20 Questions... James Whitham

TV personality and 1993 British Superbike Champ

1993 British Superbike Champ turned TV personality

What's the most embarrassing motorcycle you lusted after in your youth?
A Honda CG125 when I was 10.

What's the worst motorcycle you've ever owned?
A 490 Maico I 'ad at 14.

What motorcycle would you ride if money (or job!) were no object?
An MK1 RG500 or Yam TZ700.

What's your favourite stretch of asphalt?
The Kinlochleven road near Loch Leven.

What is the best thing you ever did on a motorcycle?
Earn my living.

What is the maddest thing you ever did on a motorcycle?
I had a Honda CG125 and put knobblies on it. I did a big stand-up wheelie the length of a disused quarry. It weren't so mad but at the time nobody did wheelies and if you did you were a big hero.

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you on a motorcycle?
Broke my pelvis during the 1999 Czech Grand Prix.

What is the most miserable time you've had riding a bike?
In 1990 I had to ride an RC30 for Honda all year and although it were a good bike I didn't click with it.

Who's your all-time motorcycling hero, and why?
Mike Hailwood. After an 11-year lay-off he got back on a bike and won.

What would you do with your last gallon of fuel?
There's nothing like a petrol fire!

What motorcycle did you first do 100mph on?
Suzuki X7 in 1983 - I were 17.

What's the fastest you've ridden?
I did about 197mph down the straight at the old Hockenheim.

What's your pet hate in motorcycling?
People who ride on motorways and will not go past standing traffic.

What's the most you'd spend privately on a bike?
Anything if the right bike came up.

What's the one piece of essential equipment you need on your bike?

Two-stroke or four-stroke, and why?
Two-stroke. They're smelly and make more noise. They're just fun.

What achievement by a rival are you most envious of?
Anybody earning money out of bike racing deserves every penny.

What are the trends in your field that are just below the horizon right now?
Two-strokes are coming back baby, you know it.

If you could switch careers, what would you like to do?
Golf. You get good money!

How much are you paid, and are you worth it?
Not much but I'm probably not even worth that