Looking to build on a successful year

Picture by Paul Deighton
Picture by Paul Deighton

After a stunning 2013, James Cowton will be entering his fourth season of motorcycle racing in 2014 where he hopes to compete in most of the major road race meetings in England, Ireland and the Isle of Man.

The 21-year-old from Kilham is looking for sponsorship to help him continue his racing career which will enable him to obtain competitive machines to compete in the Isle of Man at the International TT Races in June, and the Classic TT three months later.

Last winter, Cowton secured himself a ride with Ryan Farquhar’s newly formed KMR Kawasaki Team on a SuperTwin planning to compete in the major road meetings and selected Irish national events.

Making his debut at the North West 200 in Ireland in May, Cowton rode well notching up two top 10 finishes before the meeting was abandoned due to heavy rain.

Returning to the Southern 100 he finished third on the SuperTwin, fifth on the 600, and in the feature Solo Championship Race he finished seventh, picking up a special award for being the first 600 machine to cross the line.

Disappointment arrived in the Manx Grand Prix when he was forced to retire when he held a 30-second lead and in the Junior Manx Grand Prix when he ran out of petrol less than a mile from the chequered flag when leading by 26 seconds.

Cowton bounced back at Oliver’s Mount, finishing third in the Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup Race behind Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop.

And he finished the season in fine style at Cadwell Park where during final rounds of the Auto 66 club meeting he won races to secure the Junior and Super Lightweight titles and also the Junior Road and Track title.

After initially starting his motorcycling career competing in motocross, he switched to the tarmac and road racing in 2010, which proved to be a steep learning curve, making his debut on the roads at Oliver’s Mount at Scarborough, where he notched up a number of top three podium places before achieving his first race win on a BSA Goldstar during the Barry Sheene Race Festival.

2012 was a very busy and successful year and, on his newly acquired Honda 600, he went on to win both the Auto 66 Road andTrack and Northern 600 championship as well as finishing a very close second in the North East Club 600 championship.

His debut in the Isle of Man Southern 100 International Road Races, saw him surprise many of the more regular contenders by putting his Honda 400 on pole position.

He returned to the Isle of Man for the 2012 Manx Grand Prix and soon got to grips with the famous 37.73-mile TT Mountain Course and topped the timing sheets in the Newcomers C Lightweight class on his 400cc machine, crossing the line six seconds ahead of the second finisher to receive his first winner’s replica.