Current British Superstock Cup Champion Bob Collins is set to make his TT debut in 2007. The 24 year old Londoner had planned to tackle the Mountain Circuit for the first time this year, but sponsorship commitments with the British Championship series ended those hopes. However he is now totally focused on making his debut next May.
Bob is a maverick talent and a crowd favourite in BSB. He shot to prominence in the televised Virgin Mobile Yamaha R6 Cup series around the same time as close friend and winner of the 2006 TT Newcomers Award Conor Cummins.
After a year in the wilderness, Bob made his mark in the Superstock Cup Championship this year winning five of the 13 rounds and finishing on the podium in the remaining rounds all bar three. He also made his real road race debut at the Cock o' The North meeting at Scarborough where he took several top six finishes in the Superbike class, beating numerous experienced road racers.
Bob will concentrate his 2007 season around the TT, taking in road race events as preparation as well as selected National Superstock rounds. Assisting him in his efforts will be three time TT winner Ian Simpson who will be on hand for the majority of the fortnight.
Speaking about the prospect of a TT debut in Centenary year, Bob said:
"I am really excited about the TT. It is in my blood as my mum and dad are big fans of the event and used to come across to watch it before I was born. I am not getting the same enjoyment out of the BSB scene anymore and need a new challenge. The TT is the ultimate, and although I am slightly daunted about taking on the Mountain Course for the first time, I am getting lots of help from people like Milky Quayle and Guy Martin as well as Ian Simpson who is coming to the TT next year to give me a hand. All in all I canít wait!"
Rider Liaison Officer and former TT winner Richard Quayle added:
"Bob is just the sort of rider we are looking for to come to the TT. He is fast and safe, with bags of natural talent and somebody who knows how to enjoy himself which is what it is all about. I have no doubt that he can develop into an excellent TT rider and podium challenger of the future. If he listens to the advice from people like Guy (Martin) and Ian (Simpson) he shouldnít go too far wrong and Iím looking forward to seeing him in action in May next year."
Minister for Tourism and Leisure and Chairman of the TT Steering Committee David Cretney commented:
"In recent times there has been a decline in the number of talented young English riders from the British Championship looking to the TT and Manx Grand Prix as another option. I am delighted that, that trend has ended and Bob Collins is the latest in a long line of up and coming riders from the British Championship paddock to commit to the TT. I am sure he will enjoy the same sort of success as the likes of Les Shand, Paul Shoesmith, James Edmeades and our own Conor Cummins who have all made a successful transition over the past two years and I personally would like to wish him all the best for his TT debut next year"