Teenager Chrissy Rouse is the 2013 Triumph Triple Challenge champion after grabbing his 10th win of the season at Silverstone.
The 17-year-old from Burnopfield took the title with one round still to go after a dazzling display at the Northants circuit over the weekend.
The Emmanuel College student pulled out all the stops to ensure he took his first UK title in style as he roared to a double win on board his Stratstone Triumph Racing Daytona 675 – despite only needing to finish sixth or above in Sunday’s race.
Rouse – who will celebrate his 18th birthday on Thursday – didn’t get off to the best of starts as the championship returned to action as part of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship support programme after a month off.
He arrived with a 57-point lead over nearest rival Freddy Pett with third-placed Phil Atkinson just three points behind Pett. With two races at Silverstone and another two at Brands Hatch later this month, all the youngster needed to do was beat Pett in both races to secure the title.
But things didn’t look to be going his way on Friday when he only managed to qualify 10th, his lowest qualifying result of the year and was forced to start Saturday’s race back on the fourth row while Pett and Atkinson lined-up at the front.
However, it did little to halt his progress and he made a searing start, passing seven bikes on the opening lap to start lap two in third place.
Moments later he was on the move again, this time scorching past Sam Cox and Phil Atkinson in one move to take the lead. From here he enjoyed a bit of a scrap with Atkinson for the lead, taking the flag as the winner and notching up his ninth win of the year.
This result meant that if Pett won Sunday’s race, Rouse needed only finish sixth place or higher to tie up the title. This time he started from the front row in third place.
Despite dropping down to fourth briefly in the opening lap, he quickly regrouped and took the place back before passing Atkinson and Pett again in a similar move to in the first race.
Pett came back and took the lead on lap five but Rouse was far from finished and on lap seven he set a new lap record before taking the lead back on the final lap.
“I didn’t have to win and before I went out there my dad and the team were telling me to take it easy and just bring it home but I have to admit now that I was never going to sit back and crawl home. I wanted to win the championship with a win,” he said.
“The aim of this weekend was to wrap the title up and we did it. Doing it with two wins and standing on the top step of the podium is the way every rider wants to do it and I’m just so happy. I think it may take a couple of days to sink in.
“For me, this year was always all about winning the championship. I had my first season in the Triumph Triple Challenge last year after winning the Triumph Young Guns contest and this year it was win or nothing for us.
“Everyone in the team has worked so hard and my family have pretty sacrificed everything to get me here today.
“We do this as a family, my two sisters miss out on a lot so I can race and I never take any of it for granted. I want to take this opportunity to thank my mam and dad for everything they have done to get me here.
“This isn’t just my championship, this is the whole family and team’s championship and it’s the best feeling in the world.”
Rouse is now looking forward to the final round at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time and is currently working on his 2014 plans.