Life at the top

About Life at the top

For 2011, Gary formed his own team for a concerted attack on both the International road races and British Supersport Championship. It was a wise decision for all concerned as Gary enjoyed a brilliant season of racing which included his career highlight to date – a stunning Isle of Man TT victory.

The win came in the second Supersport 600cc race and it was a masterful performance as he led from start to finish, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process, and his credentials were further increased with third in the Superbike race and a lap of 130.450mph, thus becoming one of the select band of riders to break the 130mph barrier. A whole host of top six finishes again came at the three other International road races – Ulster Grand Prix, North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix – with another podium at the former whilst he also claimed no less than 12 top ten finishes in the fiercely competitive British Supersport Championship.

2012 saw Gary riding for the renowned Padgetts Honda team on the roads and for Samsung Honda in the National Superstock series. He looked set to claim his second TT win in June, only for a fuel problem to deny him on the fourth and final lap of the Supersport race, but he still took top six results both there and at the North West 200, whilst his best results on the roads came at the Ulster Grand Prix where he took the runner up spot in both the Superbike and Supersport races.

Meanwhile, a career best fourth was taken at the Macau Grand Prix with another strong season chalked up on the short circuits where, despite missing a number of rounds due to date clashes, he claimed 12th overall in the Superstock series, the second Honda rider in the title table.

Running his own team in the 1000cc capacity races, 2013 saw Gary again impress, particularly in the Superstock class where he took second at both the TT and Ulster GP, pushing man of the week Michael Dunlop at the former harder than anyone else and leading right up until the last lap when an oil leak slowed his progress. He also led the Superbike and Senior races in the early stages with more 130mph+ laps before fuel and mechanical problems thwarted his challenge respectively. In addition, Gary had the huge honour of being chosen to spearhead the return of the legendary Italian manufacturer MV Agusta in the Supersport category, claiming another top eight finish.

He wrapped his season up at the Macau Grand Prix and after coming close before, he finally added a podium around the challenging, Armco-lined course to his CV after taking an excellent third.

2014 was a bitter sweet year for Gary with the high of his second Supersport TT win, then 24 hours later the low of crashing out on lap one of Superstock TT race. Gary spent most of the later stages of the summer recovering from broken collar-bone sustained in the Ramsey Hairpin crash returning to competitive action in September with Team Edge at Oulton Park. Gary and co-rider Nick Edgeley clinched National 600 Endurance Championship with victories at the final two round at Oulton Park and Croft.

Gary battled magnificently to claim 4th place at Macau where for long periods he was vying for a podium place after staring 7th on the grid.