We are excited to announce that British GP2 rider, Sam Wilford, has joined the YRDA programme. Sam will join Max Cook, who is also working with YRDA on his riding. Sam is currently racing in the British Superbike GP2 Championship which runs within the highly competitive British 600 Supersport Championship.
Here at YRDA we have slowly been progressing further into the World of motorcycle racing and having Sam join us is another big step. We now have Sam flying the flag for the #YRDArmy in the British Superbike paddock, which is the biggest domestic championship in the World. With Max racing in the Red Bull Rookies Championship across Europe on the MotoGP calendar.
Whether you are a bike fan or not there are not many people out there who haven’t heard of the British Superbike Championship. The championship sees crowds of over 40,000 at each round and over 1 million TV viewers on Eurosport ITV4 and Quest. The British 600cc Supersport Championship is one step down from British Superbikes and has produced champions including the likes of Cal Crutchlow (MotoGP), Sam Lowes (Moto2) and Leon Camier (World Superbike and former MotoGP rider).
Sam showed his dedication for his racing at an early age living in Germany with his mum, he started racing in the UK in Thundersport Superteens when he was 14. Sam’s Dad would drive over to Germany from the UK for each round, collect Sam from school and drive straight back to the race circuit. He would race Saturday and Sunday and then set off back to Germany as soon as the final race was over, to be back at school in Germany at 8 am Monday morning. When Sam was 16 he moved to the UK. Winning back to back titles in 2014/15 in the Thundersport Supertwins and Thundersport RRV 450 championships. From there Sam graduated to the European Junior Cup which runs alongside the European rounds of World Superbikes, earning podiums and pole positions.
In 2016 Sam moved to British Supersport finishing 17th in his debut season. 2017 saw Sam start well until Round 3 at Oulton Park when in free practice he crashed breaking his spine in 3 places, requiring surgery. Sam made a good recovery and was back on track in 3 months. Until in a second visit to Oulton Park, Sam hit a fallen bike in the track and crashed again, this time breaking his femur. So 2017 was a write off for results with Sam finishing 17th once again in the championship. But he would hit form in 2018 finishing an impressive 7th and top privateer, earning podiums at both Brands Hatch and Silverstone.
This year is Sam is stepping away from the production-based race series (highly modified road bikes) to prototype Kalex Moto 2, Moto GP derived machinery. The transition has been smooth with six podiums in eight finishes.
Sam is currently third in the standings and in a fight for second with a run away leader out front. With over half the season still remaining there is plenty of time for things to change and there is no doubt Sam will be on the top step of the podium in the coming rounds.
It is an exciting prospect for the whole team to be working with Sam. He is just a step away from hitting the big time and our aim is to do whatever we can to help him achieve his dream. We are looking forward to what should be an exciting 2019 and beyond that, who knows what will happen!