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Tuesday, 12 July 2016 00:00

Local lad wants to go fast on two wheels

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By Glenna Burns

            Eighteen-year-old soon-to-be IE Weldon grad Josh Thomas knows what he wants to do with his future. He wants to be a professional motorcycle racer and from all the signs so far he could get his wish.

            “I've known since I was four years old that I

loved motorcycles,” says Josh, who has racing in his genes. Grandfather Reinhold Thomas was German Grass Track Side Car Champion in the 1960s, and dad Erich Thomas—Josh’s mechanic and crew chief—races Moto Guzzi bikes in his spare time.

            The “first time I ever sat on a motorcycle at a bike show, I dropped it,” admits Josh, a Bobcaygeon native. Not a stellar start, but since then he’s been racking up racing credentials on his Suzuki SV 650.

            The 165-pound, 6-foot-4-inch rider has competed at Regional Associates Canada Events in places like Grand Bend and Shannonville, and with the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association in the States. This July he races in New Jersey.

            Josh means business on the track. Since 2013, when he was 15, he has finished in the top five in every race, with second and third place finishes in recent big races, including third in the Regional Championship.

            Next year and 2018 will be important for Josh’s career. If he places third or higher in the Amateur Nationals he can move on to the professional ranks.

            Motorcycle racing is not inexpensive; costs for fuel, equipment, entry fees and travel all add up. Tires alone are $350 a set and Josh can go through two sets in a race

            To offset these costs as an amateur, Josh has managed to get discounts on $1,000 suits and gloves from a German company. But he needs individual and business sponsors to take him to the next level—and will happily display logos on his bike, gear and trailer.

Here's hoping this newly minted grad can reach his dream of professional racing, and someday can say his hometown of Kawartha Lakes helped him get there.

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