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Marcus Woodbine is a professional motorcyclist from Sheffield who competes in the Spanish Moto2 Championship, the second tier of professional racing. Marcus has raced competitively since he was seven years old, beginning his career on quad bikes before progressing into MiniMotos. Since moving into British Superbike meetings, Marcus has competed in the Moto2 Spanish CEV Championship and Suzuki GSXR Cup, achieving several top-five places.
Marcus is hugely passionate about the sport and works tirelessly to push his career forward to the next level. He one day hopes to compete in the illustrious MotoGP Championship, the summit of professional motorcycling, where he dreams of racing alongside legends Valentino Rossi and Matt Mladin.
While Marcus is hugely ambitious and always eager to beat his best lap times, he is also keen to promote safe riding on the road. One of the often forgotten dangers of motorcycling is hearing loss, sustained through helmet and engine noise, which can reach volumes of up to 134dB, generally considered safe for less than a single second.
Marcus took some time out to tell us about his passion for motorcycling and his approach to safe riding:
What do you love about being a professional motor cyclist?
Ever since I first started riding it has been my number one passion in life. The adrenaline rush and thrill I get from riding is unbeatable: coming around corners, feeling the bike move and glide. Being a professional is great, I get to do something I love and enjoy instead of a normal career path. Now I only have one more level to go until I become an elite and it feels great to know you are good at something you love.
Tell us about your achievements so far?
I was under 10 British Champion in the N.O.R.A Sport British MX Championship and won the 125 class in the domestic New Era Motorcycle Race Cup; these were both really good early achievements of mine.
I then finished in the top 10 of the British 125 GP DORNA Academy Cup season and in the top 10 and 18 of the British Supersport Championships and Supersport Cup. My others achievements include winning various British championships, with 75 first place positions in my career so far, which is great.
Racing in the Moto2 Spanish CEV Championship is one of my favourite achievements. I am the only British motorcyclist in Spain and am traveling thousands of miles to race in a foreign country, beating other factory and high spec teams. These drivers are all aiming to go to Moto GP like myself and being successful here proves that I have what it takes to succeed. Scoring points is always my main motivation but I won’t stop working on my game until I’m world champion.
Who do you particularly admire within the sport?
Valentino Rossi and Matt Mladin are two of my favourite champions. They are both very different characters but have worked so hard to get where they are today: Rossi is the world number one who has created a brand for himself, the flamboyant Italian with style and charisma; Mladin is the Australian AMA superbike champion and is a gritty, hard-grafting rider who has pushed hard to get to the top. They are both great champions and demonstrate that being the best requires an amazing work ethic.
How do you ensure your safety during races?
We all have our little rituals and preparations, but I just try to think positively and get my head in a good place; I then say my prayers and hope for a good race. Motorcycling can be dangerous if you are not properly trained and don’t wear the correct equipment, just make sure you take precautions and don’t overstretch yourself. I make sure I am wearing all the correct safety equipment, including body armour, gloves and helmet, and am always careful to protect my hearing with a set of earplugs.
Why is important for motorcycle drivers to wear earplugs?
The constant throttle noise on my bikes really tests the ear drum, often rising to 134 decibels; if you’re not wearing a Shark helmet, wind noise can be a problem too. This will be damaging to your ears in the long term without protection.
I normally wear Moldex Spark Earplugs; they’re not too soft and not too hard and are comfortable under your helmet; at one point I forgot I had them in! They are the best all-rounders for motorcycle racing or general riding and superior to any earplug I have tried in the past.
What advice would you have for budding motorcyclists?
You need to understand your limitations and only ride as fast as your ability can cope with. Safety should always come first but once you are ready, never be afraid to push yourself, that’s the only way to get ahead on the track. Staying there then takes skill, determination and mental strength.
Like anything in life, hard work is the most important thing, you won’t get anywhere unless you are prepared to dedicate yourself; which means practise, practise and more practise.
What do you have planned this year?
This year I need to get used to my new Harris Moto2 bike and learn the Spanish circuits, which I have not ridden before. I need to do some homework on my opposition and see how I can improve my positions in each of the season’s races. I have recently knocked seven seconds off my lap times to close gap with the leaders to three and a half seconds; one more second and I will be in the top 12 of the championship’s riders.
For 2014 I want to secure a wildcard in the Moto2 championship for the MotoGP at Silverstone; this will be a really good opportunity to test myself further. I also want to get into the top six riders in the Spanish CEV Championship, which will be a good platform for further wildcards in the MotoGP season.
Becoming the Spanish Moto2 Champion is my ultimate focus and I am really eager to progress into the MotoGP class, with the hope of one day reaching the Premier MotoGP Championship; then I’ll get to ride with my heroes and maybe even get a shot at becoming world champion!
I really believe I can get there if I train hard, focus on improving my racing and have full confidence in myself.
You can Tweet Marcus here