An up and coming Wigan rider is targeting glory at his first Isle of Man TT race.
Mike Norbury, who works as a bike mechanic at Wigan Yamaha Centre, was recently signed up by ECTA Racing, and has received a boost with sponsorship form Rawson Digital.
Widely-considered as one of the sport’s rising stars, road racer Norbury says his dream is to one day stand on top of the podium at the historic motorsport event.
But for now the 23-year-old is setting his sights firmly on being named the fastest newcomer when he makes his TT debut.
The Astley speedster, who hopes to one day ride professionally, has made an impressive start with the Stockport-based racing team.
Norbury races in the superbike, superstock and supersport 600 categories, and is so focussed on becoming a successful rider, he spends his evenings working on the team’s two race bikes and training in the gym.
He said: “My main focus this year is to do well at the Isle of Man TT. I’ve got my entry and it’s a meeting I’ve always dreamed of racing at.
“I’d love to win the TT one day and be regarded as one of the top riders. I’d love to do this professionally one day.
“It’s a big step up to make though – these guys have been doing it for years. I’m only in my fifth season.
“In the short term my aim is to be the fastest newcomer at as many meetings as I can.
“I’d been racing on my own for the last four years. My dad knows Dave who runs the team and he said he’d been keeping an eye on me.
“I started racing for them in September last year. I’d never had a podium finish before and in my first three races for the team I had a first place finish at Anglesey and second at Aintree.
“I’ve also finished sixth at a senior race meeting in Scarborough. That’s a bigger race with more competitors so I was pleased with that one.
“I never thought I’d get to ride for a team so it’s been fantastic for me. It really takes the pressure off.
“When I was racing on my own all my finances were used on equipment and the bike which was old and average.
“I went through three engines which cost me thousands. I’d saved up all winter for a new engine and in the first event of 2017 at Anglesey it blew up.
“Having the Rawson Digital sponsorship is also crucial to us. I can’t thank them enough.
“Without their support we wouldn’t be able to race.” Like other sports fanatics in this area, Norbury could have gone on to be a professional rugby league player having been offered a scholarship at Salford Red Devils.
But he was always destined for a career in motorsport.
He explained: “Mum and Dad always had bikes. Dad used to race himself. They even had their honeymoon at the Isle of Man TT!
“They were the reason I started racing although dad was never keen on me doing it when I was kid.
“He wanted me to focus on rugby. I got offered a scholarship at Salford when I was 16 or 17 but once I started going out on my road bike I was hooked. I don’t think about the dangers, it doesn’t bother me, so it’s best that I get to ride in a controlled environment.
“There are about 10-12 race meetings on the road racing calendar and also a few smaller events.
“Of course I enjoy the thrill of the ride and the buzz of racing but a big part of it for me is the camaraderie.
“Most events are the whole weekend so it’s like going camping with your mates and getting to go out at ride while you’re there.”
For more information about Rawson Digital call 0844 324 5306. Or visit the website www.rawsondigital.co.uk