race at the TT (Yes)
What question are you asked the most? – "When are you going to get your haircut"
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? – Jelly (got a phobia about it)
What’s your current addiction(s)? – Coffee
What would be the hardest thing for you to quit? – Racing
What’s the nicest thing someone has said to you? – Being told by a top rider at last years TT, that every time they passed me in practice that I looked really smooth.
Josh (far right) sporting his long held no 88, which will be 79 for this years racing.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you? – I was leading a 5 lap race at Aintree (by quite a decent gap). I crossed the finish line and was doing big stand up victory wheelies, on what I thought was the slow down lap. Thinking I'd finished the race, I pulled into the pit, to find I'd started celebrating at the end of lap 4, not 5! My dad thought I had a problem with the bike, and was asking "What's up?", I said "Nothing, I won didn't I?". He said "No, you knob!" 😂 As I realised what I'd done, I thought "Oh, for fucks sake...!". (SnapChap: Josh was telling me on Messenger "I was just practicing early for the 4 lap supersport race at the TT" 😂).
It also made hard work for myself because that was a qualifier race, so I had to start P38 for the final, so I had to try and fight my way through, but despite my mistake I finished 2nd in the final, but it was close over the line.
And here's the Youtube video of Josh in action in the final. Check out that first lap!
If you were a crap superhero, what would be your superpower? – I’d be like Karl Pilkingtons crap superhero – 'Bullshit Man' – stopping people talking shit.
What would be the perfect day? – Racing at Ulster GP on my 21st birthday like I will be doing this year.
What’s your greatest achievement? – Winning silver lion trophy at Aintree x2, winning three main championships at Aintree all in one year on a 600 (Formula 600, Superbikes and Powerbikes) and first person to do 100mph lap round Aintree on a 600.
What’s your biggest regret? – Going to a different hairdressers that my Mum uses and they butchered me, nearly short back & all gone.
What amazes you? – Health & Safety laws (lack of common sense).
Josh getting a team pep talk from his manager (dad)
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE:
Meal? – Steak (blue), sweet potato chips, onion rings, garlic mushrooms & pint of Guinness.
Colour? – Dayglo yellow
Music genre / band / singer? – Oasis, Arctic Monkeys & Greenday, Seasick Steve
Possession? – TT finishers medals
Item of clothing? – My hats
Place? – Isle Of Man
Pastime / hobby (other than racing)? – Rugby
Circuit? – Mountain Circuit. Short circuit, Thruxton & Brands Hatch GP
IoM TT 2016 (Picture credit - Karla Saunders)
EITHER / OR
Gym or yoga? – Gym
City or countryside? – Countryside
Tea or coffee? – Coffee
Sushi or fish & chips? – Fish & Chips
Cake or pie? – Silly question, gotta be a pie being from Wigan
Ketchup or brown sauce? – Brown sauce
Restaurant or take out? – Take out
Dogs or cats? – Dogs
Books or films? – Films
Twitter or Instagram? – Twitter
Netflix or Youtube? – Youtube
Early bird or night owl? – Both
Quiet night in or loud night out? – Both
THANK YOU Josh FOR TAKING PART.
YOU CAN FOLLOW Josh USING THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR MORE Q&A SESSIONS COMING SOON!
N.B. These articles take time and effort to make, and for it I get nothing in return, so if you've enjoyed this article please consider showing your support and encouragement by liking, bumping, tweeting it or generally sharing it to others. And if you want to see more, then simply join the Gritty Road Racers tribe. Thank you.
YOU CAN FOLLOW SNAPCHAP USING THE FOLLOWING LINKS: