Thundersport champ has his sights set on the 2023 MGP

Sunday 13th November 2022 9:00 am
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Jorge Halliday, a GB Thundersport champion at 20 years of age, finished his season in stellar form and hopes to take his motorcycle racing career to new heights next year by competing in the Manx Grand Prix (Colin Port Images)

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Glen Maye resident Jorge Halliday has secured the 600cc class of the GB Thundersport Championship and has expressed interest in the MGP.

Born in Nottingham, the 20-year-old ended the season with 12 first-place finishes, 10 runner-ups and a further five third-place results.

Halliday (the same height as Conor Cummins at six-foot-four) won the championship with one race to spare in the final weekend.

‘I think it came down to being consistently focused and making sure that I didn’t take my mind off of what I had to do,’ he said earlier this week.

He also completed the season with a 100% finish rate in his races and front-row starting positions from strong qualifying times.

This helped Halliday to maximise his chances and he puts it down to the team he has around him.

He continued: ‘Well I think a lot of it is down to the hard work of the team and also preparation before you go to a race, making sure the bike is in tip-top condition.

‘I’m lucky enough to have a good team around me to support me and give me a good bike to ride.

‘I like to be in the mentality of getting out in front and keeping myself out of trouble. I try to get out in front and avoid getting caught up in anyone’s incidents, so leading from the front seems to work.’

Jorge, who has been racing for eight years, has set his sights on next year’s Manx Grand Prix.

He said: ‘It’s still going to be club racing, I may have a look at a wildcard or two in British Superbike 600 class, but my eyes are on road racing next year and in the future.’

The season was more than Halliday could have even hoped for.

He said: ‘We set out at the start of the year for top three, that’s what we were aiming for.

‘So to come away with pole positions, race wins and fastest laps in the races was simply outstanding.’

The season finished at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire and Halliday described his winning race as one of his season highlights.

‘On the Saturday, we were under a lot of pressure. I knew mathematically that I could win it on the first day. Luckily enough I had a lot of support coming that weekend, which also added to the pressure.

‘Once I got the job done on the Saturday, the Sunday was so nice, the pressure was off, I could relax and just enjoy the moment.

‘I actually rode better on the Sunday as well.’

Halliday’s dad, Mark, rode in the TT in the early 2000s, with his highest finish being 12th in the sidecar class with Mark Holland in 2006. His last TT was in 2007.

This year was Jorge’s first full 600cc season and he really felt the pressure of the eight-round Thundersport championship.

‘You try so hard all year but one mistake or something that may even be out of your control could really throw a spanner in the works.’

Because of the family’s racing connections with the island they decided to move here in 2020, shortly before the pandemic and soon after Jorge started to race in the 600cc class.

But the first two of his three seasons in the class were cut short because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He concluded: ‘There’s always a big build-up to the season. You are getting hyped up and prepared, then, like a lot of sports, as soon as they stop that’s it.

‘It is hard to keep your focus going and stuff but I just kept training in the gym and cycling, waiting until we can all get racing again.’

Jorge works locally for The Village Workshop Group in Laxey.

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