Winning end to great year

James Cowton. Picture by Paul Deighton.
James Cowton. Picture by Paul Deighton.

A road racer from Kilham has topped off his most successful season to date by becoming only the fifth different person to win the Duke Road Race rankings.

James Cowton is now in the company of road racing legends Guy Martin and Ryan Farquhar, Connor Cummins and Ian Lougher.

The standings were released after the Macau Grand Prix in Hong Kong last week failed to affect the top three.

Cowton, the current Bridlington Free Press Sports Person of the Year, was third after the opening round of the championship at the Spring Cup at Oliver’s Mount back in April.

He never dropped out of the top six, clocking up six race wins, nine second places and 13 thirds out of the 45 races he finished, also setting seven fastest laps.

Cowton said: “I can’t believe it really, we have had a mega year - every meeting but one we have been on the podium.

“I can’t ask for more and everywhere we go we are moving forward but I couldn’t do it without my top class team behind me.”

It is Cowton’s best season after three years on the roads, claiming his first international win at the Ulster Grand Prix.

Ivan Lintin and Dean Harrison were second and third in the Duke tables.

Peter Duke added: “It’s often thought Irish riders dominate road racing, but this year’s results showcase the talent in the rest of the British Isles.”

His fantastic 2014 also saw the 23-year-old winning both road and track and The Northern Clubmans Championship with the Auto 66 Club, in the Junior 600 class and Super Lightweights Class, and gaining a third and fifth position in the Senior Class.

He also won the Lee Vernon Trophy with the Auto 66 Club.

His first year of competition at the Isle of Man TT was an undoubted success, as he secured 18th and 13th place finishes in the opening Supersport and Superstock races, as well as securing an impressive personal best lap speed of over 124.7 mph.

But without a doubt the standout moment of the week was third place finish in lightweight TT.

For TT 2015 he will be Honda mounted in Superbike, Supersport, Superstock and Senior races, while for the lightweight TT he ill be on the ER6 Kawasaki.

Cowton and his dad Fran thanked all of this year’s sponsors, saying: “All this would not have been possible without their help.”