Billy got the bug for speed while riding to work on his Yamaha DT125, once he joined the army he managed to pass his test and bought a Kawasaki ZXR600. This was his trusty steed down at camp and for practising stood up wheelies in one of the hangers on camp. Then on to a Yamaha R6 on which he had endless fun and a few crashes(see photo). It was on the R6 that he made a decision to go racing after going past the Liverpool Arms heading to Douglas he looked at the speedo and seeing over 100mph. So in 2010 it was arranged to borrow a bike and a van while he was home on leave and do the race school at Jurby race circuit. Come the Sunday morning he was hung over after a heavy night out, but managed to get up and off to Jurby we went, it was a wet day but he got out on track and loved it. That was that and he bought the bike he had borrowed, a 2005 Honda CBR 600RR and bought his trusty old ambulance all out of his Op’s bonus from his first tour in Afghanistan. He campaigned this Honda at Jurby a few times when leave permitted and a trip over to Cadwell Park with it. This took him to the end of 2012 where the planning for the Manx Grand Prix started.
Early in 2013 a 2010 Honda CBR600RR was purchased for the task of getting his Mountain Course licence, this was prepared in the garage at home in Laxey by Billy and his Dad. His plan was to do all the meetings with the Derby Phoenix Club that year. First off a track day at Jurby then off to Oulton Park for a pre-season shakedown with the Wirral 100 club. A full season with the Derby Phoenix club ensued, Cadwell Park, Snetterton, Croft, Donnington Park and Mallory Park. All tracks he was new to apart from Cadwell, he finished a very credible 8th in the championship. The Honda was brought back to the Isle of Man for a bit of TLC over the winter. 2014 was to see another tour in Afghanistan from June through until November but Billy wanted to ride at the Manx Grand Prix in August!!! The plan was to go over to Cadwell in the May, then he would go on tour come back for his R&R race the MGP then go back and complete the tour. No problem said Billy. Two wins and two seconds at Cadwell then the Honda back in the garage in Laxey for Dad to prepare for the MGP and off he went. All through the tour he spent his down time watching onboard laps of the TT course. Dad spent many a late night in the garage preparing the Honda, then it was time. In true Billy fashion he rocked up home, daysack on his back still full of Afghan dust. Straight to the garage to drool over the bike, then food, then out for a beer. Practice started with the speed controlled lap, then the newcomers were let loose. First session, 2 laps, fastest was 105mph. Then through the week building and building to 115mph. He was ready for the race.
Newcomers race day was the Tuesday, it was going to be a battle between Billy and Malachi Mitchell Thomas for the win. A thrilling 3 lap race later Billy won by 1.7 seconds, he was ecstatic. The next day he was to race in the Junior race, Malachi was going to be in the Senior on the Friday so Billy said “Oh I’ll just go out and have some fun, no pit boards just have a ride round” Four laps later quite unbeknown to him he finishes second to Andy Lawson by 12 seconds with the fastest lap of the race. Wednesday evening was the newcomers prize presentation at the grandstand marque, a few beers and an enjoyable night was had. Then Thursday back off to Afghanistan, phew what was that. That was Billy Redmayne. 2015 was to be another fantastic year, Tandragee and Armoy in Northern Ireland top ten finishes. Best newcomer at the Southern 100 in all four races he started in, and top ten finishes. Good results at Olivers Mount in Scarborough with a second place to Dan Kneen. But it was all about the rematch between Billy and Malachi at the Manx Grand Prix. They started off in practice each getting faster every night. Then Billy crashed heavily on the Monday evenings practice session, with the Junior race being on the Wednesday. Some hot baths and physio sessions later he was ready for the race. The lads didn’t disappoint the fans again with a thrilling battle which saw Billy take the win from Malachi by 1.8 seconds. Fridays Senior was looking to be a blockbuster, Billy and Malachi traded position on the leader board each lap. But on the last lap Billy clipped a kerb and sheared a bolt off that held the gear lever on and had to retire with just 12 miles to go. Malachi took a well deserved win. That night the 2 of them went out on the lash best of mates. But that was the end of Billy's short career in racing, the following year he got caught up in a crash at Olivers Mount, Scarborough through no fault of his own. And that was that. His funeral was a full military one held in Douglas on the Isle of Man on Friday the 13th of May. Tragically the next day at the North West 200 races in Northern Ireland his friend and rival Malachi was killed. The highs are high but the lows are desperate.
Billy Redmayne Memorial Fund
Registered charity number 1297
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