Quad you believe it

Heriot's Nathan Rae in action
Heriot's Nathan Rae in action

HERIOT quad biker Nathan Rae has been crowned a Scottish champion.

The 16-year-old claimed the Scottish Autocycle Union title after eight meetings, beating off competition from rivals Murray Graham of Lanarkshire and Aberdeenshire’s AJ Third.

And the former Galashiels Academy pupil now hopes to compete in the Adult 450cc class, both in Scotland and the North East English Championship.

It all started at the age of eight for Nathan when he was given a second-hand child’s quad bike.

As a result, he became interested in motorsport, but it was not until an injury prevented him from playing rugby that Nathan took up the opportunity to try quad racing two years ago.

In his first full season in 2010, with dad Gary as mechanic, Nathan was lying third in the Standard Class Youth Championship when he broke his wrist at Tinto Moto Park, Lanark. The rest of the year was spent regaining confidence and gaining further experience by racing in Scotland and the north of England.

But at the end of the 2010 season, Nathan decided to make the switch to the 250 modified class, with his size – Nathan is a former lock forward – proving a disadvantage on the low-powered standard bike.

This season saw the teenager’s talent continue to develop, with his breakthrough victory coming at Cardenden in Fife, finishing overall third on the day.

His next major success was winning an overall first place at a Northumbria meeting, winning two of the three motos amd beating the UK champion elect in the process.

Nathan’s first clean sweep – winning all three motos at a meeting – arrived at Westcoast Raceway in Ayrshire, and by the end of the season he had taken the Scottish title by 16 points from Murray Graham.

He will be presented with his trophy along with other class winners at the Bothwell Bridge Hotel, Lanark, on Saturday, November 5.

And already it seems he is preparing for another successful season in 2012 at the 450cc level, having claimed a creditable sixth overall out of 22 in his first meeting in England in the category, despite being disadvantaged by riding on a standard bike.