ENJOYING success at the world famous Isle of Man TT course was a dream come true for a newcomer to motorsport.

While Hexham resident Mark Kirkby (43) has only been racing for four years, he had always wanted to compete at the Isle of Man since he was 15 years old when he was given a VHS of famous rider Joey Dunlop’s onboard races there.

On board his 650cc ER6 Kawazaki Supertwin, Kirkby was this week crowned fastest B ranked newcomer at the prestigious Manx Grand Prix.

Averaging a speed of 105.64mph over the 150-mile course, he was six minutes quicker than his nearest rival over the time trial format.

Speaking from the Isle of Man, Kirkby said: “It’s a fantastic achievement and it’s the pinnacle for me. From such an early age to want to do it and then to win it is just amazing. Hopefully, I will find some sponsors and get a good team behind me so I can do it again and have a good year.

“I did a lot of short circuit racing, but road racing is more my cup of tea because I have the life experience and have no fear.”

Kirkby had always wanted to compete at the Isle of Man but he didn’t ride his first motorbike until six years ago.

After switching to road racing two years ago, he hasn’t looked back and he was the fastest newcomer at Cookstown, in Ireland, earlier this year too. He also raced at Tandragee in preparation for the Manx GP. Kirkby hit the race hard and was in good condition after completing all four 37.75-mile laps of the demanding course.