This is a small biography created for Richard Kerr and this website
Gasoline is definitely in the blood of young Richard Kerr, a 15-year-old short circuit motorcycle racer from Kilmacrennan outside Letterkenny, County Donegal, in the Republic of Ireland. The name of Kerr is synonymous with motorcycle racing in Ireland, and up until recently, it would have been mostly associated Richard’s dad, Ivan Kerr, without the doubt, probably one of the most successful off-road competitors from the North West area of Ireland. Ivan won no less than 12 Donegal Regional Motocross Championship titles, along with many Supermoto and Grasstrack championships to his credit. However, Richard Kerr is now not only following in his father’s tyre tracks but in fact, Richard’s name is the one currently on everyone’s lips as he is now recognised as undoubtedly one of the hottest prospects in circuit racing in Ireland.
Richard, a pupil at Loreto Community School in Milford, has been riding off-road motorcycles since he was four years of age and had his first ever race at Gortnavern MX track in County Donegal at six years of age! Since then Richard has competed at many motocross tracks across Ireland, including at the famous Odyssey Arena Supercross in Belfast over the past three years.
In 2013, Richard decided to try to make to transition and transfer the skills he had learned through MX to tarmac racing, by competing for the first time in the Irish National 125 (Aprilia) production class, a class ideally suited to newcomers to tarmac racing. At the 2013 Easter Saturday event, Richard got his first taste of an actual race on the tarmac! Bishopscourt was the venue for the youngster, and he didn’t disappoint, by taking an amazing second overall, an outstanding result for a tarmac debut podium! Richard’s next outing was at Nutts Corner, where he took another podium third place overall.
Mondello Park, Ireland’s premier race circuit, was the next outing for still newcomer Richard, in only his third tarmac outing, showed his true potential, scoring his first ever tarmac win, and went on to take first place overall at the event.
This set the tone for the rest of the 2013 season for Richard where he did likewise, winning again at Kirkistown, and again at Mondello, before taking another podium finish at Kirkistown, where he clinched both the Irish and Ulster 125 Production Championships at his first attempt, with a round to spare!
As a result, with Richard already having the 125 Production Championships confirmed, the well known race sponsor, Bob Wylie, stepped in and offered Richard a run out on Bob’s 125GP Class RS125 Honda at the final 2013 championship round, again at Mondello Park. Showing his natural ability, Richard had three races over the weekend, and duly responded with two third places and a win in the final race!
A Fantastic achievement in his first ever event, or even ride on a 125GP Class machine, and again still in only his first season in tarmac racing! Bob Wylie was unsurprisingly suitably impressed by Richard’s obvious potential, and the deal was done for Richard to ride his 125GP bike full time for the 2014 season, competing in the Ulster and Irish 125GP Championships.
Richard joined Ex Double British 125cc Champion Christian Elkin as his teammate in the Bob Wylie Racing team, and Christian seeing that the sky is the limit of Richard’s potential, has taken the youngster under his wing, mentoring him in the new discipline of tarmac racing.
Baylon McCaughey, a respected motorcycle race journalist and photographer, had been keeping a close eye on Richard’s progress and in his own words;
“I’ve been very impressed with Richard’s natural ability, and how quick he was able to adapt to the tarmac from the off-road racing. He is keen to listen and learn, unlike some other of his rivals, and it has proved the correct way to act, as he is now champion, something I maybe didn’t expect, but at the same time; it's not at all surprising! But it was his performance on the 125GP bike at Mondello, that really proved to me that this lad has talent! Fast, tidy and neat, tucked in behind the fairing! He really wants to go places and I personally have the belief that with the right backing and advice, he will”, nice words indeed from a formerly respected competitor!
In January 2014, Richard attended his prize giving for the 2013 season at the La Mon Hotel Belfast. Here he received his medals for 1st place in both the Irish and Ulster short circuit championships.
Also to his surprise, he collected "The John Trevor Steele Perpetual Cup" for the best 2013 short circuit newcomer. But that wasn't all, Richard also received "The Davy Wood Scholarship Cup". A happy night for Richard to celebrate a very successful maiden short circuit season. Richard is looking to continue his progression and take his racing to the next level for 2015, and hopes that should he be successful, the Redbull Rookies programme could allow him the best possible platform to do exactly that as it has done for many others before, including fellow countrymen and Top World Superbike Riders Johnny Rea and Eugene Laverty.
For the 2014 season, Richard stepped up full time onto the 125GP RS125 riding in the Ulster and Irish 125/Moto3 Class.
Excluding Richard’s racing teammate and mentor, former double British 125cc Champion, Christian Elkin, who riding the only Moto3 Bike in the series, was run-away winner, winning all series races, Richard battled hard all season with series regular front-runner Kyle Cross, finishing 3rd only 2 points behind Kyle in the Irish Championship, and tied on points with Kyle for 2nd in the Ulster Championship, along with finishing as Best Newcomer in the Irish Championship, another major step forward and up in class, and again further progression.
Always keen progress, for 2015 Richard made the massive step up both in terms of competitiveness and in Budget to the most competitive Moto3 Championship in Northern Europe, the hotly contested and prestigious HEL Performance Motostar British Championship.
Richard’s progress has been astronomical; he has accelerated even further in 2015 culminating in his first podium on Sunday 23rd August at the Cadwell Park round of the HEL Performance Motostar British Championship, one of the strongest domestic Moto3 Race series in the world ! Not to mention that this was all shown live on a Eurosport TV BSB Programme.
This is Richard's first season progressing into the British series, and his first time riding at all of the British Championship Tracks, and also his first season racing a Moto3 four-stroke bike, having ridden a 125cc two-stroke RS125 last year, so Richard has a lot to learn and get acclimatised to.
However, Richard is more than rising to all challenges before him and rapidly learning and progressing throughout this season.
In the wet and tricky conditions at Cadwell Park, despite Richard's relatively stock customer bike having been recorded as only 17th and 19th through the Speed Traps, 7mph down on the fastest bikes, "The Wet was a Great Leveller" as they say, allowing Richard's years of Youth Motocross racing experience to pay off, and as the conditions deteriorated, Richard carved through the field to grab a fantastic first Podium; 3rd place on the last lap, just 0.3 seconds behind 2nd place at the line!
With some planned and much-needed upgrades to his Honda NSF250R to bridge the gap between many of the top spec GP machines running in this Class, Richard's startling progress is certain to continue in this series.
There had been indications of Richard’s awesome potential earlier this season where at Round 5 of the Motostars series at the tight and twisty Knockhill circuit in Scotland, where in Race 1, he broke into the Top 10 in the series for the first time, finishing a Fantastic 9th place.
Again, when taking consideration of Richard’s bike’s current lack of power compared to many of the top spec bikes in the series, piloted by world class young riders, puts this result into perspective, with the tight and twisty nature of the Knockhill Circuit minimizing this deficit of the bike, and where the rider’s ability is more of a factor, like in the wet conditions at Cadwell, he has shown that he has the ability to run at the very front of this series when the bike isn’t the limiting factor!
On top of Richard's results and progression through his riding on the track, his hunger and commitment to racing are evident in his everyday life also, through his physical training, his work on PR looking to secure new and liaise with existing sponsors, and Richard is even studying Spanish (Language) in school as he believes this would be of benefit to him to pursue an international racing career, also demonstrating his ambition and belief that this is his destiny!