MOTORSPORT: PROMISING teenage motorcyclist Alex Murley has put pen to paper by signing a new deal which will see him race in the World Supersport 300cc Championship next season.
It was confirmed last week the 17-year-old will spearhead Team Toth Yamaha throughout the 2017 season, competing across the globe in one of the world’s most competitive superbike series.
Based two tiers below the World Superbike Championships, Murley is hoping next season can help him advance further up the ladder – though he admits he has a lot to learn.
Murley started his career in 2012 by riding mini-motos, a path used by current motorcycle stars including Scott Reading and Danny Kent.
He then progressed to race on 70cc bikes before embarking on his debut Kawasaki Junior Cup campaign in 2013 – before going on to win the same event in 2014.
Last season he competed in the European Junior Cup, finishing 14th in the overall standings where he competed under Alex Murley Racing.
However his options have now been further broadened and the Chadwick End racer is hopeful of stepping onto the podium next year after signing the contract. Alex told The Observer: “This signing is another step up the ladder for me personally.
“I’ll be taking a more professional direction and will have more time on track which means I’ll have more time to learn.
“I want next season to go well but it’s going to be a tough championship.
“Saying that I have the right team and package to succeed and I see no reason why we can’t challenge for race wins throughout the series.”
Alex will race at #18 in the newly introduced WorldSSP300 category and will compete at nine prominent European circuits.
Though his training schedule is underway, Alex already has one eye on pre-season testing – which will start in early 2017.
The Chadwick End rider said: “I’m training hard at the moment as it’s off season and I spend a lot of time on my push bike.
“It’s not exactly flat out training but enough to keep me ticking, I do this around five or six times a week and somedays push harder than others.
“Working with the media is another thing I’m continuing to do, though sometimes things can get hard as I have my college commitments too.
“I receive an incredible amount of support from the people around me, it wouldn’t be possible without the support of my college as they ensure I get sent work and can work while racing.
“I’m really excited for new challenge and I’m confident the Yamaha R3 together with the support of the team will give me a great chance to have a strong season.
“I know it will be a quick and competitive field but I think we can do a great job together.”
Team Toth Principal Imre Toth said: “Following an impressive year in the European Junior Cup, we are sure of Alex’ talent and next year will be an interesting season.
“We will race with the Yamaha R3 which we believe will allow us to achieve the best position.
“We happily welcome Alex to the team with his parents and sponsors.”
Alex’s team-mate for next season’s championship is set to be announced in the coming weeks.