First up in the rider Q&A interviews is new Preston & District Motorcycle Club Chairman Ste William Tomlinson.
Q1 – Race Number? 217, it’s a way of running my kids birthdays on my bike with the 1 in the middle so I shouldn’t have to swap numbers at other clubs, hopefully.
Q2 – Club / Championship? Preston and District Motorcycle Club and the National Streetstock series. Possibly Wirral 100 too.
Q3 – Class / Classes? Streetstock 125 and anything else I can swing a leg over, I like more simplistic machines as they tend to be slimmer and lighter.
Q4 – Debut? June 16th 2016 on a Yamaha FZR 400, I finishes 8th after a last lap overtake going into Joey’s. I was well chuffed with myself! I’m now lapping faster on a bike with 12bhp than I was on a bike with five times the power.
Q5 – Honours / Titles? None so far! I’ve had a couple of podiums but no wins, probably the best thing I can say about my racing is that I’m now Chairman at Preston & District and I enjoy helping people in their racing careers with us. Some start with us and other are seasoned veterans – we aren’t a big club, it’s true grass roots racing and definitely the friendliest I have encountered, hands down.
Q6 – Favourite circuit & Favourite corner? This is tougher than I thought! I absolutely love Anglesey as a venue, it’s like a holiday park! My favourite corner has to be Joey’s (Joey Dunlop’s Corner) at Three Sisters. On the brakes, tip in, touch the apex and get out of there! Neeeowwmm.
Q7 – Boyhood heroes? Steve Peat, mountain biker. There’s a film about him called ‘Won’t Back Down’ well worth a watch. Peaty is the man.
Q8 – Toughest rival? I’d have to pick between Nick Boggan and Michael Williams. Nick Boggan because he seems to slightly get the better of me but I’m catching up and Michael because he’s far too fast for a bloke in his 70’s and often phones me for a chat about anything.
Q9 – If I could swap places with any other rider? In club racing I’m pretty happy being myself at the moment, I’m enjoying being me. Worldwide it’d be Scott Redding or Jack Miller. It’s their job to be fast and they look like they’re having fun whilst doing so. Riders from a time gone by.
Q10 – Biggest accident? When I first got into road racing for myself, Edward Hosker passed me and flicked the V’s as he did it. I chased him into the next corner as “if he’s going that fast, I am too” then I started catching him up, panicked and rode straight into the tyres at the end of the start of the start/finish straight. He was convinced that my throttle had stuck on. His dad said it right “your ambition outweighed your talent”
Q11 – Biggest influence on your career so far? Any of the Clitheroe bike racing lot, Edward, all us Tomlinson’s (6 of us have raced) Jug, Lawrence.
Q12 – Rossi or Marquez? I’d like to say Rossi but Marquez is the Alien’s Alien. The man’s a freak of nature and I think he’d win on any other manufacturer.
Q12a – If I wasn’t racing I would be…? Racing something else or in a band. I don’t know what it is but I can’t just dabble in something. Bikes – I have to race. Music – I have to play live. I don’t know why I’m like this!
Q14 – Nickname? I’m Stevo to my family and Super Ste to the lads at my old workplace Valley Hydraulics.
Q15 – If money were no object I would? Fund some British riders in Moto3. Those little bikes are cool as and there is next to no UK money in Grand Prix racing.
Q16 – Brown or red sauce, Coke or Pepsi? Barbecue sauce! Pepsi Max Cherry or a good tea.
Q17 – If I could be one person for one day I would be? Donald Trump – I’d just come out with anything, just to see if anyone noticed the difference!
Q18 – Cost to race per season? I’ve never put a figure on it, I spend less than most. I’m very good at finding ways to make my money go further but I’d draw the line at not using tyre warmers again. £2500 should be able to cover a seaon with the 125 with all my entries and some tyres.
Q19 – Dream bike? Honda RS125, lightweight and 2 stroke. Yeah man!
Q20 – Training regime (Gym rat or bike fit)? Dicking about on mountain bikes always served me well until my kids arrived, I spend all my time with those guys now. I enjoy boxing training with circuits and all that. I can’t stand weight training work, it bored me to tears. I just pedal or work myself hard enough to be sick and that’s how I go.
Q21 – Cats or dogs? Dogs, my dogs stubborn as anything but at least he doesn’t claw me for no reason like cats do. They’re psycho animals. Cats can bugger off!
Q22 – From October to March I can be found doing? Working on bikes, doing club stuff, trying to fund Christmas and a family summer holiday, trying not to let the lack of daylight mess with my head too much (Mental health – talk about it guys).
Q23 – Dry track, wet track or not fussed? Mixed bag track! I don’t mind being the first rider back on slicks after a wet session, that bit of damp patches I like.
Q24 – Best ever race? First round of 2019 we were made to draw starting positions from a bag. I pulled out 20th from 20. I had no expectations going into the race and just kept picking off riders until I finished 2nd. Always remember our Dan hanging over the pit wall showing me my position with his fingers. Good times.
Q25 – Special thanks to? Anyone who helps me! Other racers, paddock people, Marshals and organisers, photographers who allow you to have physical keepsakes to go with your memories. People who doubt me will always feed my fire!
Many thanks to Ste for some great answers and for being the guinea pig for the new project, up next is a two 4 one as we’re joined be Josh and Anthony Froggatt.