It’s not often you get to hear of a father of ten children doing much other than being a taxi service to his kids. Well, that and working a second job to be able to afford the food!
It’s less often you hear of a father of ten making his return to motorcycle racing. Add to that that he already has 9 superbike titles, and that’s got to be unique.
Waikato’s Andrew Stroud had been a well-known and extremely respected motorcycle racing superstar for nearly 30 years, before finally announcing his retirement in August 2013.
After almost two years after his ‘retirement’, Andrew is returning to the sport under the Suzuki banner.
The now 47 year-old is again going to be racing the Suzuki GSXR1000 superbike.
“I have continued to go to race meetings anyway, helping my eldest boy (16-year-old) Jacob with his riding and racing. During this time I have been out for an occasional ride too, just for fun, and I loved it,” said Stroud.
“Jacob has been showing some promise and Suzuki have offered him a 600cc bike too, so he will be able to step up a class and it will be great for the two of us to share our experiences together.
“I have always loved racing bikes. It brings me alive like nothing else. It’s an exciting sport to be in.
“The motorcycling community is like a family to me too and it will be great to join the top riders again on the race track. There are a lot of fast riders in the superbike class. The starting grids have not had huge numbers but the depth of talent is huge. I don’t expect anything will be easy for me.”
It was way back in 1986 that Stroud started his racing career, and in 1988 won his first national championship after battling it out with now well-known racer Aaron Slight, in the 250cc production class.
Stroud may be most well-known for his association with John Britten, after he raced Britten’s world-famous motorcycle to win major events in the United States, including winning the BEARS (British, European and American Racers) world championship in 1995.
As well as achieving a record nine New Zealand superbike title wins, Stroud made it four Formula One title wins in a row in the popular annual Suzuki Tri Series before a crash at Manfeild prematurely ended his 2012 campaign.
“I had worked out some terms with Suzuki to race the 2013 season, but my wife, Karyn, was due with our child No.10 and she arrived prematurely,” Stroud explained.
“Karyn and the baby were in hospital for seven weeks and I was left at home trying to sort out the other nine kids, so a season of racing was never going to be an option then anyway.”
While his reappearance on the starting grid will surprise many, it will also be a welcome sight on many racetracks in New Zealand and overseas.