TALAN Motorsport Racing founder Talan Skeels-Piggins represented Great Britain in the first International Disabled World Cup motorcycle race at the legendary Le Mans racetrack in France on May 20 – just days before lining up at this year’s Farnham Festival of Transport.
Featuring 600cc to 1,000cc motorbikes, including Talan’s 600cc Suzuki GSXR, the race was an official support race of the French MotoGP and spanned just over 33 kilometres.
Despite suffering a bad crash at Donnington just 13 days before heading to France, Talan, who has been paralysed from the chest down for 14 years following a road accident, recovered just in time to qualify a ‘decent’ seventh out of 30 riders in very wet conditions and was relieved to see the sun come out for race day.
After some fierce racing, broadcast live on Eurosport, Talan eventually finished ninth place overall, but fourth out of 20 600cc bikes racing and second in the 600cc paralysed class. “A very respectable finishing position and one I can be proud of,” he said afterwards.
He added: “Saturday brought sunshine, clear skies and a crowd of thousands of race fans. The noise of the crowd went through my helmet, my ear plugs and into my very core. It was intense and massively addictive.
“There were so many memories to treasure – being part of a MotoGP event, getting invitations into Moto2 and MotoGP garages, meeting the racers you see on television, wheeling out onto the start straight and hearing the cheers of five thousand people.
“The most important part was that we, the disabled racers, got to show the world that anything is still possible. My thanks go to my sponsors, supporters, friends, family and fellow racers.”
Surrey-based Talan Motorsport Racing was originally thought up by Talan Skeels-Piggins in 2011 and consists entirely of racers disabled by accidents on motorcycles. The team was crowned 600cc World Champions in 2015 (paraplegic class) and also became the first privately funded disabled motorcycle race team.
For more information, visit the team’s website http://talanmotorsport.co.uk/sponsors/ or find them on Facebook and Twitter.