East Antrim rider Jamie Hamilton went looking for a superbike ride for the 2014 season and came away with one of the best deals of the year when he signed to ride for the Wilson Craig Racing Team.
Not only did he get the precious Honda superbike ride, but also a superstock and supersport Honda for the forthcoming season.
Hamilton’s new team was formed in February 2008 by Wilson Craig, a businessman and bike enthusiast and over the past five season he has supplied machinery to road racing greats Keith Amor, Cameron Donald, Guy Martin and William Dunlop.
Success has been plentiful and now with Jamie on board, Wilson believes that will continue.
It was an excited Hamilton who talked to the Times about the deal. “For me it is a dream come true,” smiled the double Irish and Ulster road racing champion. “Whenever I was a kid starting racing I would look at teams like Wilson Craig’s and think that I would love to be a part of that and be his main rider. It’s funny that it’s all come true. I have on my helmet a logo DBA: dream it, believe it and achieve it. So far, it seems to be working for me. I managed to put a deal together with Wilson Craig to ride his 600 supersport, 1000cc superstock and superbike. It doesn’t get any better.”
So, how did it all come about? “I have been in touch with Wilson off and on since I left Ryan (Farquhar) and he kept saying that he did not know whether he was going racing and did not know what his plans were,” Hamilton explained. “Obviously, I had been asking other teams and then one day, out of the blue, the phone rang and it was Wilson saying, ‘right I am going racing’ and he asked if I wanted to race his bikes.
“On the very same day another team rang me offering me their bikes. It was a bit weird and I actually thought it was a prank at the time.
“With good offers on the table from both teams it was just a matter of going for what I thought was best for my future. The other team were offering me a good package but when you want to go to the Isle of Man TT and get good results it’s hard to go past the Hondas and a team like Wilson’s. Their success rate around the Island is second to none. In the past I have been used to riding bikes which have always been a struggle to get set up and get handling and I am hoping that on Wilson’s Hondas that will all change.”
He added: “Apart from Macau last year I have always rode Kawasakis. In fact, since 2007 I rode virtually nothing else so I am really looking forward to getting on the Hondas. I know that Wilson puts out really good motorbikes and they are super-quick. The bikes are a dream and apart from the TT they have won races everywhere they went.
“One thing that did worry me a bit about riding for Wilson was the pressure of winning, but he has reassured me that there is no pressure on me to win races straight away.
“He has already said he understands that I am still young and can see in the future that I will be in a position to fight for the race wins. For me that’s good. He has told me where he expects me to be, and I reckon I am well capable of doing it. I will still be riding Stewart Smith’s ER6 Kawasaki Supertwin machine alongside Wilson’s bikes at the internationals and I can’t wait to get started.”