Although many of us idolise professional athletes, the point remains that, ultimately, they are just as human as the rest of us. Recently, this point was made quite clear when the British superbike riders preparing for the Round 9 meeting at Oulton Park opted to engage in a heart-warming meet and greet with their fans.
Many of these fans had found a place to stay in Chester close by in order to have an opportunity to glimpse their favourite riders. Not only are these riders gaining fame on the track, but some have also had the opportunity to grace the silverscreen. For example, Ellesmere Port racer Jenny Tinmouth recently acted as a stunt rider in the acclaimed action blockbuster Mission Impossible: 5.
The outreach event was designed to accomplish two specific goals. Firstly, both racers and race promoters alike are keen to install in their fans the idea that these athletes are likeable, personable athletes who are definitely willing to make a lasting connection with those who support them on the track. Secondly, there is a growing effort amongst the UK government and professional motorcycle associations to encourage safer driving. Given the fact that an alarming number of motorcycle accidents happen each year, it has become increasingly important for safety education and awareness to become a top priority.
According to PC Griffiths, it is essential that a distinction be made between professional racing on a controlled track and dangerous street riding. In the words of Griffiths, “We want to get the message across that these BSB racers are top professional riders and very skilled. We should leave the racing to the on the tracks. There are actually far more dangers facing a motorcyclist on public roads. Racers don’t have to contend with junctions, oncoming traffic and street furniture. And race tracks don’t have potholes and other hazards that can cause a motorcyclist so many problems.”
As British motorcycle racing continues to grow a progressively larger and more enthusiastic fan base, it is quite likely that events such as these will occur on a more frequent basis. Ultimately, this is the perfect opportunity for professional racing organizations to ensure that their fan base remains passionate and, most importantly, responsible for years to come.