Andy Sawford is taking on the British Super Bikes Motostar 125cc Championship in 2015 – and he can’t wait to take on the new talent.
At 36, he admits that next season could be one of his last in the sport he has enjoyed for the last 19 years.
“I’m obviously not one of the youngest but we are going there with the intention of winning it,” he said. “We definitely want to be in the top three.
“It’s where a lot of the young talent starts coming through but experience helps. I’m not saying it won’t be for more than one season but it will certainly be the final thing before I settle down to other things.”
Sawford and his St Neots Motorcycle team, named after the family business where he works, left for Italy yesterday (Tuesday) to get acquainted with his new bike – an ex-world Championship Aprilia RSW125 – and do some testing.
His riding pedigree means he is likely to be difficult to beat, having been national champion in 250cc series, as well as European Cup 250 winner in Assen, Holland, in 2011, which remains a career highlight.
He missed all of 2012 after snapping his collar bone but made an excellent comeback, winning back-to-back national 250 series for bikes made pre-1990 and 1992.
Despite moving down to the 125cc, Sawford says they’re still “fairly rapid”, achieving speeds of up to 140mph. “On the 250 you need a bit more bulk but on the 125s you need to be light and have plenty of stamina, so I’ve got some training to do to lose about three or four kilos,” he said.
The racing is over 12 rounds at circuits around the UK and one at Assen, starting at Brands Hatch in Kent in April.
Racedays are covered by the Eurosport network and Sawford, with the cameras on him, will be taking nothing for granted. “We’re not taking it lightly, there will be a lot of hard work to win it because there are 30-odd people with the same intention.”
Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities should visit www.andysawford.co.uk.