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Competitor Profile: Derek Heron

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Derek Heron, 37, of Chapel House, Newcastle Upon Tyne, has been racing motorcycles for the past 5 years.

In his first season, 1996, he raced a Yamaha FZR 600cc motorbike and progressed from Novice to Full National Licence, finishing 2nd in the Auto 66 Novice Club Championship. He also raced at Cadwell Park, Oulton Park, Three Sisters Croft and Elvington.

1997 saw Derek’s first appearance at Scarborough’s Oliver’s Mount circuit as well as the Manx Grand Prix where he finished 3rd in the Newcomers race. Derek ended the year with three Auto 66 Club Championship trophies.

At the start of the 1998 season, Derek bought a Yamaha Thundercat and at Scarborough achieved regular top ten finishes - including a win in the ‘B’ Final – and always finished in the top ten at Croft. He also raced well at the Isle of Man in the Manx Grand Prix reaching average lap speeds of 106mph and was awarded another silver replica.

1999 started well with Derek a strong contender in the 600cc and Open classes of the North East Motor Cycle racing Club championships, fiercely contended by top riders from Scotland as well as the North East at both Croft and East Fortune circuits.

In May, Derek was also fortunate to gain entry at the North West 200 in Northern Ireland finishing in both 600cc and 750cc races on his ageing Thundercat. He decided, with the help of sponsors to purchase his current bike, a Yamaha R6, which was prepared just in time for the Manx GP where he finished 18th in the Junior race averaging 108.72mph and 10th in the Senior race averaging 109.36mph with laps of over 110mph. On returning home, he finished the season with further wins at Croft and East Fortune to become N.E.M.C.R.C. Club Champion as well as A.C.U. Champion in both 600cc and Open classes.

In 2000 Derek has finished 2nd in the 600cc National race and 3rd in the Gold Cup at Scarborough beating top names and building quite a following from the huge crowds!

In June M & S Motorcycles provided Derek with a Honda Fireblade to race in the production class at the T.T. Races on the Isle of Man where he managed to increase his lap speeds of last years Manx GP Unfortunately on race day, torrential rain saw race speeds drop but Derek managed a respectable finish.

At Croft and East Fortune Derek was holding on to top spot in the North East Championships, defending his titles.

A return to the Manx GP in August saw average speeds of 111mph in the Junior, finishing 8th and 112mph in the Senior, finishing 11th. On return, in the early hours of the morning the Van and Caravan were broken into outside the house and his race bike, leather, helmets, gloves, boots, tools and paddock bike were stolen. Although the bike was returned, Derek was unable to race again this season, missing Scarborough and the remaining rounds in the championship.

In 2002 Derek will race again at Scarborough and the Isle of Man also in Ireland at the North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix.

Thanks to Derek for providing the above information.

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