Ayrton lands podium finish at “mega event”

Teenage quad racer Ayrton Knowles
Teenage quad racer Ayrton Knowles

Chatburn’s teenage quad racer Ayrton Knowles enjoyed the highlight of 2015 when registering a podium finish in the PDV Youth Race in France.

The 15-year-old entered the race alongside the remainder of the top 10 European 250cc youth riders and finished in third place.

Ayrton Knowles in action on his way to a podium finish

Ayrton Knowles in action on his way to a podium finish

Qualifying proved a competitive affair with just two seconds separating the 10 quickest racers with Ayrton finishing in the middle of that pack.

The speed demon climbed in to third spot during the first race day only to run wide, spin out and high side which saw him drop in to 17th.

However, a strong finish helped Ayrton claw his way back to eighth position.

The combination of dust and a low sun made visibility poor on race day two but Ayrton made an excellent start and pushed Paolo Galizia hard for pole position.

This was definitely a high point in my 2015 calendar

Ayrton Knowles

The Italian, though, was penalised in the third lap which handed Ayrton the lead - an advantage he maintained all the way to the flag despite the challenge of Portuguese champion Joao Delgado.

The weather turned on the final race day and the relentless rainfall created horrendous racing conditions.

Ayrton took the lead on lap two but hit a large track barrier to plummet in to 12th. But a disastrous competition across the field saw Ayrton accumulate enough points to culminate the event on the podium.

“This was definitely a high point in my 2015 calendar,” beamed Ayrton. “It’s a mega event.

“On the final day the heavens opened turning a hard packed clay track in to the most horrendous conditions that I have ever had to race in.

“I concentrated hard and stuck out on the edge of the track to get the grip and by lap two I took the lead.

“But as I caught the back markers and other stranded quads I had to go off line and I hit a large track barrier which stopped me dead.

“Fortunately it had been a disaster for most of the top riders and I still got enough points to take third on the final podium.”