ISLE of Man TT winner and Mountain Course maestro Milky Quayle has admitted it’s going to be difficult to stop his son Illiam following in his road racing footsteps.
Nearly 16 years on since winning the Lightweight TT in 2002, the always-smiling Rider Liaison Officer is keeping as busy as ever with multiple duties on the island, including providing TT newcomers in-depth tutelage through his years of racing experience – a job he’s enjoyed for over a decade.
But the time has come for his 14 year-old son Illiam to make the step up to full-sized machinery as he jumps from pit bikes straight into the throngs of Thundersport’s Superteen championship this year.
As UK Clubsport reported yesterday, the teenaged Quayle says he is enjoying short circuits at the moment, and wouldn’t mind eventually having a go at the roads. But is his TT-winning father as keen?
“The one thing that really scares me about him riding a motorbike is I don’t want to see him get hurt,” Milky told UK Clubsport. “On the flip side of the coin, the enjoyment it gives you far outweighs the pain of any injuries.
“One half of me says I don’t want him to do it, the other half of me says ‘crack on mate, you’ll love it’. Obviously it’s in his blood, but he just loves riding at the minute.
“I think it’s all a new world for Illiam at the minute, I don’t know if he really knows whether he wants to do the roads or not.”
The move to club racing comes after the KTM British Junior Cup was axed late last year, when Thundersport Supertwin champ Jonny Towers gave a recommendation for even more track time.
“I was speaking to Jonny at the bike show and he said, ‘you ought to come and do Thundersport’ and I thought that was great idea. We can only do certain rounds because I’m so busy with work, I think there are about four we can’t do, but at [Illiam’s] age it’s all about experience and learning.
“Ultimately we’re going to concentrate on that and obviously the local series at Jurby. I just want to keep the lad riding as much as possible.
“There are a couple rounds of the British Junior Supersport championship I’d like to see if we can do if things are going well, but it just depends on finance and time.”
It’s all a somewhat foreign area for Milky, whose path to TT glory wasn’t as straightforward as rocking up to the local kart circuit with a minimoto at age five.
“I went a little bit of a different route. Kids nowadays are very short circuit based from a young age, but when I was a kid we didn’t have the money to go racing.
“So I got my road bike when I was 16 and I just used to ride round and round and round the TT course – so that was my circuit really. I only got my race licence to do the Manx Grand Prix… that’s what I was aiming for.”
With his Illiam already off to a few years’ head start on his old man’s career, it could be just a matter of time before the Quayle name heads back to the top step of the TT podium. And while Milky admits he’s not terribly keen on the idea, it’s the enjoyment that matters most to him.
“Like any parent you want your child to be safe, but I can’t stop my son road racing if that’s what he wants to do.
“In some ways I hope he doesn’t do it and he stays on the short circuits, but as long as he enjoys himself that’s all that matters, like anything in life.”
*Main image: Zoe Burn
*Side images: Illiam Quayle