Charlie Atkins, 13, from Goole, managed to step on the podium twice in his rookie Moto3 year. He later finished 8th in the overall standings of the Hel performance Motostar British Championship 2016 standard class. We caught up with him to find out all about it.
In 2016 you joined the Wilson Racing team on a Moto3. Before the season started, how much time had you spent riding the bike?
I had ridden the bike for five days at Cartagena and we also did the BSB test at Donington Park.
What were your goals for the season at that stage?
We were hoping to get in the top five but the standard was very high, so I was delighted to finish the first race at Silverstone in fourth position. However, I realised it was going to be difficult to repeat that regularly in my first year.
Of the 22 races in the season, you only failed to finish in three. How important is it to be consistent?
It’s always important because if it comes down to the last round you always need that extra point.
You managed to get your first podium at Cadwell Park at the end of August. What did it feel like to step up on the podium?
It felt absolutely amazing but I looked up at the top step and wanted to be on that.
At the beginning of October you won your first race at Assen. What is the track like?
It was the best track I’ve ever ridden; it was grippy and so fast and flowing, which I loved the most.
Motorcycle racers cannot win races on their own. Who has helped you throughout 2016?
Well, of course, the biggest help has come from my mum, dad, Uncle Lee and Gary Wilson, the team owner. However, I couldn’t have raced if it wasn’t also for the generous support I received, financial or otherwise, from Harman Carpets, Repair & Restore Body Shop (Goole) Limited, Metcalf Autos, Kate and Rob Corkhill, Rosemary Poulton, Steve and Alison Coulthard and MustHaveMediaServices.com.
What can we expect from Charlie Atkins in 2017?
It has been a great year but we don’t know yet what we are doing in 2017 as it’s a lot of money to keep going for another year. We will try our best to do something in BSB next year-it all depends on finances.