TWELVE-year-old Melksham motorcycle racer Ryan Hitchcock goes to Brands Hatch next weekend with high hopes of improving on his two top-ten finishes at Donington Park.

In only his first year on the Moto3 machine, Ryan came away on Saturday, October 3 with a 10th and 8th place finish from the penultimate round of the British Talent Cup.

Ryan is currently racing for Dronfield-based Wilson Racing on a Moto3 motorbike in the British Talent Cup. This is a support series of British Superbikes.

The Wilson Racing rider faced his worst weather conditions so far on a Moto3 as he went on to pick up six points. In the second race on Sunday he added a further eight points to his tally.

The weather forecasters were unfortunately right and on Saturday morning the rain meant that qualifying had to be cancelled.

Whilst the British Talent Cup riders got to race the grid positions were made up from the best lap times from the two free practice sessions on the Friday and Ryan lined up in 11th place..

In the first race, this was the first time Ryan had raced the GP circuit at Donington and the conditions made it an even greater challenge.

The circuit was covered in a blanket of black cloud and the rain fell for the duration of the 12-lap race.

Ryan held station on lap one crossing the line in 11th place. By the third lap he was up to ninth place. Shortly afterwards he found himself riding on his own.

With no marker ahead to help with racing lines on a new circuit and in difficult conditions his pace dropped a little. This enabled a group of riders to close on Hitchcock towards the end of the race.

Although he lost a position late in the race, this spurred him on and he reduced his lap times significantly.

Gaining confidence, he went on to cross the line in a very respectable tenth place at the finish line.

The riders woke up to improved weather conditions on Sunday for the second race. Although it was still cool the rain had gone and the track was drying.

Hitchcock made no mistake with his start, gaining an impressive seven places on the first lap and moving from 15th in the grid to 8th place.

The leading group of riders had managed to breakaway at the front and although Hitchcock was unable to bridge the gap, he set a good pace finishing the weekend with a 1:46.595 on the last lap, and 7th place at the chequered flag.

The number 43 now has 57 points under his belt in his rookie year and lies 9th in the overall standings.

Ryan Hitchcock said: “The conditions for race one were horrible and thankfully Sunday was better.

"I decided to be brave and go round the outside at Redgate to make up three places and managed 7th in a lonely race two.

“Thanks to Gary Wilson and our team at Wilson Racing for all the help and encouragement. I can’t wait for Brands Hatch in two-weeks’ time (October 17-18).

“I must thank my sponsors Oxford Racing, Ducati Moto-Rapido, NGUK, 113 Events, Apollo Installations, Studio Creative Services, LS2 Helmets and M4Karting. Without them I would not be racing.”

Ryan started racing in 2015 in the Cool Fab Racing rookies.

He competed in both the MiniGP50 and MiniGP70 categories of FAB Racing last season.

He was fourth in the smaller category, gaining 12 podium finishes, including five race victories, and 7th on the GP70, including six podium finishes.

He currently holds the lap record at the Clay Pigeon circuit near Dorchester in both categories.

Last season Ryan got to meet Bo Bensneyder, the Dutch motorcycle racer who was the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup champion in 2015, at a training camp in Assen.

To Ryan’s surprise he took part in one of the events and they got to race the actual TT ciruit, albeit flat out on their GP70s.

Over the last few years he has been supported by the people at the Moto Rapido Ducati team who spotted him racing in the Cool FAB Racing championship.