Interview: Neville Bradshaw

Neville Bradshaw made a wildcard appearance on a Suitor Autofix 450 Kawasaki at round three of the Ulster motocross championship and his battles with Ulster championship leader Richard Bird became the highlight of the day’s racing.

Bird won the overall going 1-1-2 with Bradshaw going 5-2-1 but Bradshaw showed that the fight and competitive spirit is still there despite just racing for fun in 2017 and fought all day to get a brilliant win in the final moto after a tough battle with Bird.

We caught up with Neville to discuss his day as well has his two-stroke racing and being able to race for fun now that his professional career is over.

Just talk us through your day at Tandragee, you got stronger as the day went on?

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Yea, tough day. It’s always hard to come and just jump on a bike. It was quite slippery in the first one, my arms went , I wasn’t comfortable on the bike and I just rode around pretty much. In the second one I kind of knew what the bike would be doing, where it wasn’t working good for my, I knew what would happen so I knew what to expect. I came through and caught up to Richard at the end so I knew my pace was good. In the last one I knew if I could start with him there was a chance I could beat him. it was more of a mental race because I wasn’t comfortable all day. But we ran a good speed there, the guys are really quick around these tracks, they know the tracks and they know the lines. So 5-2-1, not being 100% comfortable, I thought it was a decent day.

In the last moto you got away with Bird and eventually made the move but he stuck with you to the end, where you expecting him to come back at you, or did you expect to pull away?

Yeah in the second moto because I caught him from quite far back, I knew my speed was good. When I passed him, because I was eating a lot of roost and it’s a hard track to pass, I thought I was going to pull away but he stayed on me so fair play, he was riding really good. I knew the battle was on and when you are not feeling comfortable it’s hard to ride. To have the pressure like that, and hang on for a win, especially round a track where these boys have ridden a lot, it’s quite cool.

You have been racing the two-strokes and making two-stroke videos, are you having more fun not doing races likes these when it isn’t your job?

Yea, I still enjoy riding so the more riding I can do the better. It’s a bit frustrating sometimes because every weekend I am jumping on a bike I am not used too. The first moto is always frustrating as I get a feel for it. but those last motos and to win a moto again, I get a real buzz from it.

You were riding that CR125 in the video, that looked really cool?

Yeah it’s really cool just to go riding whenever I want, I don’t have ties to anyone. The two-strokes I really enjoy riding them. It’s just a lot of fun, it goes back to when I started riding I just went back to that same way of going.

Bradshaw got faster on the 450 Kawasaki as the day went one. Pic: Nigel McKinstry

Do you find you are having more fun now even thought are still riding at a high level?

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To a certain extent, like now I am racing for Neil (Prince, in the MX2 British championship). I feel guilty when I am eating McDonalds or having a Red Bull.  But in general man it’s really cool. To show up to a practice track and you don’t have to be the fastest guy, if you go to a race it’s ok to get beat. I ride for the feeling now not the result, that’s what I do.

Are you going to do anymore races over here?

I think towards the end of the year I will do a couple more. I am going to be really busy with my training schools with the school holidays coming up. So I will concentrate on that, then if I get time to ride after that I will be back out again.

I remember you racing here when you first came over from South Africa on a 125 Kawasaki in the early 2000s to start your pro career, now at the end of your career you are back here on a 450 Kawasaki!

Yeah it’s quite strange, to be honest. Also this track, I came over when I was nine years old I came over with my dad for his mum’s funeral and I rode here on an RM80 in 1992 – 25 years ago. Now to come here and be able to win a race at this level, that’s pretty cool as well.

You can watch Bradshaw ring the neck off his CR125 and race his CR250 below: