ANYBODY who thought the world of high-powered motorbike racing is a young man’s game should try telling that to Ted Fenwick.

The 82-year-old grandfather from York left his rivals trailing in his wake when he led from start to finish to win the opening race of the Isle of Man TT fortnight, one of the biggest events in the sport’s calendar.

Mr Fenwick, from Heworth, York, beat competitors a quarter of his age on his 250cc Ducati, which he first rode 28 years ago. He triumphed in the Pre-TT Classis on the island’s Billown circuit for the third time, having finished runner-up in both of the previous two years.

Having caught the motorbiking bug as a teenager and with 58 years of racing, plus his share of broken bones, under his belt, he has no plans to retire just yet.

He said: “I just enjoy riding the bike and I enjoy competing, because I get a real thrill from the speed of it.

“A lot of the people I race against are much younger and probably more fearless, but it doesn’t really matter, although when I started racing I never thought I would still be doing it now.

“I’ve been in hospital with things like a fractured pelvis and I broke my neck, arm and back in 1968, but I haven’t had a serious injury since 1972 and I’ll keep racing as long as I keep getting up in the morning.”

Mr Fenwick insists his success and longevity is a team effort between him and his friend Geoff Shaw, who is in charge of preparing the bike for events, and said: “I couldn’t do it without him.

“My wife Margaret is also very supportive, although she would still be pleased if I stopped racing. But while I wouldn’t say I’ve got better with age, I’ve definitely become more careful.”

The Pre-TT Classic races are run by the Southern 100 Motorcycle Racing Club, whose secretary, George Peach, said: “For a man of Ted’s age to still be competing and winning is absolutely amazing.

“He doesn’t look in his eighties and he certainly doesn’t act it. He’s a superb rider, he thoroughly deserved to win and everybody was delighted for him.”