The Timmis family live in Kidsgrove, near Stoke and Bradd-Lee attends Weston Coney Junior School. Antony is contracted by Smart Fleet Solutions (formerly Greenhous Marketing Services or GRS) at Cold Meece, on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border, to transport the vast quantities of used fleet vehicles to and from Cold Meece. Smart Fleet Solutions offers remarketing, inspection, refurbishment and business systems for manufacturers, fleet/leasing companies, rental companies and large fleets.
In 2010 Antony bought Bradd-Lee his first motorbike (second-hand) at the age of 5, after 3 years of riding a 50cc quad from the age of 2! Antony recalls “The bike I bought was a 50cc automatic which he took to like a duck to water as it were. He rode on the local small tracks and fields for 3 years just for fun.”
On his 8th birthday, Dad brought him his first brand new motorbike, this time a semi auto which meant he had gears, but no clutch. Bradd-Lee, being his usual confident self, took to it right away. During that year he started to be entered into races as Antony could see the competitive nature in him while on the practice track. He started his first race at Sherwood Forest back in mid-2013. This was the first time he had raced. There were 20 riders in the 65cc group and Bradd-Lee came 13th.
He carried on entering race meetings over the next few months and, by the time he had turned 9, he had started closing the gap down on his finishing positions. This spurred Vicky and Antony on to get a better bike. Vicky revealed, “On his 9th birthday he had a fully geared race bike, a Kawasaki 65. This is where we got his race number from – 589, each number was the age he was when we bought his next bike.”
Bradd-Lee’s parents are willingly extremely supportive of their young son and his talent is beginning to shine through. He rode through the winter months at different races just to get "track time" in. In December 2013 he moved onto the KTM65 which he felt was a bike which suited him much better.
Vicky says the progress, practice and races are not without some scares along the way. “With the new year of 2014 he became much more confident on the new bike and started push harder, but harder riding brings harder crashes”, recalled Vicky. “So a couple of minor injuries came and went, bruised legs, a twisted knee and even a black eye!”
Antony has invested in a motor home which has been converted to take Bradd-Lee’s bikes and a workshop to support at the track, as well as providing a “home on wheels” for the many days they are away from Kidsgrove.
Antony explained that Bradd-Lee’s school has backed the family in their efforts to give him every opportunity to progress in this sport. “He races all over the country at the moment ranging from Landrake to Grimsby. We set off the night before the event and spend the whole weekend doing it, every weekend. The school have been splendid in allowing us a certain number of days which Bradd-Lee can have as authorised absence.
“Over the past 12 months he has really come on and in a race on the 29th June he came 3rd overall. He is getting better as the months go on, training twice a week after school and it really shows. As you can imagine I am really proud of him, even more so as on the 11th to 13th July he is racing in France, we go on the 9th and return on the 14th. He is representing Great Britain in the 65cc under 10s class. So we have stepped up the practice sessions."
Racing, even at Bradd-Lee’s tender age is a very serious business and it requires a considerable amount of protective and technical support equipment to be able to compete let alone be successful.
Antony is very grateful to the Greenhous Group for a generous donation towards Bradd-Lee’s equipment list. The massive extent of the kit required fully justifies the need for a motor home to contain it. Bradd-Lee has multiple pairs of boots, gloves, tops and bottoms, goggles, three helmets and three sets of body armour, including neck braces. He has a helmet cam to record his rides and always takes two bikes to competitions.
Antony and Vicky are very aware of the cost, financially as well as in terms of time away from home, of this all-year sport, but they obviously gain enormously as a family from spending so much time together, sharing the experience.
As for Bradd-Lee, he has his feet firmly on the ground for a 9 year old. He is mature beyond his years, delightfully polite and articulate. When asked about his goals for the future his eyes lit up. “I want to turn professional when I get to 16 and take part in the Super Cross in Las Vegas. The first prize is $1 million! Then I want to become the world number one rider.” Mum and Dad looked at Bradd and then each other and smiled. The three of them really believe in that dream. Watch out for the name Bradd-Lee Timmis!
Pictured is Bradd-Lee with two of his race bikes and his proud Mum and Dad, Vicky and Antony Timmis.