A TEENAGE motorbike racer is aiming to step up a gear as he prepares for the toughest challenge of his sporting career.
Josh Corner has ridden his way through the ranks, from being a youngster on a mini-moto, and is making a name for himself in the world of motorsport.
Last year, an injury forced him out of the final season of riding in the 125cc class but, after fighting his way back to health, the 16-year-old, from The High Road in South Shields, is moving on to the next stage of his biking career.
In April, the Harton Technology College pupil will compete in the Pirelli National Superstock 600cc championship, a support series to British Superbikes (BSB).
He will be one of the youngest competitors in the races.
Josh says he was inspired to take up the sport after watching his dad Mark as a youngster.
He said: “For me, it was always something I wanted to do and it is something I have always considered to be a serious career.
“This year is going to be really big for me, but I am not putting too much pressure on myself. As long as I can finish in the top 10 I’ll be happy.”
Josh is heavily supported by his father, who has organised a fundraising night for March 6, at Hedworth Hall in Dean Road, South Shields, to help pay for the equipment and travelling costs associated with the sport.
The night will feature BSB star Chris Walker.
Mr Corner said: “Josh has been riding since he was six years old and it was a natural progression into racing.
“He has made so many friends right across the country. The family always enjoy watching him race, as we know it’s something he loves.
“Your heart is in your mouth sometimes during the race, as these bikes can do 160mph, but to see him compete, it makes us really proud – especially at what he has achieved.”
He added: “It is an expensive sport, which is why we are doing all we can to raise funds.
“It’s great that Chris Walker is offering his support to the fundraising night by coming along.”
Josh is sponsored by Alpha Paint Supplies, based in Mitre Place, just off Commercial Road, South Shields.
Owner Paul Edmunds said: “We have been sponsoring him for three years now. He has definitely got something about him.”
Any businesses which can offer support to Josh can do so by contacting Mr Corner on 07904 864 050 or visiting Josh’s website – www.joshcorner.co.uk – for more information.
n Tickets for an evening with Chris Walker and other BSB riders on Wednesday, March 6 are available now.
Tickets cost £10 or £12, which includes a question and answer session and curry buffet.
They are available from Hedworth Hall and Alpha Paint Supplies.
Doors open at 7.30pm.