This was taken from an interview I did with Danny Webb for Motorcycle Racer magazine at the end of 2010:
“It’s very different in Spain compared to Britain. The fact that myself, Bradley and Scott have all come through the Spanish system, rather than from the British Championship, just shows that theirs is a system that works well. All the legends of the sport are still very much involved in the Spanish Championship, with all of them very keen to help out the youngsters coming through their national series on their way towards a career in Grand Prix racing.
“We just don’t have that here in the UK, which is a shame, because we’ve produced some fantastic riders in the past, but they seem to drift away from the sport once their racing days are over. Maybe it’s because, financially, the sport in the UK just isn’t strong enough to allow ex-racers to remain part of the paddock and earn a reasonable living.
“And maybe this is why the level of the British Championship, especially in the smaller classes, isn’t that high at the moment. Hopefully we’ll see an improvement in the future, or maybe we’re already starting to see some improvement. Taylor Mackenzie, Niall Mackenzie’s son, has started to show well in the Spanish Championship. This is partly because the lad can ride a bike, but the fact that he’s got the experience of his father to fall back on is also a big factor. Young riders do need mentoring at the start, but they need advice from someone with experience, and it’s this that seems to be missing in the British Championship at this time.
“The other big difference is that, in the Spanish Championship, the 125cc race is the main event. The crowd watch this race then go home when the Supersport bikes take to the track, whereas it’s the other way round in the UK.
“And in the UK where do you go when you graduate from the 125cc class? There’s no national 250cc championship, so your only option is Supersport or Superstock, which isn’t a good grounding if you want to make the switch to Grand Prix racing in the future. Just ask some of the riders who’ve tried it.”