Ambitious Liam has his foot firmly on the pedal

As he prepares to start his engine for a new season of motorcycle racing, Liam Shipperlee is switching to a different kind of bike for a 45 mile sponsored cycle.

The 14 year-old, who helps his family run The Cat Inn in Goswick, has been making waves in the racing circuit since being inspired to get on a bike by stepdad George a few years ago.

He rounded off a great season last year with a win in his final race but ironically, due to the great expense of the sport, it looked like his finest hour might have been his last.

But determined to be a real contender this year, Liam wants to raise as much money as possible so he can keep going.

And he’s not doing things by halves as this weekend his motorcycle will be locked in the garage as he embarks on a sponsored cycle from The Cat to East Fortune.

Following the coast to castle route, Liam will end the jaunt with a lap of the East Fortune track.

It’s a track he’s no stranger to, having won there last season and he hopes to be flying around there again as soon as he can.

“I’m pretty shocked how far I’ve come on in just two years.

“Other riders my age have been brought up on the racetrack; taking part in mini Moto etc but I came to it fresh but inspired from my stepdad’s stories from his racing days.

“I saw my bike for the first time last week since the season finished in October and I can’t wait to get back out there.”

Liam’s bike cost around £1,400 but is by no means top of the range

“He’s done just as well as people on more expensive bikes,” mum Lara added.

“The race he won he was on a better bike someone loaned him, so it just showed what he’s capable of.”

And having done it all himself a few decades ago, George also sees great potential in Liam.

“When I’m watching Liam I’ll watch him through professional eyes and he looks really skillful.”

Ahead of his cycle he is doing a car wash at The Cat on Saturday from 12-3pm. Anyone wanting to sponsor him can call in at The Cat or e-mail