It’s speedway rider Lewis Kerr’s chance to recall some of his favourite motorsport memories in the latest instalment of Adrian Flux’s sporting series.
You can read Kerr’s thoughts or listen to them by clicking play on the embedded video below.
Favourite memory of riding at the Adrian Flux Arena – 2019 Premiership v Belle Vue (King’s Lynn Stars 55 Belle Vue Aces 35)
I think I got a full 12-point max and I was at number six. It was one of those meetings I felt so fast that if I got in front I didn’t think I was going to get passed. I beat Kenneth Bjerre and a few boys. I’ve had maximums at King’s Lynn but it’s when the draft [system] was around so it was a bit easier. Last year I was at number six so I didn’t have a reserve in every ride. I was captain that night as well so I think it just inspired me and the other boys.
It came up on my Facebook memories not so long ago from when I was riding for the Young Stars and the caption was that I’d like to ride for the Stars [senior side] one day. It went from that to riding for the Stars and then I was captaining them. I’ve had some incredible meetings around King’s Lynn in front of my family. I have a lot of family come every week and a lot of fans that support me as well, it’s a great feeling.
Speedway has been a massive miss this season and it feels like something in my life is missing, which obviously it is. I’ve managed to just get in whatever meetings have been going. It’s been a real tough season. I’ve managed to have plenty of work with one of my sponsors, Norfolk Cabins, so I’m very thankful for them. I’m looking forward to hopefully things picking up and we get going next season.
Third favourite memory – Watching British Superbikes at Cadwell Park in 1997/98
I used to go to Cadwell Park every year. I would have been seven or eight years old and we used to camp in the tents and I was obsessed by Superbikes at that age. Camping over you’d see the riders at night time going around on their scooters.
The biggest thing I remember is the two Cadbury’s Boost Yamaha riders; Jamie Whitham and Niall Mackenzie. They were my two favourites growing up. I just remember their bikes like it was yesterday really. I think it was the noise and just the speed of it really, that’s what I loved the most. I loved going to Cadwell more than anything because you’re a lot closer to the track than other tracks and it’s such a beautiful track as well.
From then onwards I’ve never wanted to do anything else other than ride a bike and I’m fortunate enough to do it as a job. It definitely inspired me. I didn’t know what type of bike, at the time I obviously wanted to do Superbikes, and then I went into motocross and then speedway so it definitely inspired me.
Second favourite memory – Riding with motocross star James ‘Bubba’ Stewart in 2008/2009
I was lucky enough to go and live in America for a year in 2008, 2009. In our back garden we had an outdoor track and one day James Stewart was doing some testing and he asked if he could come down to our track. He’s a legend of the sport and he was on fire then. It was quite funny really, I have a tattoo on my back of James Stewart but I was that nervous that I didn’t even say a word to him because I was so starstruck I suppose. So I never got the chance to actually show him my tattoo but it was a great day with him.
Through my whole motocross career I always wanted to go to America. When the opportunity came around I went for a year. I had to go to college twice a week for my Visa but other than college I was riding four or five times a week. I learned a lot about bikes and my riding came on no end. It was a once in a lifetime experience really and I was very fortunate. The people I met and the things I learned was incredible.
It’s one of the biggest regrets I ever had, just not going over to him and saying hello really. I don’t think any of the boys did. The guy who ran our programme knew him quite well but it is a big regret of mine. To see him up close doing what he does on a bike was incredible.
Favourite memory – Third home match for Newcastle Diamonds in 2013 (Premier Shield, Newcastle 59, Scunthorpe 34)
The year previous to this I was only just [riding] National League [third tier]. I think I had one Championship [second tier, formerly Premiership] meeting. I had a good Somerset ‘Challenge’ match and Newcastle saw that and picked me up for the season ahead. I wasn’t expected to do anything, ones and twos and probably just get my average for the year and I’d have been happy.
For the first two matches I pretty much did that. Literally the third match in [Premier Shield for Newcastle], I made a few changes which I’d learned from the other team-mates and I scored a 12-point max. It was going from just trying to get my average to going unbeaten. From then onwards that season I managed to stay at reserve all year and most meetings I hit double figures. I’ll do well to top that season.
Scunthorpe had David Howe, Ash[ley] Birks, Michael Palm Toft, Josh Auty. That’s about all I can remember. We did have a really good side that year but it was just one of them meetings. I was so new to professional speedway but it just all clicked. That feeling was unbelievable.I won the reserves’ race and I remember being ecstatic about that as I’d got my average. I then made another gate and the trouble is I then started putting pressure on myself to keep winning every race. I wasn’t satisfied but I managed to get 11 plus one and I remember it was like it was yesterday.
Lewis Kerr was talking to Gavin Caney
Photo credits (in order of appearance): Your Local Paper, Cadwell Park, Lewis Kerr and Steve Brock
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