Having completed his first season of motorcycle racing, Ulverston`s Steve Sewell is setting his sights a little higher this year.

After completing a full season as a novice with a sprinkling of inevitable tumbles from his twin cylinder CB 600 Honda, he's now busy preparing it (and himself) for this year's events.

Having done the required number of races sporting an orange novice tabard which novices are required to wear, he can now dispense with it having qualified to move up to Clubman level.

During the 2019 season, he contested most of the East Midland Racing Association events at Mallory Park in Leicestershire.

Early results saw him finishing just outside the top ten, but as the season progressed his lap times came down considerably as he gained more and more experience and he started to achieve top six placings, which he's hoping to improve on this year.

At the final round in August, he just missed a rostrum placing with a creditable fourth place in his class.

Being self funded, the 31-year-old maintenance technician with Seimans Subsea in Ulverston has his main support coming from girlfriend Samantha Wilson.

Her dedication is unquestionable - she can`t bear to be parted from Steve when he's practising or racing. Not wishing to be left on the sidelines, she's got around that problem by often joining him on track herself.

He`s hoping to contest the same championship again this year, with added forays to Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire, Ty Croes over at Anglesey and Oulton Park in Cheshire.

All this, as always, depends on adequate funding. If you`d like to become involved with this up-and-coming rider and support his campaign in any small way, be it the purchase of a tyre, chain or assistance with fuel costs, get in touch with Steve now on 07921 242115.

Support from local businesses would all be welcomed too, while your logo on his machine is a great way of promoting and advertising your business or product and, of course, is tax deductible.

* Rob Shuttleworth, who is from Askam and captained the Belle Vue Colts team to win the National League Championship in 2017, retired from the hectic world of speedway not long ago.

However, he donned his leathers and helmet a couple of weeks ago after being invited to ride at an open meeting at Scunthorpe.

Open meetings are when riders compete against individuals rather than a team.

Despite not having ridden for a considerable amount of time, he soon showed he’d lost non of his skills by taking three heat wins, but after tangling with another rider in the ‘Rider of the Night’ final he got relegated to third place.

He afterwards admitted he’d really enjoyed the night but assured me it was a one-off and he has no plans to return to full-time racing.

* I’m sad to report the passing of local enthusiast George Bownass.

A member of the Furness British Motorcycle club, the Velocette Owners’ Club and the Vintage Motorcycle Club, he was never short of a friend to chat to about his love of motorcycles.

Throughout the summer months, he could be seen supporting the Pennington Bike Nights, and shows etc, with his 500cc Ariel or his beloved Velocette.

He attended the Torver Bikers Breakfast gatherings too, where he loved to share his time chatting to others about motorcycling.

His funeral takes place on Saturday at 11am at his native Hawkshead. Visiting motorcyclists are asked to assemble at the Old Grammar School at 10:50am and to bring a woolly hat (Georges favourite head gear) which they’ll be asked to don at some time during the proceedings.

He’s certainly going to be missed by those who knew him. RIP George.

* With the summer fast approaching, it`s time to be making your plans, whether as a competitor, spectator or just an all-round motorcycle enthusiast.

Many of the major motorcycle rally dates have now been confirmed and if previous years' sell-outs are anything to go by and you are planning to attend some of them, you'd be well advised to get booked in now and reserve your pitch ASAP.

The main venues over in Yorkshire which I know are well supported by Furness enthusiasts start with the Into the Valley Rally at Sledmore from May 1-3 then the Farmyard Rally at Helmsley from June 19-21, followed by the Yorkshire Pudding Rally from July 31 to August 2.

To get booked in, call the organisers on 0800 988 3199 or via their website, www.mapevents.co.uk.