YOUNG Isle of Wight motorcycling talent Ryan Whitehall may not yet be a household name, but his upward trajectory in top level motorcycle racing could see him rubbing shoulders with the very best in next year’s much-vaunted Diamond Races.

The 23 year old is currently making his mark as a Supersport class rider in various road racing events and in the Thundersport GB 600 Elite race series, one of the top categories for amateur riders in the UK.

Ryan, of Whitwell, who rides a Yamaha R6, demonstrated his racing credentials in Scarborough at the weekend in the popular Barry Sheene Classic — an event which attracted the UK’s top riders, including TV presenter, Guy Martin.

In the 600B category, Ryan could have finished on the podium had he not incurred a three-second penalty.

But the opportunity of being able to take part in a Supersport class at the Island’s own TT race, the Diamond Races, next year, is a mouthwatering prospect for Ryan.

Isle of Wight County Press: Superbike 600 racer, Ryan Whitehall.Superbike 600 racer, Ryan Whitehall.

“When I heard TT racing was coming to the Island, I was really excited,” said Ryan.

“Although I haven’t competed in TT before, I will apply for the Diamond races so I get to compete in front of my family, friends and sponsors, who work so hard to allow me to race, but who sometimes can’t afford or get time to come and watch me compete around the country.

“To be able to compete in the Diamond Races will inspire people locally to get involved with what I consider to be the best sport in the world.

“I haven’t had the chance to compete against any top level TT racers yet, but, should my application, which could all depend on entry numbers, be accepted I will enter all the classes available to me — at least the Supersport 600.

“The economic benefits of the Diamond Races speak for themselves. The cash generated from the Isle of Man TT has helped improve the quality of life there all year round.”

Ryan, who has been turning heads on some of the UK’s best race courses over the past few years, with his ability to become a serious Superbike Championships contender, took up racing after being involved in a serious bike accident, which left him with a broken arm.

“My dad bought me a motocross bike when I was young and the seed was sown.

“A few years later I had a road traffic accident, so I focused my attention on riding on the track.

The competitive element excited me and entered my first race. I haven’t stopped since.”

Ryan, who attended Niton Primary, Ventnor Middle and Sandown High, has competed to a high level in Thundersport GB’s Freshman 600 and Sportsman 600 classes, coming second in both national championships.

Before learning of the Diamond Races, Ryan was working towards his burning ambition of competing in the Isle of Man TT.

“I believe the sport will benefit the Island in many ways,” Ryan adds.

“It will inspire the younger generation to get involved with motorsport and it will allow kids and young adults to see there’s more than just field sports.

“Even if they don’t compete, there is huge satisfaction in careers in various technical elements of the sport.

“My ambition is to win an Isle of Man TT and earn enough money from the sport to not only help family and friends, but to sponsor younger Island-based riders who perhaps won’t have had the chance to race bikes.”