ONE of the country’s top motorcycle racers, Herefordshire’s Chaz Davies, until recently could not legally ride on UK roads.
The 27-year-old Superbike ace has been flying round tracks since the age of 14 – and riding since he was six – but until this summer he had never passed his road bike test.
He said: “I only did my test two months ago.
“Summer was coming and I wanted to get a bike, get my helmet on and go tootling up into the mountains.”
The Ducati rider, from Kinsham, is currently sitting in 6th in the World Superbike Championship with five rounds remaining.
And he has teamed up with comedian, and fellow petrolhead, Alan Davies to front an Institute of Advanced Motorists campaign to encourage better bike safety.
The campaign includes a short video clip of both Davies’ going ‘back to school’ to do a session with instructor and RoSPA Mike Addison.
Faced with more tractors than hairpins on the Cotswold roads, the Herefordshire racer acquitted himself well on the relatively tranquil ride – but afterwards underlined his passion for improved road safety.
He said: “You really are never too good to be a better rider - it’s as simple as that. I’ve been working for 15 years to try and be better on the track and that applies on the road as well.
“There are so many more variables on the road and I think people can get a little bit over confident, but you are never too good. You never know what’s around the corner.”
While it was Alan Davies – not Chaz – who had to be warned about going for the best racing line around bends, at the expense of visibility, Mr Addison said his other student was a little overqualified for course.
He said: “On the track he’s a master – it sounds ridiculous for someone like me to go out and teach Chaz Davies.”
The video clips will be released on IAM’s facebook page, and you can view the first one here www.facebook.com/InstituteofAdvancedMotorists.
The series will form part of a THINK! road safety campaign to encourage motorcyclist to take further training.
Peter Rodger, IAM’s chief examiner: “The fact a rider the calibre of Chaz Davies is happy to have his road riding assessed should show that no matter what your experience level is, every rider can benefit from extra tuition.
“We hope people will watch the films and be inspired to take their riding to the next level.”
The campaign follows the recent success of a video released by a Norwich mother to raise awareness about road safety for motorcyclists.
The clip, titled ‘David’s Story’, features footage captured by David Holmes’ helmet-mounted camera immediately preceding the young bikers fatal accident and was seen by nearly 12 million people worldwide.