FOR those who know their motorsport on the Island you may recognise Michael Whitham and his partner, Tahnee Attwood, as members of the Isle of Wight Car Club, racing their Mazda MX5.

But not so many know the Island-born couple from East Cowes are passionate about a little known form of motorsport much closer to their hearts — supermoto.

Both of them race up and down the length and breadth of the country, riding supermoto bikes on slick tyres, on tarmac and dirt section tracks.

However, at the end of last year, following much discussion, they decided to have a go at racing in the British Supermoto series this season and established their own race team — BB Racing.

BB stands for ‘brains and bullet’.

Isle of Wight County Press:

“Michael is a very fast and aggressive rider — like a bullet out of a gun, whereas I like to build pace up gradually and assess my weak areas in a race, hence the brain,” Tahnee joked.   

Over the Easter bank holiday weekend, they competed in Round 1 of the British Supermoto Championship, at the Three Sisters Circuit in Wigan — the sport’s spiritual home — a big step up for them ... or so it seemed.

It has taken the several years to get to this stage, but they could not have got off to a more pleasing start — both finishing as runners-up in their specialist classes.

Both set a good pace, with Tahnee, 26, a dental nurse, managing to come away with a second place finish in the Tarmac Championship — the only female on track with the group. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Michael, 35, who attended Cowes High School, raced in the Solo C class on the dirt and tarmac track and came away with second overall in his race, despite having an unscheduled pit stop into the tyre wall in qualifying.

“Between us, we’ve been riding motorcycles for many years now. Michael comes from a background of dirt bikes and has been riding since he was 17, while I come from a background of sports bikes, which I’ve been riding for ten years or so now,” said Tahnee, who went to Medina High School. 

Both are members of Norasport, which runs the ACU British Supermoto and Superlite Championship (BSSC) in the UK.

“Our journey into competing started off under the advice of a friend who used to race dirt-track bikes with sidecars many years ago,” Tahnee added. 

Isle of Wight County Press:

“We were keen to get more into the supermoto sport, so we started off riding dirt-bikes on a more regular basis. The ones we had at the time enabled us to swap over the wheels, sprockets and brake discs to convert them into supermoto bikes and take them to track days to get our eye into the sport. 

A majority of the races we compete in are in the north, with the closest competition to us being in Pembrey, Wales, and the furthest away being Crail in Scotland. 

“But our love for the sport and for the friends we have made along the way commits us to travelling up and down the country, doing what we love and enjoy.

“We’ve had a great start to the season and we look forward to our next race in Middlesbrough, this weekend.”