SINCE sitting astride his father’s motorbike Ryan Haw became hooked.

“My Dad had a bike in the garage. I’d sit on it and he would take me out. I loved the feel of it and loved watching it on the TV,” says Ryan, referring to his early memories of watching motorbike racing.

At the age of 14, Ryan was determined to save up for his two wheels but he had to wait another few years before he was old enough to start a paper round.

“I tried to get a paper round when I was 13 but I had to wait until I was 14,” he recalls.

Seven years later, and after completing a three year apprenticeship to become a fully qualified motorbike technician, Ryan is still delivering papers giving him an additional income to his wage to supplement his passion.

By his own admission, motorbikes are his life. He was tinkering under a bike when we spoke.

When he isn’t delivering papers to the regular readers on his rounds in his home city of Wakefield, he’s working long hours, and loving it, at the Bradford garage which is fuelling Ryan’s passion.

It was at Charlie’s Motorcycles, within the Royds Enterprise Park in Wibsey, where Ryan undertook his apprenticeship.

Working on motorbikes all day, every day, has stoked his ambition so much so he, and his boss Charlie Slack, who runs the business which also incorporates a used motorcycle showroom, are busy chasing the dream.

Charlie soon spotted Ryan’s dedication and his enthusiasm for racing and is now supporting Ryan to progress as a competitor on the race track.

“One of the things we found exceptional about Ryan was his passion to go racing which is so strong that he has worked a paper round every day to over 200 houses in order to save the money over 14 years or so to fund a proper season,” explains Charlie.

ThundersportGB was set up in 2008 by Syd Richard-Day and his business partner Dave Stewart. Both had a passion for motorbike racing.

At one time Syd ran several teams at club and British level and, keeping it in the family, his son Steve Day was also a successful racer, commentated for Thundersport GB for 10 years and is now lead commentator at MotoGP.

Their decision to establish ThundersportGB, Syd explains, was to bridge the ‘chasm’ between club racing and the British championships.

“It was such a chasm for youngsters to leap across. It was much much faster,” explains Syd.

The move to create ThundersportGB gave young riders the opportunity to progress without dropping out of the sport altogether.

“We have a massive pool of talent in the UK and our passion really is to get kids in our country on to the world stage,” explains Syd.

Now Ryan is hoping to join them. After attending a couple of track day sessions, he was eager to get into the world of racing - but it’s taken until now for him to be fully prepared for his first season of racing.

“We decided to join forces with him as a main sponsor and have helped him prepare and build two race bikes to the highest standards to give him the best possible opportunity at the sport,” explains Charlie.

Ryan’s inaugural race at Donington Park earned him placings within the top five out of 39 other competitors.

“It was very good. It was where I hoped I would be but you never know what to expect,” says Ryan.

Charlie explains there are eight rounds in a season. Competitions take place at landmark racing locations including Donington Park; Cadwell Park; Snetterton; Brands Hatch and Mallory Park.

Averaging speeds of up to 80mph around the track, it isn’t a sport for the feint-hearted and competition is fierce - which is why Charlie prefers to watch from the sidelines.

“I don’t want to race myself because I am too competitive and the lads are so fast,” says Charlie, who began riding motorbikes at the age of three.

He also developed his enthusiasm for motorbikes through his father who restored and raced classic bikes.

Initially the family ran a business supplying batteries for industrial and automotive purposes.

In 2012 they launched Charlie’s Motorcycles and moved to their current location at Royds Enterprise Park, Wibsey.

For both Charlie and Ryan the business has enabled them to combine their passion with their profession.

“We are a team and we work together,” explains Charlie.

And Ryan has literally landed his dream job.

“Being surrounded by bikes there is nothing better for me,” says Ryan.

“As soon as I could ride I was getting the buzz you get riding them; the feel of the speed and the acceleration. I wanted to make them better and I wanted to know how everything worked.”

Ryan’s passion for racing began watching it on TV and then going to races where he enjoyed meeting riders in the paddock.

As his ambition to race grew, he was eager to do as much research as he could to find out more about the sport in the hope that one day he could be a competitor.

Attending the track days gave him an insight into what was involved.

“It was very good. I loved everything about it, being in the paddock, talking to people,” says the 24-year-old, who is keen to progress within the sport.

Looking to the future, Ryan says he wants to keep improving and aim for the championship this season and, hopefully, progress into a different class next season.

Supported by his team, Ryan is literally living the dream.

“I’d been wanting to do it for the last few years but I didn’t have the money,” says Ryan, who credits Charlie for helping to support his racing career.

“It has become my life. From being 13/14 I have saved up and the money has always been for racing; it could be a set of tyres, could be fuel. I have built my lifestyle around it,” adds Ryan.

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