A 16-year-old Kilmacrenan schoolboy is making waves in the world of motorbike racing on the domestic and international stage.
When Loreto College, Milford student, Richard Kerr, is not in school or at home in Kilmacrennan, he can often be found travelling at speeds of up to 150mph in the high octane sport of Moto Grand Prix.
It all started for Richard, under the guidance of his dad Ivan, when he got involved in the dynamic sport of motocross, known as 'dirt bikes', from 2006 up until 2013 as part of the Errigal Motorcycle Club.
Ivan had a long bike racing career competing from the mid-1980’s right through to 2010. He is now focused on helping Richard achieve his ambitions that began at a young age.
Richard explains: “I started in racing Motocross, racing dirty bikes from 2006 to 2012. In 2013 I started the short circuit racing. I just wanted to try it and see what it was like. I liked it so I changed full-time into that and I have been racing ever since”.
Richard was just turning 13-years-old when he got on his first production bike and he began racing on the circuit tracks at Mondello, Kirkistown and Bishopscourt.
In his first year he won the Irish national championship. This success led him to racing the 125 GP category of bike when sponsor Bob Wylie stepped in.
“The first bike was a road bike turned into a race bike, and the 125 GP's were built for racing,” he said.
“It's a smaller bike but it had far more power in it. They are both still 125cc’s but it is about 50mph faster.”
In his first year, racing against all ages, he placed third in the open section and while in the newcomer section he finished in first place.
He then got the opportunity make a further step up and began racing in the British Superbike Championship where he finished a credible 16th in his first year.
He even got a podium finish claiming a third place, and backed his form up this year with two more top three finishes and ended up in 11th.
“I should have been further up than 11th but I had bad luck with crashes, plus the bike broke down and then I got knocked off once,” he said. “I was hoping for a top five place but that's just the way it went.
Thankfully none of the crashes resulted in serious injury and Richard is looking forward to next season.