MOTORBIKE racer Andy Guy has retired from the sport after clinching his second title of the season.

The Bolton rider has decided to finish on a high after surpassing his pre-season hopes by winning the national Thundersport GB Sportsman championship and regional Ace Of Aintree title.

He says the financial and time commitments of racing have become too great to continue, and his age combined with his success this year makes it the right time to finish.

After having already wrapped up the Formula 600 Ace Of Aintree with a round to spare, he made it a championship double when he sealed the Thundersport GB 600 Sportsman class at the final double points round at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk with one race to spare.

The Aintree competition is run by the Aintree Motorcycle Racing Club over five rounds and takes place on a track inside the Grand National horse racing course.

It is a smaller version of the full circuit that used to host the British Formula One Grand Prix, and Guy has won the Formula 600 class.

Thundersport GB is a separate competition comprising eight meetings at tracks all around the country.

Egerton truck driver Guy takes part in the 600 Sportsman class which is run within the Elite 600 races.

Elite and Sportsman competitors take part in the same races but are classed separately in their own championships.

Elites riders are a higher standard but Sportsman competitors gain points in the Elite class as well as their own.

Riders are not allowed to take part in the Sportsman class if they have ever raced in a British or World Championship event.

Guy, who had previously planned to race at the famous Isle Of Man road circuit next year, explained his reasons for retiring from the sport after a season which saw him earn 13 victories and 20 podium places in 24 race starts across the two championships.

"A decision at the midpoint of this season to retire from racing at the end of the year, whatever the outcome, led to a great story of possible success and realisation of a dream finish to what has been an amazing journey for all involved," he said.

"A tense beginning to the final round saw us with it all to lose but I managed to win the first two races of the three after wheel-to-wheel action with our main rival.

"And that was enough to clinch the title and lead to much celebrating.

"The plan to race two championships in 2018 led to a very busy year, not made any easier by way of some roller-coaster-style ups and downs along the way, but the team were determined to overcome the obstacles.

"I can't believe how well the year has gone. It was our biggest challenge yet and to come out on top in both of these very competitive championships is sensational.

"It's a great feeling to be able to retire at the top.

"I couldn't be prouder of what myself and our hardworking little family team have achieved in the four years we have committed to this sport.

"We have come a long way from the early days back when we knew very little.

"My family, mum, dad, brother and partner April have been amazing, tirelessly supporting and always on hand.

"The whole team and our sponsors have been awesome. It's been a real team effort and I think we have all loved every moment, some special memories have been made.

"I can't thank everyone who has been involved enough – too many to mention but they know who they are – and everyone who we have crossed paths with over the years who have made the journey that much sweeter.

"A lot of people have been asking if calling time on our racing is the right thing to do.

"I'm happy it's the perfect time. I'm not getting any younger and this sport only gets much more difficult and much more expensive the higher up the ladder we climb. "I'm realistic enough to admit we have reached our limit and possibly even outdone ourselves this year.

"The financial side is starting to take its toll.

"We are worn out, it really is like having two jobs. We are very much looking forward to a bit of family normality returning."