MGP winner on leave from Afghanistan

Billy Redmayne

Billy Redmayne

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Manxman Billy Redmayne may be causing a sensation around the Mountain Course during his debut Manx Grand Prix, but he’s no stranger to dangerous situations.

The 23-year-old Laxey man, who won the Newcomers’ title on Tuesday evening and finished second in Wednesday’s Junior MGP race, is currently on leave from his latest tour of duty in Afghanistan and will be returning overseas in the coming weeks.

His results this week are a dream come true for Mr Redmayne.

He said: ‘I just enjoy riding bikes and always wanted to do this from when I was growing up and watching it.

‘It’s a real buzz.’

He won Tuesday evening’s Newcomers’ race, his debut race on the mountain course, by 1.8 seconds with a blistering final lap that reached an average speed of 117mph.

He said: ‘I thought I had a good chance thanks to local knowledge, but I had no idea I was second until I saw the board at the Gooseneck on the last lap.

‘Then I had to try and pull it back over the mountain.’

He learned to ride from the age of 12 with the Manx youth motor project.

After enlisting in the Army in 2008 he took up circuit racing, aiming to earn a place in the Manx Grand Prix.

As a member of the Parachute Regiment, Mr Redmayne’s military career has taken him around the world and he is currently taking time off from his third tour in Afghanistan to take part.

Explaining the difficulties of managing a challenging career with such an all-consuming sport, he said: ‘It’s a case of finding a balance. Obviously I need to be ready for work at all times.

‘Work does come first, but they’re also quite supportive of what you’re doing.

‘I mentioned it to them last year and I think they realised that it takes a big commitment of time and money.

‘They were good enough to give me a bit of time off to compete.’

But with his work commitments preventing him from making the usual race preparations, Mr Redmayne had to improvise. He said: ‘I’ve been away since May so all I’ve been able to do is watch onboard laps on my laptop - that’s the only practice I’ve had really.’

But thanks to his father, Dave, Mr Redmayne had a race-ready bike waiting for him when he came home.

His sensational performances on a shoestring budget have put him one step closer to realising his dream of racing in the TT.

‘It’s all budget dependent at the moment but I’d like to try and get to the TT in the next couple of years,’ he said.

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