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Hopper aims to leap into number one spot

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 10, 2014

RISING STAR . . . George Hopper, 9, was crowned Junior Poacher at Irby-in-the-Marsh and shows off a selection off his trophies

RISING STAR . . . George Hopper, 9, was crowned Junior Poacher at Irby-in-the-Marsh and shows off a selection off his trophies

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JUNIOR speed demon George Hopper is just nine years old – but has his sights set on winning the 2014 Grass Track British Youth National Championships.

The motorbike fanatic was a superb second on his Championship debut, and is gunning to go one better this year.

Proud mum Emma said: “He lives and breathes it really. I know I’m his mum but he’s really good for his age.

“He just wants to be out there racing all the time.”

The Newhall Community School pupil’s passion for motorsport started at the tender age of three on a quad, before moving on to two wheels aged five.

George initially learnt to ride a KTM auto 50cc in a friend’s field before joining Burton and District Motorcycle Club when he turned six – and trying his hand at motocross.

Following in the footsteps of great grandad Ron Hopper, a former speedway star, George also adopted the race number 110 for his Kawasaki 65cc.

And the trophies soon started to arrive.

George claimed a race victory at Polesworth in motocross and was fourth overall, before stepping up to a 2012 Husqvarna CR65 at the age of eight.

George was crowned Silolene Short-Track UK Club Champion in 2012.

He won the cadets section at the Norman Southgate Memorial at Wood Walton last year before finishing runner-up in the Grass Track British Youth National Championships.

The Newhall Community pupil also topped the podium at Irby-in-the- Marsh to be named Junior Poacher.

“We’re really proud of him – all his family and friends,” said Emma.

George was clocked at 55mph in the National Club Championships las year – but has escaped serious injury to date.

“It’s quite scary to watch,” said George’s mum. “He’s been pretty lucky so far. He’s had a few tumbles but nothing major.

“A few grey hairs have spouted – but it’s very entertaining as well.”

That entertainment value comes at a price, with tyres, parts, travel and race entry costs.

The junior speedster is also hoping to race in mainland Europe this year – and his family are now appealing for sponsors.

Emma said: “People perhaps don’t realise how much money goes into the sport.

“We just want to give him as much as we can to help him along.

“Anything will help really. Fuel, tyres anything.

“When it gets to the summer he’s out there (racing) every weekend.”

Potential sponsors can contact Emma Hopper via email on hopper35@btinternet.com or by ringing 07729832822.

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